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Discovery Magazine 4/1/1990

A Sick Soldier

The Bible tells us a story in II Kings 5 about an important soldier, whose name was Naaman. Even though he was the commander of the army of the king of Syria, he became very sick with a terrible skin disease known as leprosy. But Naaman had a servant-girl who told him about Elisha, one of God's great prophets. This young girl believed in God and wanted Naaman to believe in Him also. She wanted her master to go to Elisha, so his leprosy could be healed.

Naaman believed the servant-girl, and went to Elisha. When he arrived, Elisha did not even come out of his house to meet the great soldier. He sent one of his own servants, who told Naaman to go to the River Jordan, dip himself under the water seven times, and he would be cured.

Naaman was very angry! Was this the best Elisha could do? How could dipping in a muddy river cure leprosy? Naaman left and told his servants he would not obey Elisha. But his servants asked, "If the prophet had asked you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?" Naaman felt ashamed. It was easy to dip in the river, but his pride kept him from doing what God's prophet asked him to do. He decided to obey Elisha.

When he dipped seven times in the river, he was cured! We can learn a lesson from Naaman. Even though he was a very important man, he still had to obey God's prophet. Sometimes God's Word asks us to do things that are simple, or things we do not fully understand. But God knows what is best for us. We must obey Him, as Naaman did.

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