For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
Naaman was commander of the army of Aram. He was a valiant, successful soldier, but he had leprosy. He went to Israel to seek healing and returned with not only restored skin, but a new heart, a new value system, and hauling two donkey-loads of dirt. That’s right, dirt.
Naaman arrived in Israel in search of a miracle, carrying a royal letter of introduction from his king, nearly half a ton of riches and a proud heart. He had prestige and could pay for his miracle. When Elisha sent word through a servant for him to wash seven times in the Jordan River, his pride caused him to stomp off in a rage. The prophet didn’t even have the courtesy to address him in person. His homeland had better rivers than Israel. But his servants begged him to try the prophet’s strange prescription.
The washing restored Naaman’s skin like that of a young boy. Humbled and grateful he returned to Elisha. “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant” (2 Kings 5:15).
Naaman had learned that he could not buy his healing; now he wanted to show his gratitude. When Elisha refused his generous gifts, Naaman made a strange request. Please give me as much earth as two mules can carry, for I will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD.
Moments earlier Naaman had despised Israel’s rivers; now he could not leave without her dirt to build an altar to her God (Exodus 20:24). This is how he would take his newfound faith home with him.
Compare Naaman with Elisha’s servant Gehazi. Naaman had only heard about the God of Israel. Gehazi, on the other hand, had not heard rumors — he had witnessed Elisha telling a barren woman she would have a son and years later raising her son from the dead. Yet he valued Naaman’s treasures more than knowing God. When his master refused Naamans’ offer, Gehazi couldn’t believe it. So he concocted a story to have Naaman give him some silver and clothing. When Elisha asked him about it, he lied to cover his sin. Gehazi got Naaman’s silver and leprosy.
Our heart dwells on what we adore. What we treasure not only draws our hearts but masters our will. If Naaman had continued to treasure his pride, he would have kept his leprosy. When Naaman treasured Israel’s God, he valued her dirt for an altar. These new values provided him with peace and health. Because Gehazi treasured wealth over God, he lied to get silver. He got the silver, even twice what he had asked for, but was left in misery with leprosy. What treasure is trying to capture your heart and set the course for your life? Your heart will follow what you hold dear.
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stephanie sudano says
mmmmm very good food for thought debbie.
CJ Earls says
Thanks Debbie! Wonderful reflection and synopsis of 2nd Samuel 5. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.