APRIL 30: SEVEN TIMES

SEVEN TIMES

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria; he was also a mighty man in valor but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress, 'Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy.' And one went in and told his lord saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is in the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said, 'Go to, go' and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, 'Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.' And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter that he rent his clothes and said, 'Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? Wherefore, consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.' And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes that he sent to the king saying, 'Wherefore hath thou rent thy clothes? Let him come now to me and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.' So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him saying, 'Go and wash in Jordon seven times, and thy flesh shall come again unto thee, and thou shalt be clean.' But Naaman was wroth and went away and said, 'Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them and be clean?' So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him and said, 'My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash and be clean?' Then went he down and dipped himself seven times in Jordon, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came and stood before him, and he said, 'Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.'"
2 Kings 5:1-15
Today's Read: 2 Kings 5; Isaiah 1
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Suspended by God are the invisible manifestations of His power waiting to be made known. The acts of obedience which garner such power may seem very little and insignificant, but the God which observes and oversees such acts demonstrates His great and visible power and presence through them.
Three provoking truths are highlighted for us in this passage with the key word "little" being emphasized. By applying them to our lives we'll find ourselves "dipping" in the river Jordon with Naaman experiencing the cleansing rejuvenating effects of God's power.
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1) The "little" captive maiden from Israel solidly identified the "man of God" as the source of healing and deliverance. Her little verbal charge electrified the minds and hearts of the elite and, were it not for the earnest, sure voice of the little maiden, there would have been no victory gained that day.
Hmmm ...
We can never know what little voice we may be to another in their time of need but we most certainly can assert with all authority the power of our Redeemer and the sufficient strength of the sovereign healer who oversees the hearts and souls of all mankind.
Jesus, that name above all names, has the power to restore, deliver, and heal any man who comes to Him.
O to God that we should entrust ourselves to Him.
"Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12
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2) The "little" suggestion to Jordon's waterway was an offence to General Naaman.
A man given to military conquest, familiar with terrain and landscape, the river Jordon in his mind reeked of smallness and enemy territory. Consideration to looking foolish, ridiculous, and needy angered him. Of what use was the dank enemy river to a man of pomp, prestige, and position?
Had it not been for a few wise servants, Naaman would've bypassed the day of his deliverance.
Hmmm ...
Arrogance and pride are the biggest preventatives and hindrances to realizing and experiencing communion, intimacy, and freedom in Christ.
Until these are stripped away and "Jordon's suggestion" is taken seriously, God's word wields no power in our lives. We are just "empty generals" with childish demands, unclean souls, and proud and boastful tongues.
The word of God affords a precious and vast supply of cleansing for the soul.
Don't neglect the "waters of cleansing" prepared for you in the word;
Open up the "Jordon" and be cleansed.
"Thy word is very pure; therefore Thy servant loveth it."
Psalm 119:140
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3) Seven dips ... really?
Did the man of God seriously impose a "seven dip" rule on this high ranking official?
Must he yield to seven dips in a dank pool of enemy water and risk exposure to loss of big man's ego and pride?
Just how bad did he want to be healed?
Seven dips later ...
The leper disappeared in the Jordon and emerged with the skin of a child.
How do these things happen but by the grace of God?
Why does He perform such mysterious, miraculous wonders on such little men?
Why do little men dare to resist such a great and mighty God?
Hmmm ...
We are wise to heed the "seven dip rule" in whatever God commands us from His word.
What sounds foolish, humiliating, and little to man, if it is governed by the sure word of God, will prove an effectual and notable deliverance.
Believe Him for it.
Small acts of obedience are observed and honored by God and wield great deliverance from God.
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."
Acts 3:19
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Three Study Suggestions:
1) Read today's passages and highlight the "little" suggestions God is planting in your mind about His power.
2) Consider the "little" promptings and urgings within and without that God gives you throughout the day and consider whether you are dismissing these divine suggestions or acting on them and receiving the blessing God intends for you.
3) Be prepared to be a little voice in big lives and be bold in your declaration of God's sure authority, power, and ability to save.
Fear no man ...
Seek only the favor of the One who wields authority over him.
"And Samuel said, 'Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams.'"
1 Samuel 15:22