SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Commentary by Walter Albritton
We Can Never Overcome Pride Until
We Humble Ourselves and Obey God
2 Kings 5.
Key Verse: His servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the
prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done
it?” . . . So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the
Pride goes with power and affluence like fleas go with a dog. The rich and famous are apt to think they are a cut above the common people. The bank president does not go to lunch with the bank’s custodian. Donald Trump does not socialize with the maids who keep his penthouse clean. People are expected to know their “place” and respect those with a higher rank in life.
This was as true in the days of the
prophet Elisha as it is today. As the commander of
Naaman had a problem, however, a problem he could not solve. He had leprosy. He knew of no cure for the dread disease. Then his wife’s slave girl suggested he seek out Elisha of Israel for a cure. Desperate for help, Naaman asks the king for a letter of recommendation. Securing it, he shows up at Elisha’s home with his entourage of horses and chariots and impressive gifts for the prophet.
Elisha was not impressed. In fact
evidently he felt that the pompous commander should be taught a lesson. He does
not welcome the proud general into his home. Instead of speaking directly to
Naaman, Elisha sends his assistant out with instructions to bathe seven times
Naaman was enraged by Elisha’s lack of hospitality and by the prophet’s solution
for healing. He saw no reason to bathe
The point of today’s lesson is that pride can cost us a transforming relationship with God, and the blessings that God wants to give us. Once again, this Kingdom principle is clear: Blessing follows obedience. Foolish pride can rob us of the very thing we need the most. Humbly obeying God opens the floodgates of heaven, allowing us to receive God’s blessings.
Until we are willing to “come down
from our high horse,” there are lessons we can never learn, and joys we cannot
receive. I had been married for several years before it dawned on me one day
that someone other than me was cleaning the toilet in our home. That someone
was my wife. Meditating one day on the humility of Jesus, who stooped to wash
his disciples’ feet, my heart was stabbed awake by the awareness that I had expected my wife to do the toilet
cleaning. Ashamed of myself, I began to share this mundane chore. Humility
helped me overcome foolish pride.
Reporters and city officials gathered at a
The man politely thanked them and then, looking over their heads, asked if he could be excused for a moment. He quickly walked through the crowd until he reached the side of an elderly black woman who was struggling with two large suitcases. He picked up the bags and with a smile, escorted the woman to a bus. After helping her aboard, he wished her a safe journey. As he returned to the greeting party he apologized, "Sorry to have kept you waiting."
The man was Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous missionary doctor who had spent his life helping the poor in
Humility may be rare but it is the only cure for the pride that blocks our knowing God and receiving the blessings He wants to give us.
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