The meaning of his name meant pleasant, beautiful or delightful. As was the custom of the time, parents normally named their children according to what was going on in their life. Perhaps at his birth the weather was pleasant, perhaps he was such a beautiful baby or his mother bore him with great delight. His name was Naaman. The two a’s make one long ‘a’ sound against the word man – Naa-man.
Just for fun I thought I would look up the names of my family. You all know that my name is Terese and the closest I could find was the name Teresa, which means harvester. Interesting, for years God has been telling me to feed his sheep and has called me to be a part of a teaching ministry.
Before a farmer can harvest his crop there is much preparation. The land is tilled and made ready for seed. The seed is sown and the farmer is attentive to his soon to be crops by making sure weeds and varmints don’t overtake the new seedlings. He waters and weeds and waters and weeds. Soon it is time to harvest the crops and delight in the bounty of his hard work.
Ministry is akin to farming and perhaps this is why we are given this analogy in Scripture. There are season’s of forming new relationships, prepping the soil, and season’s of laying the seed of the gospel, still other time’s we walk along side and encourage with the truth of God’s word, speaking life into and over our ‘seedlings’ protecting from the varmints and weeds. And then, oh glorious day, there are season’s of great bounty and harvest and new members are welcomed to the family!
My husband’s name means powerful ruler. I know without a doubt that God is shaping him into a very powerful man of God and it is exciting to see him grow in this direction!
Our oldest’s name means from the court. From a very young age she has always been concerned with justice, in fact, her major is law and justice and she aspires to become a lawyer with her sight set in politics.
One day, when our son was very young, he spontaneously ran across the lawn pretending to hold a sword high in the air yelling, “Leviticus charge!” A few years ago he went to a Christian healing room for prayer and the person praying for him told him he saw my son holding a spear. My son’s name means spear strength or strong spear.
Our youngest has a very big compassionate heart, from about the age of five she has said she someday wants to open a homeless shelter. Her name means favor or grace.
But, I have digressed further than I intended, back to Naaman. Naaman was the commander of the army of the King of Aram. He was a valiant soldier and in the sight of King Aram he was a great man and highly regarded because through him the Lord had given victory to King Aram. (2 Kings 5:1).
There was one problem with Naaman, he had leprosy. There was a young girl from Israel who was the servant girl of Naaman’s wife. One day the servant girl told Naaman’s wife that Naaman should go and see the man of God – the prophet, who lived in Samaria. The servant girl was sure that he would heal Naaman! As it was, Naaman did just that.
Now, when Naaman arrived in Samaria he pulled up in his chariot to the door of Elisha, the prophet of God fully expecting Elisha to come out and greet him. However, Elisha sent a messenger to tell Naaman to go and wash himself seven times in the Jordan and after that his flesh would be clean. Naaman was appalled! He thought that Elisha would surely have come out to him and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the leprosy and cure him. He continued with his tirade saying, “Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” He then left in a rage. Clearly he wasn’t living up to the full meaning of his name that day.
Thankfully, for Naaman, his servant, who was with him was thinking clearly. The servant said to Naaman, “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’!”
Huh, how many times do we allow pride to block our view of answered prayer simply because it doesn’t look like what our mind conceived it to be? How many times do we choose to be offended because God, who is sovereign, decides to use someone in our life to deliver his message rather than speak directly to us?
Naaman eventually did what Elisha told him and washed in the Jordan seven times and was healed. And this was his response, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” (2 Kings 5:15b).
Precious One, live up to the full potential of your name in Christ Jesus.