Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.” (2 Kings 5:1-4)
The Girl From The Land Of Israel
One of the great heroes of the Bible is a little girl who remains unnamed and largely unknown. The story of Naaman is a remarkable telling of the power of God to cleanse a man from the dreaded disease of leprosy. It challenges the mind to see how that only through complete obedience will salvation be granted as Naaman argued with the command to dip seven times in the Jordan River. When he finally humbled himself to do exactly what was instructed by Elisha the prophet, he was cleansed of his leprosy. This entire story is based upon an earlier event that if had not happened there would be no telling of the story of Naaman. The Syrians often went on raids in neighboring Israel to take food stocks, livestock and often slaves. On one such raid a little maiden girl was captured and brought back as a slave. This would have been a devastating day for the little girl. Questions swirl about what happened to her family; were they killed, taken as slaves or was the girl taken by herself with her family never knowing what became of her? It is certain this was not what the little girl would have imagined her life would turn out to be. She found herself as a slave girl to the wife of the man responsible for her plight. Naaman was the commander of the army and now this little girl served in the house of the uncircumcised Gentile that brought sorrow to her life.
There are many scenarios that could happen in a story of a captive girl serving in the house of her enemy. She could resent him and blame God for her plight. Her faith in the promises of the Lord would have been challenged and like many would curse God and live bitter lives. It is tantalizing to know more about this maiden who appears on the pages of holy writ and just as suddenly disappears. There is much that is unknown about the little girl but there is a body of evidence that points to her incredible faith in the power of God. Leprosy was a horrible and debilitating disease. There was no cure. Death was certain and among the people of God was treated with isolation. It is remarkable that Naaman served as commander of the Syrian army and lived with leprosy. God was with him and brought a young maiden into Naaman’s life that would change him forever. She did not look upon Naaman as her enemy but as a man created in the image of God. Prejudice did not cause her hatred of him, anger would not govern her actions toward him and despair did not shadow her life to give up on God. Through her love for the Gentile army commander, the maiden sought the counsel of her mistress to tell her of the wonder working power of God through a prophet in Israel. “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria,” she remarked. She believed if Naaman went to Elisha that he would be healed of his leprosy. Jesus would later remark there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha but the only one cleansed was Naaman the Syrian. Through the grace of a little maiden who trusted in God, Naaman was healed of his leprosy.
Faith comes in many forms. Centuries ago it came as a little maiden in the house of a Syrian commander. She believed in the impossible. There were many lepers but none believed in the power of God like this little girl. Often young people exhibit more faith in the power of God than older folk because they have not been tainted with the years of distrust and hopelessness. Her spirit was bright and pure to believe that God could do the impossible. Suggesting Naaman could be cleansed of leprosy was unheard of. Her faith was not a marginal belief in the maybe’s of God but the realities of what faith will do when the heart believes in the possibilities of what seems impossible. There are many spiritual lepers who do not believe that God can change their lives. The greatest man that has ever lived is the one that can take away sin; no matter what that sin may be. Leprosy was an impossible disease to cure but it was taken away by the power of God. Sin is the most dreaded malady of man because it destroys the soul in hell but God is willing and just to remove the stain of sin if a man is willing. Sometimes it just takes a little girl believing in the power of God to move the heart to seek the one who can take away the mark of sin – Jesus Christ. If you knew a friend who had a terrible disease and you knew a man who could heal your friend of their disease – would you do everything in your power to help your friend find relief? Do you know someone who is suffering from the sickness of sin who needs relief? Be like the little maiden of Israel. Tell them about Jesus. He can wash away their sins when they come to Him and obey His word.