Have you ever found yourself in a place you didn’t want to be? Have you ever wondered how God could possibly use you in the situation you’re in?
In today’s episode of All God’s Women we look at a beautiful testimony of God at work through a humble servant girl. Though she’s only mentioned in one verse, she is the personification of what a Christian woman should be.
In 2 Kings chapter 5 we’re introduced to Naaman. He was commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was a great and honorable man of valor, and a victorious warrior, but he had leprosy.
On one of the Syrian raids of Israel, the soldiers brought back spoils of the war which included a young Hebrew girl. Naaman brought the girl to his house to serve as his wife’s maidservant.
The young girl saw how Naaman suffered as a result of his leprosy and mentioned to her mistress that if only Naaman could get to the prophet in Samaria that he could be healed.
From that simple statement, her mistress told her husband and he told the king. The king encouraged Naaman to go and even gave him a letter to take to the king of Israel and it said, “Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.”
Naaman got on his horse and chariot and headed to Israel bearing ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. When he got there, he presented his letter to the king of Israel.
The king read the letter but didn’t know what to think. He wasn’t God. He couldn’t heal anyone. Was the Syrian king just trying to start something? He tore his clothes in despair.
Fortunately, Elisha heard what was going on and sent word to the king to send Naaman to him so that he would know that there was a prophet in Israel.
The king directed Naaman to Elisha’s house, but when Naaman knocked at the door, Elisha sent his servant with a message for Naaman to wash in the Jordan seven times if he wanted to be clean. This infuriated Naaman. He stormed away complaining that Elisha didn’t even have the decency to heal him in person, but just had him washing in the river. Why had he traveled to another land to wash in a river? Couldn’t he have just as easily done that in Syria? What gall!
Fortunately, his servants intervened. They asked what he would have done if Elisha had asked him to do something great. Of course, he would have done it. So why not try such a simple thing?
He did, and lo and behold, at the end of the seventh rinse, his skin was a soft and pure as a baby’s.
Naaman returned to Elisha’s house, humbled, praising the God of Israel, saying He was the only true God. Then he tried to pay Elisha with the gifts he had brought, but Elisha would have none of it. So, Naaman asked if he might have 2 mule loads of dirt that he could take home to build an altar to the Lord. Elisha agreed, and Naaman returned home.
Wow! Interactions between kings and a miraculous healing sparked by the words of a young slave girl. So let’s look a little more closely at exactly who she was and what she did that was so amazing.
First, she was stolen from her home during a skirmish between Syria and Israel. She was taken captive and placed in the service of Naaman’s wife. We’re not given the details, but considering Naaman was commander of the army, he was the one responsible for taking her away from her family and everything she held dear and turning her into a slave.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be a little resentful if that happened to me. But this young woman seems to have handled it with remarkable grace. This was her situation and so she went about her duties with love and concern for those around her.
Obviously, Naaman and his wife saw something special in their servant girl or else they would have never paid heed when she told them about Elisha. But not only did they listen, they got the king involved.
Think about it. How wild is that? A slave girl mentions to her mistress about a prophet who could heal her master, and next thing you know, the king is writing a letter to another king.
Then, Naaman ends up not only healed physically, but spiritually transformed. He comes to a realization that the Hebrew God of Elisha and his wife’s servant girl is the only true God.
Elisha may have been the one who witnessed the harvest, but the little servant girl was the one who planted the seed. If she had not shown kindness and love to her masters, she would have never remarked about his healing. If she’d not served with meekness and graciousness, they would have never listened when she spoke. If they didn’t see in her something special, they would have never taken her seriously. If they had not seen God in her, they would have never had a desire to meet Him themselves.
As it was, think of all the lives impacted. Naaman came home a changed man. I’m sure he shared his faith with his wife and his household. As commander of the army, he would have influenced his troops and even the king. We may never know how many lives were transformed all because one young girl showed kindness when no one in the world would have blamed her for showing resentment or bitterness.
What about you? What message are you sharing with those around you? If they know that you’re a Christian, do you inspire them to learn more about your God or are they turned off by your attitude? Are you a light in the darkness? Is your salt still salty?
We all know the familiar phrase in Esther “for such a time as this”. Although the phrase itself is only found in that one instance, the concept is throughout the Bible. That little servant girl was in Naaman’s household for such a time as that. You are where you currently are for such a time as this.
In the days ahead we may very find ourselves in places we never intended to be. Situations may not be of our choosing. But we will have the choice of what we do in those situations.
When you’re whisked away from the comfort of your former life and thrown into an unfamiliar world, you have the choice to wallow in darkness or to shed light in the darkness. The choice is yours. What will it be?
Lord God, thank You for this powerful reminder of how critical it is that we be a witness for You wherever we are. For those women who are caught in situations not of their choosing, wrap Your arms around them, provide them a peace no matter what it is they’re going through, and give them the courage to stand strong in their faith no matter what. Thank You for Your never-ending love and for the way You can use all things for Your good. Forgive us for those times when we lose our saltiness and when our light grows dim. Revive us Oh, Lord. Prepare us for the days ahead. We love You. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
2 Kings 5
Bible Study Review
- How did the young girl end up as a servant at Naaman’s house?
- What type of man was Naaman?
- What was wrong with Naaman?
Thoughts to Ponder
- What happened as a result of the servant girl’s casual comment about Elisha?
- Why did Naaman go to the king of Israel first instead of directly to Elisha?
- Why didn’t Elisha take Naaman’s gifts?
- How do you react when you’re taken out of your comfort zone?
- Do you bless those around you?
- Are you a positive reflection of Christ?
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