Eat Your Words

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 King 4-6; Luke 24:36-53


Naaman arrived with his horses and chariots. He stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent out a messenger who said, “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored and become clean.”

11 But Naaman went away in anger. He said, “I thought for sure that he’d come out, stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the bad spot, and cure the skin disease. 12 Aren’t the rivers in Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all Israel’s waters? Couldn’t I wash in them and get clean?” So he turned away and proceeded to leave in anger.

13 Naaman’s servants came up to him and spoke to him: “Our father, if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? All he said to you was, ‘Wash and become clean.’” 14 So Naaman went down and bathed in the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said. His skin was restored like that of a young boy, and he became clean. (2 Kings 5:9-14, Common English Bible)

I love the story of Naaman. Here is a man who, because of the country where he lived was able, despite being a leper, to continue his work as a general in the army of the king of Aram. Had he been in Israel he would have been banned from living in the larger community and relegated to living with other lepers outside the walls of the city, away from protection, family, friends, work, and more. And, anytime you saw someone coming, you lived by the legal requirement to yell at the top of your voice, “Unclean! Unclean!”

Naaman didn’t have to live that way. Still, watching a flesh-eating disease slowly take parts of your body away had to be painful in more ways than one. If not for the words of an Israelite slave girl who told her mistress, Naaman’s wife, if he would go to the prophet (Elisha) in Israel she knew he could be healed.

It wasn’t long before Elisha had a visitor at his door but Elisha wouldn’t even come outside. He just gave instructions for Naaman to go bathe in the Jordan. “Go bathe in the Jordan, that little muddy creek?” I can hear him complaining. “The Jordan shouldn’t even be called a river. Why we passed greater rivers on our way here.”

Naaman was ready to head home but his servants pressed him to stay and do as Elisha had asked. The servant said, “If the prophet had asked something difficult, would you not have complied? Why are you not willing to do the simple?”

It was a good question. It was also a question Naaman couldn’t argue. Still, as I see Naaman he was ever the skeptic. He enters the Jordan and dips down in the water once, then twice, then three times. He looks at his skin and there is not change. He starts to walk out of the river but that same servant (gutsy guy) tells him, “The prophet said seven times.” Naaman returns to the water and quickly drops down four more times and gets out without even looking. But his soldiers start to gasp and point. The leprosy is gone.

Three times was not enough to see change. When God gives us instructions we must fulfill the instructions we receive. Half measures simply won’t do. We must always move forward and do as God asks, all of what God asks.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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