S (Scripture): 2 Kings 5:15 Namaan and his entire entourage returned to the prophet (Elisha). Naaman came and stood before him. He said, “For sure I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel! Now, please accept a gift from your servant.” 16 But Elisha replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives (whom I serve), I will take nothing from you.” Naaman insisted that he take it, but he refused. 17 Naaman said, “If not, then please give your servant a load of dirt, enough for a pair of mules to carry, for your servant will never again offer a burnt offering or sacrifice to a god other than the Lord. 18 May the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to worship, and he leans on my arm and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.” 19 Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.”
O (Observation): Namaan is a commander in the Syrian army. Syria is an enemy of Israel. And yet, as Elisha is asked, he heals Namaan. Namaan is enamored with Elisha, and wishes to give gifts to Elisha, who declines.
At the end of this scene, Namaan basically claims that the God of Israel is the one true God of all. And yet…even after all he’s been through, Namaan still feels the need to appease his people and Rimmon (the Syrian storm God), by bowing down to honor Rimmon.
And does Elisha remove the healing? No. does he or God inflict a new wound? No. Does Namaan get struck down for this? No.
Instead of retribution, Elisha says: “Go in peace (shalom).”
A (Application): When was the last time you did something nice for someone, and either they didn’t thank you or they were downright disrespectful in their actions following? That’s basically what Namaan did with Elisha!
Elisha healed Namaan, and praised God, but still held back (ready to bow to his Syrian storm god).
Shalom. That kind of peace is what Eden and heaven look like. Shalom is a peace that surpasses our understanding, yet we speak of it…that we might one day know its fullness.
This peace is the end of the discussion for Namaan. He doesn’t fuss. He simply let’s Namaan walk away with a blessing, despite Namaan’s insistence that he will recognize his Syrian god, still.
When is the last time you walked away from a disagreement with a blessing? Perhaps I can learn from this moment and remember to bless those with whom I disagree…
Something to think about.
P (Prayer): Lord, you bless me richly. May I feel compelled to bless others so…amen.