Desperate: The Dying Hero

“Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:1)

For the next week or so, we’ll be following the story of a military leader called Naaman. We’re dropping in on the story of Israel at a time when God’s people had been conquered by their enemies once again. They had not remained faithful to God, and Naaman was part of the military that had defeated Israel.

dive_350Naaman was a success story. In his day, the only way you could hope to make a name for yourself (unless you were royalty) was to rise up the ranks of the military. He had done that. He reported to the king of Aram. And even though he fought against Israel, God had used Naaman to bring victory to Aram. A successful leader, highly respected, at the top of his game.

One problem: He was dying. He had leprosy, a disease still in the world today though much less common. There was no cure. Your skin would start turning grey/white and then begin to flake off until it ate away at your whole body. All the success in the world — even being used by God — didn’t keep him from getting this ugly disease.

Think: What’s the point of working hard to be successful if it can all be taken away in a moment . . . when you’re just going to die anyway?

Pray: Ask God to give you insight into your own life this week through the story of Naaman.

Do: Make a quick list of some successful people you know about who have died or gotten seriously ill even though they were rich and/or famous.