Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of the body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
2 Corinthians 7:1
In the Old Testament, leprosy is a very appropriate picture of sin, for it begins seemingly insignificantly, but spreads insidiously. When Naaman, a prominent Syrian ruler who had contracted this terrible disease was told by his servant girl that there was a prophet in Israel who could cure him, he sent a message to the king of Israel, who, in turn, sent for Elisha. Expecting Elisha to pronounce some sort of magical incantation over him, Naaman was ‘wroth’ when Elisha told him to wash in the Jordan River seven times. After all, Naaman thought the Jordan nothing more than a muddy creek compared to the rivers of his own country. Thus, Scripture says he ‘turned and went away in a rage’.
But his servants didn’t give up so easily. ‘If Elisha had asked you to do something difficult, you would have done it,’ they said to Naaman. ‘Therefore, why not see what happens if you comply with this seemingly simple command?’ So Naaman did indeed dip himself into the Jordan seven times — the number of completion — and he came out healed and whole.
Likewise, we who are eaten by the leprosy of sin must dip in the water over and over and over again. What water? Didn’t David say in Psalm 119 that a young man shall cleanse his way by taking heed according to the Word? Didn’t Jesus say in John 15 that we are clean through the Word which He has spoken unto us? Didn’t Paul declare in Ephesians 5 that we are washed by the water which is the Word of God?
Let the Word of God cleanse you and an amazing thing will happen. You may never become a scholar of theology, but as you submerge yourself in Scripture, the leprosy which once gnawed on you will begin to be cleansed from you. To those who are struggling with their flesh and looking for a quick answer, we need to say, ‘Plunge into Scripture. Plug into Bible study. And keep at it over and over and over again — for it’s God’s Word which will cleanse you and wash away the sin which hounds you.’
Source: This devotional is an excerpt from the book “A Days Journey,” a collection of 365 short devotions from the New Testament by Pastor Jon Courson. www.joncourson.com