1Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him Yahweh had given victory to Syria; he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. 2The Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little girl, and she waited on Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “I wish that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would heal him of his leprosy.”
4Someone went in and told his lord, saying, “The girl who is from the land of Israel said this.”
5The king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”
He departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6He brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, “Now when this letter has come to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.”
7When the king of Israel had read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me to heal a man of his leprosy? But please consider and see how he seeks a quarrel against me.”
8It was so, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come again to you, and you shall be clean.”
11But Naaman was angry, and went away and said, “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leper.’ 12Aren’t Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.
13His servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had asked you do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? How much rather then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’”
14Then went he down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15He returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him; and he said, “See now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel. Now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
16But he said, “As Yahweh lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.”
He urged him to take it; but he refused. 17Naaman said, “If not, then, please let two mules’ load of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will from now on offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to Yahweh. 18In this thing may Yahweh pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon. When I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, may Yahweh pardon your servant in this thing.”
19He said to him, “Go in peace.”
So he departed from him a little way.
Just as God had warned the defeat and capture of his people began to take place. Eventually these defeats would lead to the full victory of Assyria over Israel and of Babylon over Judah, both nations would be carried off as captives and exiled from their homes. One of the first raids on Israel was by the king of Aram, his troops invaded Israel and took some captives including a young girl that went to work in the house of an important Commander called Naaman.
This girl had been taken away from home and her family and now found herself in a strange land and forced to work. She became the servant of Naaman’s wife. If anyone had an excuse to be bitter and resentful it was this young girl. Yet when she heard of Naaman’s leprosy, she went to her mistress and suggested a plan. She remembered that in Israel her home there was a man of God who could help Naaman. The man of God was Elisha. Naaman makes plans to go to Israel, eventually word comes from Elisha and God’s instructions are given to Naaman. After a bit of complaining, Naaman follows God’s instructions and is healed form leprosy.
We can learn so much from the story of Naaman and this little girl. Despite her surroundings and very difficult situation, she remembered that God was still God. Not only did she remember it for herself she pointed others to him. Naaman, despite having no knowledge of what or who was missing in his life was desperate to be made whole. Even Naaman who was considered an enemy God, found healing and completeness in him. Today let’s remember that no matter what situation we are in that God is still God. Let us also take hope in the fact that no one is beyond his reach.