Behold, I Thought

Albert E. Farley

When the leper Naaman came to the prophet Elisha's house to be healed of his leprosy, he came, sadly, with preconceived notions and ideas that almost prevented him from being healed. We read about his healing in 2 Kings 5:8-14.

Naaman came with his horses and chariot and stood at the door of God's prophet, Elisha. He had come to the right person, and he had come to the right place. Elisha did not come out to him, personally, but he sent a messenger who told Naaman to go and wash (dip) seven times in the Jordan River and he would be clean. This seemed like a very simple thing for him to do; he was very able to do what the Lord had commanded by His prophet. The water was not far away. What kept him from obeying the command?

Naaman reacted very angrily to the Lord's command. He went away from the house in anger. He said, "Behold, I thought ..." Naaman's thoughts were not the same as the Lord's thoughts. Naaman thought the prophet would come out, personally, stand before him, call on the name of the Lord his God, strike (wave his hand over) his leprosy and he would be healed! He had no idea that the prophet would simply tell him to go down to the Jordan and dip seven times. If it was a dipping that was necessary, why could he not dip in Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, Syria, from where he had come? His anger turned into rage.

This story might have ended with Naaman's returning home without finding the healing that he desired and that was so near him. Were it not for some unnamed, concerned servants, it would have ended that way. However, these servants used some simple logic and common "horse sense" to persuade Naaman to obey the commandment of God's prophet. If, they asked, the prophet had commanded him to do some great thing, would he not have obeyed? The implied answer was "Yes." Why not, then, accept this command (in faith) and do it? He was finally convinced. He obeyed the command, dipped seven times, and his flesh came again like the flesh of a little child. He was clean!

O, the principles of truth that sinners, today, need to learn from this story. It is not enough to come to the Lord Jesus Christ in search of cleansing from sin; we must be willing to accept what the Lord and His messengers (apostles) tell us to do to be saved. Tragically, many sinners come with preconceived thoughts and ideas. Behold, they think the Lord will come to them, personally, stand before them, strike His hand over the place, and heal them immediately! When the Lord's humble messengers (faithful gospel preachers) tell them to repent and to be baptized (immersed; buried in water) in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; 8:36-39; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; etc.), these with wrong, preconceived ideas go away in a rage! Then if, in their rebellious heart, they will be willing to accept baptism, they want to have the baptism of their choice; sprinkling, pouring, or dipping - not for the remission of sins! They are not content to accept the Lord's one, true baptism (Ephesians 4:4) and to obey it from the heart. Romans 6:1-18.

Dear friend, what about you? Our thoughts are not God's thoughts, neither are His ways our ways. Isaiah 55:8. There is a way which seems right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12. If you will not accept the Lord's command to be baptized for the remission of your sins, you cannot be saved. If we can assist you, contact us today!


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