Photo by Hans Eiskonen on Unsplash

2 Kings 5:1–19 ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?’ (v13)

Pride has been called the deadliest of sins, for it often precedes other sins. For instance, when someone who prizes their station in life believes they are being snubbed, they may act on their anger.

This is what happened with Naaman. A highly regarded military leader in service to the king of Aram, he commands all the various units in the army.

But he’s also a leper, one with a kind of skin disease that affects his status in society. Because of the regard with which he’s held in the army, he expects Elisha to respond to his overtures in a certain way – going out to greet him with honour and waving his hand over Namaan’s skin to cure it magically.

But Elisha follows the one true God, who asks for humility in heeding His commands. Elisha does things God’s way, not Naaman’s; he doesn’t even greet Namaan himself, but sends a servant.

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Meanwhile, Naaman’s servants have the wisdom to point out the obvious – why not just do what this man of God requests?

For a servant to speak out would have required courage, for Naaman could have punished them for insubordination.

But he bows his pride and his knee, and washes himself in the ‘lesser’ waters of Israel, and God heals him. We might be like Naaman, expecting God to answer our prayers in a certain way.

Maybe we even hold subconsciously that He owes us for the ways we’ve served Him, overlooking that He made the ultimate sacrifice for us – one we could never repay.

Yet our ever-loving, ever- merciful God calls us to humble ourselves before Him so that He can raise us up (Jas 4:10).


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, soften my heart, that I don’t hold onto pride or my own expectations. Help me to embrace humility, knowing that Your ways are always higher than mine. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Look back over the past couple of days and ask God to show you where you’ve exercised pride. Repent and make any amends that God leads you to.

Scripture To Consider:
2 Chr. 7:13–15; Mic. 6:6–8; Jas 4:6–10; 1 Pet. 5:5–7

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.