2 Kings ch. 5 v18-19
If we are all honest most of us have parts of Scripture that we like more than others. There are also parts of Scripture that makes us feel uncomfortable theologically, for example most Calvinists feel uncomfortable with Hebrews 6 and most Armenians feel uncomfortable with Ephesians 1. Today in my reading I was reading through 2 Kings and came across a passage that many believers will feel uncomfortable with. The passage comes in the story of Naaman in 2 Kings ch. 5. We all know this story from Sunday school, how Naaman an Aramian Commander got healed by going to Elisha and bathing in the Jordan River 7 times. After this Naaman is speaking to Elisha and he says in verse 18 and 19,
“Except this, and may Adonai forgive your servant for it; when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon – when I bow down, may Adonai forgive your servant for this.” Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.”
When I read this, everything inside me cries out saying “what do you mean Elisha “Go in Peace.”” Are you condoning Idol worship? At first glance this doesn’t make any sense. Are you saying that if your hearts in the right place then it’s ok to bow down to Idols. What about the boys in the book of Daniel when they refused to bow down to the Idol and where thrown into the fiery furnace. Why where they not permitted to bow down? These are all legitimate questions, but I think that the answers come down to two things; Maturity and Situation. How mature in the faith is the person? You cannot expect a new born baby to walk and talk so why do we expect new believers to do everything at the beginning. Also I believe that God deals with everyone in his own way and what God expects from me he may not expect from you and vice versa. In the last chapter of John Peter asks Jesus what about John and Jesus basically told Peter to mind his own business and not worry about how John would be dealt with. When Elisha said “Go in Peace” he was not condoning what Naaman may or may not do, but he was basically saying that it was between God and Naaman. Maybe if we put more emphasis into our relationship with God and how God wanted us to live and less time worrying about what some else was doing or not doing, we might all grow stronger as believers. As I said at the beginning, I feel uncomfortable with what Elisha said but in the end of the day God never told us that it was going to be comfortable.