Grace Revue: River of Life

"Autumn Rush," © Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission

“Autumn Rush,” © Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come,” ~2 Corinthians 5:17

© 2016 Lynn Abbott

In the book of 2 Kings, chapter 5, we read the story of Naaman. At first glance, his story actually appears to be an insignificant sidebar in the overall history of Yahweh’s people.

But upon closer examination, the inclusion of his story in Scripture makes complete sense. After all, Scripture contains Abba’s story of love and grace for all of lost humanity.

A powerful and distinguished army captain in the Syrian army, Naaman appeared to have everything going for him. Under his leadership, in fact, Syria had won a victory over Israel.

His courage was renown in the middle east.

However, Scripture adds a tragic footnote. Naaman was a leper.

Fortunately for Naaman, Abba used a nameless, yet faith-filled young woman to deliver grace and compassion to her mistress, Naaman’s wife: “I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then, he would cure him of his leprosy,” (2 Kings 5:3).

Certainly, it’s an odd account…the story of a Gentile encouraged by a young Israeli to seek out Yahweh’s prophet for healing. And furthermore, that prophet sent Naaman to wash in the Jordan River.

Without a doubt, the story seems out-of-place in a book about the nation of Israel. Why include a story about a leprous Gentile in a book about Israel’s kings?

But as I studied the account more, I understood. You see, Naaman represents you and me as well as all who are lost–both Jew and Gentile alike.

After all, in Eden, humanity became infected with spiritual leprosy. We stood unclean before Yahweh.

Yet, God has provided “Living Water” to restore us. Of course, as in Naaman’s case, we cannot wash in just any river. We must identify with the Promised “Living Water.”

Abba could have left us as we were, but instead, He sent His Servant–His only Son– to bring us good news and to give us hope.

And our healing comes with humble obedience, our identification with the Promised One.

Yes, at the center of it all is Christ, the Living Water, the Bread of Life (John 7:37-38; John 6:51).

In Christ, we are washed and made new. We have peace with Abba (Romans 5:1).

And someday, when we stand on the other side of the “Jordan,” our transformation will be complete, (Romans 8:16-17),