"Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria,
was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master...
He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper."
2 Kings 5:1
In this economy many people have had to keep a resume on hand to distribute to hopefully future employers. What do you usually put in a resume? Of course you list the places and years of your previous employment. You would also want to include any significant accomplishments that you have had in the past. You want this future employer to see your credentials and what you would bring to their company. To be totally honest the average resume speaks of a much better person than the one applying. Why? Simple, we don't tell the future employer any of our faults. Can you imagine listing all of your accomplishments and putting in small print at the bottom "habitually late for work", "enjoys taking long breaks on company time", or "once caught stealing cash from a former employer"? I am not sure that would go over too well.
Naaman was a man that had all of the credentials. He was not just a famous warrior and therefore hero among the people, but he was also a man of position and authority. When people saw Naaman in the streets, they stopped and told their children about his exploits. Young men wanted to grow up to be like him. He was by description honorable and brave. However, there are three little words at the end of this verse that make you forget every thing else, "but a leper". Nothing about the rest of his life mattered the day that he found out he had leprosy. This disease had no respect for his position. He was at its mercy, and it would eventually take his life. Leprosy did not care that he was a war hero, an army commander, or a man of bravery and honorable character. Leprosy did not care what the king or any of the Syrian people thought about Naaman. It was going to run its course through his body in spite of all of that.
In my opinion, there is no greater example of sin in one's life than this story of Naaman. There are so many people in our world that consider themselves to be a good person. They will tell you how many times they have helped people, all of their acts of kindness, how often they attended a church, etc. They are trying to give you their credentials and why they believe that they are good enough for God's kingdom. However, there is one major problem; they have a disease called sin. Every single one of us is born with it, and unless we confess that and repent of it we will die with it. In a society that is so action oriented, people must recognize that sin is not so much about what you do as who you are. We are all sinners by nature and therefore we all need a Savior. Jesus Christ came to give His life on the cross, because He knew that we were desperate without His cleansing power over our sin. Eventually Naaman trusted the word of God's prophet by faith and was cleansed of his leprosy. Each of us must trust God's Word by faith so that we can be cleansed of our sin. Don't plan on standing before God with your credentials and think that it is enough. Cry to Jesus and fall on His grace and mercy today.
May you know the power of God's cleansing today!