"Foolish" Instructions; Guaranteed Results

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram.  . . . He was a valiant soldier, but had leprosy. Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."
Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. "By all means, go."  . . .  "I will send a letter to the king of Israel."  . . . "With this letter, I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy."
As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, "Am I God? . . . Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy?"
. . . When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: "Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel." So Naaman went with his horses and chariots . . . 
Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." 
But Naaman went away angry and said . . .  "Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?" . . . So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times . . . and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.  . . ." 2 Kings 5:1-15
Naaman was a very accomplished military leader. He was renowned for his valiant accomplishments but there was one terrible drawback in his life -- he had leprosy. Leprosy was a rather disgraceful disease to suffer from, so needless to say, Naaman was glad to hear that he could be cured. Alas, Naaman wanted to be cured on his own terms. But that was not to be the case. It was either God's prescribed method or not at all. God cannot be pushed around.

There are a number of interesting lessons from the story.
First: Naaman was hoping that Elisha would respect who he was, come out, wave his hand over the leprosy and cause it to vanish. But Elisha did otherwise. He did not even come out. He sent his servant to instruct Naaman to go and wash seven times in the River Jordan. Naaman was furious because in his eyes, the Jordan was inferior to the more renowned rivers of Syria. Had Naaman's servants not prevailed upon him, he would have lost the miracle of a cure.

Many times, the things God would instruct us to do might seem foolish in our own eyes. Ignoring them might cause us to forfeit our blessings but following those simple instructions, as "foolish" as they might seem, is always the assured path to our blessings.

Second: It is always a blessing to have people who will speak into our lives and confront us with prideful behaviors that could doom our future. Naaman was blessed to have servants who had the boldness to confront and convince him to follow Elisha's instructions.

Finally, Naaman swallowed his pride, humbled himself and listened to the advice of his servants.
It is important not to allow our pride to make us recalcitrant in our positions. We must exercise humility when we are wrong and do whatever "foolish" thing needs to be done in order to please the Lord. The instructions might be foolish but the results are always guaranteed. We must always obey the instructions of the Lord. It is for our own good.

Prayer: Lord, the temptation to sort things out with my own mind is always a pressing one. Please help me not to lean to my own understanding but to acknowledge your directives so that I can attain the results You intend for my life. Amen.