Read 2 Kings 5:1–19 and answer the following questions:
6) Read carefully verses 17–19. What is going on here? How do we understand Naamam’s request and Elisha’s response to it?
17And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.
18In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.
19And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
My question is this: Is Naaman asking forgiveness for the times he WENT into the house of Rimmon bowing down with his master or is he asking forgiveness in advance?
If the latter, why would that be OK? Even if it is a matter of subject to authority -- being a soldier an all.
Maybe the semantics got me here!
Thanks and Blessings!
Yes, Rob, I see!
There is a valid reason, I believe, for this last conversation between Naaman and Elisha. The fact that he (Naaman) asked for so much earth from Israel to take back with him to Syria.
And I understand wanting forgiveness for past transgressions. But, forgiveness in advance? "Pre-paid forgiveness", if you will, due to dire straits on the job (a direct command to kneel down from his commanding officer/ boss).
I can't help but think about Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. What a difference!
Yet, I feel I might be missing something.
Blessings upon you!
Hello, my name is Michael and I am new here. In fact, this is my first post.
I beleive it is for the future rather than his past actions. HOWEVER, I don't think he's asking for permission to sin or for forgiveness in advance of sins he will commit. He has already stated that he will from this point forward only worship the true God. It would make no sense for him to make such a statement and then plan to worship a false god anyway.
I believe what he is saying here is that he still has an obligation to his king to serve. Part of that service requires that he accompany his king as the king goes to the temple to worship. He is an old king and cannot bow and rise under his own power. He needs to use the physical strenght of Naaman. Naaman is making it clear that when he "appears" to bow down to Rimmon while serving his king, that he is in no way worshipping and he is sorry that it "appears" that he is. As a new christian who has much to learn about the true God, it is bothering him that it will look like he is back to his old ways. Elisha tells him to go in peace because God knows the heart. Naaman had much to learn, but his heart was right before God.
Amen, Michael! Thanks and God Bless!
Thank you, Michael! I was going to post this very thought but wanted to read through the posts to make sure I wasn't duplicating anyone.
Clearly Naaman was the Brigadier General of the king's forces. He had responsibilities and duties and couldn't just walk away without endangering many others. He was an officer and a gentleman and approached God accordingly. I believe God honored his honesty and his situation.
What a great first post, Michael!!
I am really happy to have read your reply...I appreciate your thoughts, and concur!!..(smile)
Nice to have you aboard!!...Have fun..