Your role as a prophet

When the king of Syria wrote to the king of Israel, informing him that he was sending his servant, Naaman, to Israel to be healed of leprosy, the king of Israel was distraught. "Am I God, to kill and to make alive," he lamented, "that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy?" When Elisha the prophet heard of this, he sent to the king and said, "Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."

Naaman arrived in grand style, and after some initial resistance to Elisha's requirement that he wash seven times in the Jordan, he complied and was healed. See II Kings 5:1-15;

What can this story tell us about the role of a prophet? Certainly, as Elisha demonstrated, the prophet's role is not to display officiousness, to flaunt an inflated ego, or to pretend one is a semigod. Elisha shunned such an approach. He even refused a personal consultation with Naaman. Apparently, Elisha saw Naaman's need to look humbly to God rather than to person for deliverance. This is one role of a prophet.

6 Some words for good and evil
December 1, 1980

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