“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water,'” ~John 7:38
© 2017 Lynn Abbott
The powerful and distinguished army captain of the Syrian army, Naaman, appeared to have everything going for him.
However, Scripture adds this tragic footnote in the book of Second Kings: Naaman was a leper.
While this would be a terrible burden for anyone to endure, for a military man who relied upon his physical strength and prowess, leprosy would be a devastating illness.
Abba, however, used a faith-filled servant girl to give Naaman’s wife hope: ‘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).
And so, Naaman traveled to Israel to find Elisha.
Despite his prominent worldly position, Naaman did not receive an elaborate welcome from the prophet. In fact, Elisha sent a servant to deliver a simple message.
Naaman should wash in the river Jordan, seven times. Seven times. This was no quick in and out dip. God’s number of completion required that Naaman fully commit to Elisha’s treatment.
Although he initially balked, Naaman ultimately couldn’t afford to be proud. And when the Syrian emerged from the Jordan, ‘his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean,’ (II Kings 5:14b).
Naaman represents you and me.
At face value, it’s an odd account…the story of a Gentile encouraged by a young Israeli to seek out Yaweh’s prophet for healing.
But upon deeper reading, its importance becomes clear. After all, Scripture contains Abba’s story of love and grace for lost humanity.
That’s right. Naaman represents you and me. In Eden, humanity became infected with spiritual leprosy. We stood unclean before Yahweh.
Even so, God provided Living Water to restore us. But as in Naaman’s case, we cannot wash in just any river.
Our healing comes with humble obedience, our identification with the Promised One. At the center of it all is Christ, our living water, the bread of life.
Unlike those in the days of Noah, we have not been singled out for judgment through a worldwide flood. Nor will we be thrown from the ship and into the sea as was Jonah. Through Abba’s grace, we hold onto the Promise.
Like Naaman, we are washed and made new. We have peace with Abba. And when we stand before Him on the other side of the ‘Jordan,’ our transformation will be complete, (Romans 8:16-17).
In fact, in the hands of our Savior–the Master Creator– our lives will reflect the best of here and the better of God’s fulfilled promise in us.
Revelation 22:1 reveals, ‘And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.’
Yes, from Abba’s throne–from Christ, our Living Water– will flow the River of Life. We will fully know what it is to drink life deeply from the One who is the source of every good gift, (James 1:17).