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Have you ever been thanked for something you didn't do? How did you respond?
Ecstatic, the new Naaman put on his clothes and armour, mounted his horse and headed back to the Prophet’s house at a full gallop. This time Elisha came out of his house and was very welcoming and friendly. Naaman stood before Elisha, and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” He gestured to the wagons which held the payment for his healing — 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing. Elisha’s answer was beyond understanding, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept any gifts.”
Naaman tried everything to change the Prophet’s mind, but Elisha refused saying, “What are you paying me for? I have done nothing!”
“But you healed me of Leprosy!” Naaman argued.
“No I didn’t,” Elisha quipped. “I’ve never seen you before in my life! If you’ve been healed it’s because God saw fit to heal you!”
“But I came to your door,” Naaman replied. “And your servant gave me a message from you, that I was to wash in the river and be healed!”
Elisha crossed his arms and said, “That was a message from the Lord, not me! I can’t heal anyone from anything. Only God can do such things!”
Slowly Naaman began to get the picture. Elisha wanted no reward because he hadn’t done anything — other than deliver a message from the God “whom he served.”
God had healed Naaman. This God — the God of his slave girl — truly was the one true God and had an honest-to-goodness prophet! Naaman understood. It was God who was worthy of thanks.
But how? His chariots loaded with treasure looked insignificant now. How do you thank a God that has everything? Perhaps by thinking outside the box.
Naaman’s next statement, a request of Elisha, was very odd indeed. “Please allow me to load two of my mules with earth from this place, and I will take it back home with me.”
Imagine the confusion that now settled on Elisha, and all the servants. Dirt? Naaman wants to dig up a pile of dirt from the prophet’s front yard and take it home? Has he gone mad? What is he going to do with two mules worth of dirt?
** Continued in New God tomorrow **