One of my favorite stories as a child was the story of the little maid. Seeing that this is somewhat of an uncommon story I thought I would share and talk about it a bit. For the purposes of this note, all the verses I post will be from 2 Kings 5 .
Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.
In these days, leprosy was not understood by doctors and people. Many people were outcasts and shunned if they had leprosy. Many people thought that those people were cursed by God for having this disease. Not to mention, it was a very visible disease in which no matter how hard a person tried they could not hide it for it would be all over your body even on your face and feet. Many people thought they were contagious, so they would not even go near them.
Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
Now think about this for a min…this young girl (I always pictured about 8, but maybe that is because that was the age I was) was taken captive to a different land. To serve a false god and a wife of a man who was contagious.(or so they thought) Instead of being bitter, nasty, sad, or whatever; she’s concerned and wants to help him. Wow.
Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing.
He listened to her. Also, looking at the things he took with him, he was desperate to be healed and would pay anything to be healed.
The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.” As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”
In these verses it is apparent that the king of Israel thinks the king of Aram is trying to give him leprosy by sending this man to him.
When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 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?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
There are a few key things about these verses that I would like to point out.
- Elisha didn’t even go out to meet him he sent his servant.
- He told him to was himself in the Jordan River. This river was dirty and nasty.
- On top of that he told him he had to do it seven times. As if one time wasn’t enough in a dirty nasty river, it had to be seven. I can imagine going under once no change, twice no change, three, four, five, six no change. I wonder if he thought that it was a trick. Then seven, it is completely gone as if he had never had it, I bet he might have stayed in that nasty water for a while, I would have :-).
Isn’t it just like us humans to expect God to work marvelous miracles, that are neat and orderly, in a way we can understand or would prefer. But that is not always how things work.
Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “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’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
At first glance I think, God has sure blessed this man with some awesome servants! Also, he points out a question I think we should ask our selves sometimes when we are trying to avoid doing what God has told us to do…that is “Would you do it if it was a grand task?”
For example, if God is telling you to go to some remote country to be a missionary, would you leave immediately if he told you to go to a beautiful vacation spot to be a missionary? Likewise, if he told you to spend 2 hours a day with him, would you do it if it was take a 2 hour nap a day? Or whatever your situation is.
Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”The prophet answered, “As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.
I love that!!! Sometimes, it is more important to show people God does things for us just because he loves us with no strings attached! He could have taken somethings and still been considered a man of God, after all, that is where their money came from donations.
There is more to this story you can read about if you like but I think I will save it for a post another day. I so love this story.
Have a great day friends, Be blessed!