Human Logic vs. God Logic
by Skip Heitzig | January 14, 2020
You probably know that the Old Testament prophet Elijah did many miracles. But did you know that his protégé Elisha did even more miracles than him? One such miracle happened to a guy by the name of Naaman. Naaman was the commander in chief of the Syrian army up north, and he came down with a case of leprosy.
Leprosy was essentially a death sentence in those days. But a servant girl who worked for Naaman's wife and who also happened to be an Israelite said, "Hey, you should go meet this prophet of God named Elisha. He can heal you." So "Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha's house" (2 Kings 5:9). Now, typically when someone important like this came to your house, you would go out and make a big show of greeting him and bowing down to him.
Instead we read that "Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, 'Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.' But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, 'Indeed, I said to myself, "He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy." Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?' So he turned and went away in a rage" (vv. 10-12).
If you've seen the Jordan River, you understand why Naaman reacted this way; it's basically a muddy stream. It can be disappointing, especially if you're from a place where there are much more impressive rivers like this guy was. So he said, "You want me to what? Where's the big show? I want that."
This ties into a principle you find all throughout the Bible that I call the Nazareth principle. It comes from Nathanael's rebuttal upon hearing that the Messiah was from the little hick town of Nazareth: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46). The idea is that God takes human logic and turns it on end.
Why did Jesus grow up in Nazareth? Why was Naaman told to wash in the Jordan? It doesn't make sense; it's not logical. But it is theological. It makes God-sense. And it ties into my life verse: "God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty" (1 Corinthians 1:27).
Now, it took a little convincing from his servants, but Naaman eventually "went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan...and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean" (v. 14). He was healed. It worked.
Is the Lord calling you to do something that doesn't make sense humanly speaking? Why not step out in obedience to Him today, trusting that He can use even weak, foolish vessels—you and me—to accomplish His will in this world?