The Old Man and his Germy Rags – Who Wants Them?

Once there was an old man who found bargains worth good money.

Those germy rags looked stunning in the land of milk of honey.

They dripped with odes to worldly fame, success, prosperity.

This military man was rich and plundered them for free.

But when it came to TRUE wealth, he was poor as poor could be.

A social outcast when it came to God’s kingdom was he.

That’s because his name was Naaman. He had leprosy.

A stranger to God’s people and God’s promises was he.

 

The Lord had made a banquet from which Naaman couldn’t eat,

Because the germy rags he wore, they didn’t smell so sweet.

His sin-stained garments stunk like skunk. He dared not enter near,

Lest in God’s light of truth his inward nakedness appear.

A little girl with child-like faith he’d stolen saw it though,

And pointed this old man to one through whom God’s word did flow.

“There is a prophet from my land who has the cure you need.”

Into the old man’s sin-sick heart she sowed a precious seed.

 

Meanwhile, the germy rags of human reasoning got him lost.

Wrapped ‘round his eyes, they led him to believe he was the boss

He understood authority – no question about that,

But when it came to wisdom, he was blinder than a bat.

 

His message caused a king to tear his robes in hot despair.

“I cannot cure this man!” he grumbled, angry as a bear.

Elisha finally intervened: “Direct the man to me.”

He had a word of prophecy to heal the leprosy

 

Of one whose mind was focused on a “quick and easy sell.”

“He’ll wave his hand over the spot and I will be made well,”

Thought Naaman, who had brought with him a stack of  “bargain clothes”

To please his nagging wife who said “You must get rid of those.”

 

“They are so worn and germy, I can’t stand to bear the sight.

So, when you’re cured, please throw them out. They make me too uptight.

Get rid of them by any means you possibly can find,

And get yourself some brand new duds before I lose my mind.”

 

“Yeah, right,” her spouse agreed. “I’ll do it if you say so, dear,”

Not knowing God required more than might at first appear.

For Naaman wanted healing but would not let God too near.

Elisha seemed to pick up on his lack of holy fear,

 

Because instead of meeting the commander face to face,

He sent a messenger to say, “Seek out the special place,

A river of humility, where miracles abound,

Remove your clothes, bathe seven times. Your skin shall then be sound.”

 

Proud Naaman balked at this. “I must get naked, take a bath?”

He stormed off in a rage, and his poor servants felt the wrath.

With kindness they persuaded him to do as he was told.

So, Naaman dipped in Jordan, and his wrinkled skin so old

Took on a freshness reminiscent of a little child.

Rejoicing in his new attire – how soft, how fresh, how mild!

He offered to repay Elisha for his healing word,

Only to hear, “The water’s free. To pay would be absurd!”

 

Gehazi, though, was eager for some quick prosperity.

He drooled for Naaman’s worldly wealth and “What’s in it for me?”

He lied to get the old man’s garments which were not germ-free.

That’s how Elisha’s servant ended up with leprosy.