Tuesday Sept. 18, 2017
5 4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 “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. 6 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.”7 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!” 8 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.”9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 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.” 11 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. 12 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.
- Naaman acted on the young girl’s advice, that in and of itself is incredible! This young girl had been taken from her family and made to serve in Naaman’s home, yet she boldly shared her witness testifying to the power of the God of Israel to heal her master. Some would say the girl’s witness was without any credibility based on the fact that she was a prisoner – after all her God had certainly failed to protect her from her captors did He not? Sometimes we feel our witness is without merit because of our situation, but we are wrong when we think this way. Like this young girl, or the Samaritan woman in John 4, our witness can be very effective based on our experience with God and our conviction that He is able to do “immeasurably more …”! What I am saying is our situation or status has nothing to do with our ability to effectively communicate the life transforming power of God for those who believe!
- A young servant girl boldly testified to her master’s wife about the power of God to heal Naaman of his leprosy and the king of Israel recoiled in fear and frustration after receiving a letter asking the king to see to it that Naaman was healed of his leprosy. What a servant girl was more than willing to believe and speak openly about, a king was completely ignorant of and without recourse to do anything about.
- Elisha, however was undaunted by the request and sent word to the king to, “Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” O how desperately we need this kind of faith to be lived out today. Naaman would also experience a crisis of faith when asked by the prophet of God to do something he deemed an insult. In this story we have the faith of two contrasted with the doubts and questioning of two. Please note the humble positions of the two possessing faith with the exalted positions of the two whose questions presented tremendous obstacles to their faith. It is faith in God, not status that transforms lives!