Today's Readings: 2 KINGS 5 | Lamentation 1 | 1 Corinthians 14
Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Kings 5:13,14
"Naaman's servants went to him and said, 'My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, "Wash and be cleansed"!' So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy" (2Ki 5:13,14).
"It may seem strange and incredible that God would connect such a momentous change [covenant relationship, and forgiveness of sins] with a trivial and (as some regard it) ridiculous observance [baptism]. An earnest mind, however, will not stop to reason on the matter when once satisfied that it is the will of God, especially when he remembers that it is one of the characteristics of God's dealings with men that He selects 'weak things, things despised, yea, and things that are not' (1Co 1:27,28), by which to accomplish important results -- that it may be seen that the power is of God, and not in the means, and that true obedience may be secured in His servants. It was not the eating of the fruit in itself -- apart from the divine prohibition -- that constituted Adam's offence. It was not the mere looking at the brazen serpent in the wilderness that cured the serpent bitten Israelites. It was not Naaman's mere immersion in Jordan in itself that cured him of his leprosy. It was the principle involved in each case that developed the results -- the principle of obedience to the divine law, which is one prominent feature in all God's dealings with man. Obedience is the great thing required at our hands: 'Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams' (1Sa 15:22).
"It matters not what the act may be; the more unlikely the thing required, the more severe the test, and the more conspicuous the obedience, even if it be the offering up of an only son, or the slaughtering of a whole nation. In any case, and at all hazards, obedience must be yielded. God is not less exacting in this respect under the Christian dispensation than He was under the law; but, if possible, more so" (Robert Roberts, "Christendom Astray").