Tag Archives: wash

Enduring Love ii

Elisha Heals Naaman

Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army. The Lord had helped him and his troops defeat their enemies, so the king of Syria respected Naaman very much. Naaman was a brave soldier, but he had leprosy.

One day while the Syrian troops were raiding Israel, they captured a girl, and she became a servant of Naaman’s wife. Some time later the girl said, “If your husband Naaman would go to the prophet in Samaria, he would be cured of his leprosy.”

When Naaman told the king what the girl had said, the king replied, “Go ahead! I will give you a letter to take to the king of Israel.”

Naaman left and took along seven hundred fifty pounds of silver, one hundred fifty pounds of gold, and ten new outfits. He also carried the letter to the king of Israel. It said, “I am sending my servant Naaman to you. Would you cure him of his leprosy?”

When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in fear and shouted, “That Syrian king believes I can cure this man of leprosy! Does he think I’m God with power over life and death? He must be trying to pick a fight with me.”

As soon as Elisha the prophet heard what had happened, he sent the Israelite king this message: “Why are you so afraid? Send the man to me, so that he will know there is a prophet in Israel.”

Naaman left with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent someone outside to say to him, “Go wash seven times in the Jordan River. Then you’ll be completely cured.”

11 But Naaman stormed off, grumbling, “Why couldn’t he come out and talk to me? I thought for sure he would stand in front of me and pray to the Lord his God, then wave his hand over my skin and cure me. 12 What about the Abana River or the Pharpar River? Those rivers in Damascus are just as good as any river in Israel. I could have washed in them and been cured.”

13 His servants went over to him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, you would have done it. So why don’t you do what he said? Go wash and be cured.”

14 Naaman walked down to the Jordan; he waded out into the water and stooped down in it seven times, just as Elisha had told him. Right away, he was cured, and his skin became as smooth as a child’s.

15 Naaman and his officials went back to Elisha. Naaman stood in front of him and announced, “Now I know that the God of Israel is the only God in the whole world. Sir, would you please accept a gift from me?”

Such a simple thing
you ask of me,
that I can be made clean
and whole,
yet so hard for me
to do.

I was looking
for something complicated,
something splendid looking,
a grand gesture I could make,
but no,
your requirements are small,
your blessings simple.

So what can I do,
but come and be washed,
and step out
and free.

I come,
in humility,
in obedience,
wash me clean
in your love,
I pray

that I may go,
by you,
for all you ask of me

Wash Over Me

Washing Clean

I hate it when I’m ironing something and discover a stain on it.  Something that you thought was clean as it comes off the washing line, turns out not to be, and you have to start the whole washing process over again.

A blustery day on the washing line

If only there were something absolutely fool-proof for removing stains…

Hebrews 9:11-14

11 Christ came as the high priest of the good things that are now here. He also went into a much better tent that wasn’t made by humans and that doesn’t belong to this world. 12 Then Christ went once for all into the most holy place and freed us from sin forever. He did this by offering his own blood instead of the blood of goats and bulls.

13 According to the Law of Moses, those people who become unclean are not fit to worship God. Yet they will be considered clean, if they are sprinkled with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a sacrificed calf. 14 But Christ was sinless, and he offered himself as an eternal and spiritual sacrifice to God. That’s why his blood is much more powerful and makes our consciences clear. Now we can serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death.

‘Sin’ is a strange word.  It has all kinds of “Hell fire and damnation” connotations.  People have been threatened with what will happen to them if they do “it”, and it can be seen as a very unhelpful concept.

But the reality of life is, sadly, that none of us is perfect.  I’m sorry to break that to you.  But there are things that all of us get wrong

  • things we do that would be better not done
  • things we should do that we don’t

these things make life less than perfect for all of us.

The problem can be, as we realise the truth in this – and in our lives, what can we do?

Do we despair?

Do we try to compensate?

Are we to make amends?

The bad news is we can’t – the good news is, we don’t have to.

This passage reminds us again that though there will be things we have got wrong, Jesus has done all that is needed to make sure that those things are no longer a blot on our lives.  Yes there are stains in our lives, blots in our copybook, but Jesus takes them away – and more importantly their effects.  He can stand before God blameless, and he does so on our behalf – so we can be clean again, if we allow him to make us so.


I come to you,

knowing full well

that there are things in my life that I have got wrong.

I come before you now,

and allow you to make me clean

in you