151 - Naaman and the Servant Girl
May 31 - Nº 151 2 Kings 5:1-15
Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army. He was extremely brave and respected by his king, and he led the army to many great victories. During one of his raids into Israel, he captured a young girl. He brought her back to Syria to be his wife’s servant. One day Naaman discovered that he had leprosy—a very contagious and incurable skin disease. This was a devastating discovery. No longer would he be able to stay with his family or serve the king. He would have to suffer in isolation for the rest of his life. But the young slave girl he had acquired in Israel knew where he could find help. “I wish my master would go see the prophet in Israel,” she told her mistress. “Elisha could cure him from his leprosy.” Naaman’s wife immediately told him what her young servant had said. Naaman had heard that God did miraculous things for the Israelites, so he informed Benhadad, the king of Syria, that he wanted to go to Israel. The king of Syria admired Naaman so much that, without delay, he wrote a letter, introducing his commander to Joram, the king of Israel, and asking him to arrange for Naaman’s healing. Naaman also loaded up gold and silver and clothing to take as gifts to Israel’s king. When King Joram received the letter from the king of Syria, he tore his clothes in distress. “Does he think I am God?” he asked. “Can I kill someone then bring them back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? That’s impossible! He is just trying to find a reason to start a war with us!” Elisha heard that the king was very upset, so he sent this message: “Why are you ripping your clothes? Send the man to me so he will know that there really is a prophet of God in Israel.” So Naaman got in his chariot and rode to the prophet’s house. He and his servants stopped outside his door. But instead of stepping out to greet the commander, Elisha sent his servant Gehazi with this message: “Go down to the Jordan River and wash seven times. Then your leprosy will be cured.” Naaman was not happy. He was upset that Elisha had not come out personally to cure him. “Besides, there are much nicer rivers in Syria,” he complained. “If washing would cure me, I could have washed in one of them!” He turned and left in a rage. Naaman’s servants rushed after him and insisted, “If the prophet had asked you to do something hard, you would have done it. But he told you to do something easy. Why don’t you at least try it?” Naaman finally agreed and went down to the Jordan River. He dipped in it seven times. Suddenly his skin was completely healed! It had become like the skin of a young boy! Naaman and all his attendants returned to the man of God. He stood before Elisha and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except the One in Israel!”
A very influential, very sick man was cured because a little servant girl was willing to forgive him for the terrible “wrongs” he had committed against her and her family! How do you treat the people who hurt you? Are you willing to share God’s love with them?