The Wrong Place

By A. A. Meeks, Sr.

In the fifth chapter of Second Kings, we have the story of Naaman. Naaman was a Syrian, a commander in the king’s army, and an honorable man. But Naaman was a leper. Upon learning that Naaman might be cured of his leprosy by a prophet in Israel, the king of Syria sent Naaman with many expensive gifts and a letter to the king of Israel. The letter said:

“Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy” (2 Kgs. 5:6).

The king of Israel could not cure Naaman. When he read the letter from the Syrian king, he said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me” (v. 7). In his anger, he tore his clothes. Naaman had gone to the WRONG PLACE to find healing for his disease.

When Elisha, God’s prophet, heard that the king had torn his clothes, he sent word for Naaman to come to him, saying, “and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel” (v. 8).

Just as Naaman went to the wrong place to find a cure for his sickness, many people today go to the wrong place to find forgiveness of sin. We need God’s forgiveness, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” wrote the apostle Paul in Rom. 3:23. In Rom. 6:23, we learn that “...the wages of sin is death….” So, to escape that death about which the apostle wrote, we need to be forgiven.

But where can we go to receive that forgiveness? To a man? To a group of men? In God’s word Christians are reminded, “In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). Jesus asked His disciples, “Do you also want to go away?” Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:67-68).

Jesus makes it possible for us to be saved from our sins (Acts 4:12; 2 Tim. 2:10), but we must do what He says. He is “...the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).

No man can save us from our sins, regardless of who he is, or how great he may claim to be. No creed or catechism written by mere men can tell us how to receive forgiveness. If we depend on mere men or things written by them to give us this information, we have gone to THE WRONG PLACE. THE RIGHT PLACE to get this knowledge is the Bible, God’s inspired word which “endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:25; see 2 Pet 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Jude 3). Read it often, study it thoughtfully, and obey it promptly. This is the only way to obtain forgiveness of sins and live with God forever when this life on earth has ended.