Naaman’s slave

Naaman was a Syrian general who was also a leper.  He came to Elisha for help.

So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.”
2 Kings 5:9-10

He followed Elisha’s instructions and became clean.  This convinced him that the God of Elisha was the true God.

Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.”

But he said, “As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.”

And he urged him to take it, but he refused. Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the LORD.”
2 Kings 5:15-17

He came to Elisha for physical cleansing but he received spiritual cleansing as well.

Have you considered how he learned about Elisha in the first place?

Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
2 Kings 5:2-3

Think about what this girl must have suffered.  Perhaps her parents were killed in the raid.  Even if they weren’t, being kidnapped and sold into slavery in a foreign country would have been a traumatic experience.  She probably thought that she had nothing but a life of misery and suffering to look forward to.  Instead God used her to cause a high ranking Syrian to become a worshipper of God.  This is something she could never had done if she had grown up in Israel.  God turned a tragedy into an opportunity.  (I wonder if Naaman rewarded her for what she did.)

Today there are hundreds of girls who suffer the same fate Naaman’s slave did.  Muslim terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram routinely kidnap Christians girls and make slaves of them.  Their purpose is to destroy Christianity but God often turns attacks on the truth into opportunities to advance it.  That is what happened when Paul was imprisoned for preaching the gospel.

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.
Philippians 1:12-13

We should pray for all of the Christians who are captives of terrorists.  We should pray that God will strengthen their faith; we should pray that they will not suffer physical mistreatment; we should pray that they will be freed.  And we should pray that while they are captives God will give them opportunities to tell others the gospel.

 

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Posted on November 30, 2014, in Bible study and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. No one likes to go through suffering, but God shows us that it’s ultimately for our good (Romans 8:28).

    Thanks for sharing. It’s important to remember those who are going through suffering and be praying for them.

    Like

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