So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.”
But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” II Kings 5:5b-8 ESV
Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish. Psalm 146:3-4 ESV
If you walked into a bookstore and asked them for some books that you could take home without paying for, they would probably be angry with you. They would think you were trying to steal their books, and they might even call the police! But if you walked into a library and asked for the same thing, they would be happy to help you. They would help you get a library card if you didn’t have one, and they would even help you pick out some good books to read if you wanted them to do that. The difference is that a bookstore is the wrong place to go if you want to borrow books without paying for them. But a library is the right place for borrowing books.
When Naaman told the king of Syria that there was someone in Israel who could heal him of his leprosy, the king was happy. Naaman was an important man in his kingdom. So he sent some money and a letter to the king of Israel telling him to heal Naaman. The king of Israel was really upset and angry. He couldn’t heal anyone from leprosy! He thought that the king of Syria was trying to pick a fight with him, maybe even start a war. The problem was that Naaman and the king of Syria had gone to the wrong place. The king of Israel couldn’t help, but there was someone in Israel who could. God would work through his prophet Elisha and heal Naaman. Elisha heard about the problem and sent a message to his king. He said to send Naaman to him, and then Naaman would know that the true God had given a prophet to the people of Israel.
We are sometimes like Naaman and his king. When we need help, we go to the wrong place. Maybe we don’t worship idols like people did in Bible times, but we do often trust in other people or things rather than God. We might trust the money we have in the bank to get us out of trouble, or we might trust a political leader to help us when things go wrong. But God warns us not to put our trust in anything or anyone except him. He is the only one who can really help us. When we were in trouble because of our sin and separated from God, we couldn’t help ourselves out of our problems and no one else on earth could help us. But God himself came to us in Jesus and saved us. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins and to bring us back to God. Jesus was the only one who could help, and we can trust him for everything.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for helping us with all our troubles, and especially for saving us through Jesus. In His Name, Amen.