Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God Uses Foolish Things!! - Does He?

Faith and Healing (2 Kings 15 vs. 1-14) - A Theological Reflection

Naaman was a very successful commander. He had done so well by giving victory to the people of Aram. The king of Aram had great respect for him. He however had the dreaded disease of leprosy. Leprosy was feared by the society to the extent that those affected were left in the bush so that they would not affect others. Naaman, perhaps because of his position he was spared that ill treatment.

A girl who had been captured during a raid on Israelites and was saving in Naaman’s household noticed the disease and advised that he should go and see a prophet in Israel who would cure him. Arrangements were made even by the highest office of the king for the passage of Naaman to go and be healed by the man of God.

The interesting thing, though, is that upon arrival at the prophet’s home the prophet did not meet Naaman. He just gave instructions through a messenger while the door of his house was closed. Naaman was not amused. He took this behavior to mean that he did not care. He was told to go to river Jordan and wash seven times there and he would be cured. When he had expressed his displeasure his servant went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’? (vs. 13). He took heed and he washed and was healed and his skin looked like that of a young boy.

Healing is not guaranteed in all cases. Paul a servant of God had to put up with an ailment for the rest of his life. “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthian 12 vs. 7-10).

On the other hand when a woman insisted that her daughter should be healed from demon possession Jesus reasoned with her. The woman knelt before Jesus after his disciples had prevented her several times. Jesus said to her “I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me,” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that hour. (Matthew 13 vs. 23-28)

God works even with simple and uninspiring things. Just washing in Jordan seven times someone is cured. There were even better rivers in Naaman’s land. How often do we want things to be perfect for God to act? The Lord has shown his hand in our affairs and now we have an imperfect inclusive in Zimbabwe. We are anxious and skeptical and rightly so. But let us be reminded that God works through such imperfect arrangements. Let us give God a chance. Paul was refused, a healing miracle, the woman who insisted had her request granted. He is the same God people of this world should put their faith in. Should we give up because what we expect is not happening in the way we want? Naaman got healed when he did a foolish thing. Some say it is a foolish thing to join a unity government. Such is how the good Lord works. Foolish indeed!! God bless.

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