If you are familiar at all with Naaman, captain of the Syrian (Aramean) host, you may think first of his miraculous cure from leprosy. While that cure is truly remarkable, it was merely a change in his flesh, which God can easily affect. Did you notice, however, the change that was made in his heart?
Naaman arrived at Elisha’s doorstep with a grand assumption of what the prophet would do. Elisha’s instructions were much less ostentatious, however, and poor Naaman was put off.
Reasoning wisely with their master, Naaman’s servants suggested that he simply comply with Elisha’s directions; to dip himself seven times in the river Jordan. He did, and his leprosy vanished. His flesh immediately was a clean as a child’s.
Naaman came out of the shallow waters of the Jordan, a deeply changed man. He returned to Elisha with his entire entourage and would say the following:
“Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; so please take a present from your servant now…….. If not, please let your servant at least be given two mules’ load of earth; for your servant will no more offer burnt offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods’ but to the Lord.”
“In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon your servant in this matter”
Naaman wanted to give something back in gratitude for what he had received.
Naaman wanted to return home with dirt from the land of the God who helped him, so that upon the soil of Israel, he could sacrifice to the God of Israel.
Understanding how wrong any involvement with idolatry would be in light of the true and living God, Naaman asked forgiveness for the places his duties would take him.
Elisha told him, “Go in peace”. I believe Naaman went home with peace in his heart that day, a peace that he had never before even imagined. He was a man converted.