Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Captive Little Maid

 I think that often kids think they don’t have to be concerned with serving God until they get older. It’s like they get a “free pass” until they reach the age of accountability. They think they don’t need to carry God’s message to others because, well, they’re just kids and who’s going to listen to them anyway. There’s an amazing story in the Bible that tells us that this just isn’t so and I want you to listen to this story and imagine what you would do if it were you.

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Imagine a gang of marauders come ripping through your village; your neighborhood. They’re well organized, well equipped and unstoppable. They’ve taken everyone by surprise and they outnumber you. They‘ve broken into every home in sight and killed anyone who resisted. They’ve wiped out family members, loved ones, even pets. What they didn’t find of value or couldn’t carry they burned and utterly destroyed. Having completed their evil mission they ride off before any emergency first responders or law enforcement can get there.

Now just suppose one of the things they found of value was you, human trafficking. Slavery. You’ve been roughed up and kidnapped and carried back to their camp. Eventually, they carry you off to a foreign land taking their spoils of war and their slaves with them.

That includes you.

How would you feel? Imagine the fear. Imagine the sorrow, the sense of loss and hopelessness of seeing your neighborhood and maybe even your entire family destroyed right before your eyes. Imagine the terror of not knowing what’s going to happen next. And what are they going to do to you?

Now imagine you’re just a ten year old little girl. Does the fear and the lump in your throat grow larger? Does your breathing get more difficult and your heart beat even faster knowing how helpless you are against such an overwhelming force? And now you’re in a foreign country and don’t know where to look for help. What would you do and how would you feel about these men who had done this to you?

Turn to 2 Kings Chapter 5.

King David’s kingdom is gone and Solomon’s kingdom has unraveled and become divided and is fighting with each other. The prophet Elijah is gone and the mantle passed to Elisha who had taken up residence in Samaria. (2Kings 2:13; 6:32) The northern kingdom is being ruled from Samaria by Jehoram I the son of Ahab. The southern kingdom of Judah is being ruled by Jehoshaphat from Jerusalem and they’re continuing to war with each other. If that weren’t enough the Syrians to the northeast ruled by Ben-hadad are beginning to stir and rumors of war are everywhere. Rather than mounting a direct attack by the full host of their army, the Syrians have taken to sending out smaller marauding parties to loot and pillage remote villages just to antagonize them and weaken their resolve; and on such occasions they would bring away grain, cattle, and such of the inhabitants as were proper to make slaves.

2Kings 5:1-16 NKJV
(1)  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. 

Naaman was the mighty General of the whole Syrian army, well respected, proud and arrogant. However, he had the incurable disease of leprosy, the only disparaging trait to an otherwise honorable and perfect life. In those days doctors were of little help as leprosy was only curable by divine intervention.

(2)  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.

We aren’t told much about this little maid, this little girl. We don’t really know how old she was or even what her name was. It could have been Kasi, or Giselle, or Sarah, or Jade, or Jillian, or Sabri, or Bailey, or Rhiannon, or Samantha or Erin or Sophie, or Destiny or Cloe. What is interesting though is that she must have been extraordinary and thought of highly as she ended up being the servant girl to Naaman’s wife. Being the General of the whole Syrian army, he could have had his pick of all the girls taken captive to be the maidservant to his wife and he chose her. Notice her attitude toward this man who held the band of marauders who had murdered and burnt her village under his command.

(3)  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.”

Wow! This helpless little girl had seen firsthand such devastation and mayhem as we hope never to witness, was kidnapped and dragged off to be a slave in a foreign country never to see her family again. What would your attitude have been? Would you have been inclined to make a recommendation about how the man responsible for your condition could be healed or would you relish in the thought that he was tortured day and night by a disease that would irritate him and aggravate him until it would likely be the very cause of his death?

It would have been a normal reaction for Naaman and his wife to ignore what seemed to be the outlandish boasting of a mere child especially one from despised Samaria. To claim that a prophet of a foreign religion could do what all the physicians and priests of his own nation could not, must have seemed laughable at first. But there was something about this little girl that caused Naaman’s wife to believe her and she passed it along to her husband and Naaman was convinced also. Surely Naaman and his household believed the girl’s advice because it was consistent with what they had observed in her life, her faith. She must have exemplified great honesty, integrity and sincerity at other times during her captivity or else Naaman's wife and Naaman himself wouldn't have believed her enough to travel all the way to Israel.


(3)  And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.”
(4)  Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing.
(5)  Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which 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. 

So, Naaman rides out with his entourage in search of this prophet residing in Samaria. Not knowing where he is, he first goes to see the king of Israel. The king freaks out thinking he’s trying to start a war with him but Elisha gets wind of it and sends a message to the king to send him on down to his house.


(7)  And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”
(8)  So it was, 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? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

When Naaman gets there he is expecting Elisha to come out and call down the healing power of God and cleanse his leprosy instantly. What happens next sends him into a fit of rage.

(9)  Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
(10)  And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” 
(11)   But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’
(12)   Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.

In other words, “you want me to do what?! Do you know who you’re talking to? You expect me to go wash in the filthy muddy water in your Jordan river? The rivers in my home country are much cleaner and fresher than that mudhole! And Elisha didn’t even come out himself. He sent a messenger."

Here’s the mighty Naaman, General of the whole Syrian army. He travels all the way to Samaria looking for this so-called prophet that some little girl happened to mention to his wife. He’s got all this gold and silver with him to pay for this miracle and he was told to go wash in a muddy river instead. Not only was he going to have to wash in the muddy Jordan but he would also have to shave off all his hair, even his eyebrows! You know his men had to be snickering when they heard this. If Naaman was to be healed, he was going to have to humble himself before God. But would he do it?

What he didn’t know is that this was the prescribed formula outlined by God Himself in Leviticus chapter 14. Elisha wasn’t being difficult, he was just following God’s instructions.
(Lev 14:8-9) NKJV He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and shall stay outside his tent seven days. (9)  But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows—all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes and wash his body in water, and he shall be clean.

But there was one more bit of information that had he known it at the time he might never have left Syria. Turn to Luke chapter 4.

(Luke 4:27) NKJV
(27) And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.

Elisha had never done this before! Naaman would be the first and only!
(2Kings 5:13-16) NKJV
(13)    And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
(14)   So he went down and dipped 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.
(15)    And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
(16)    But he said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused.

So by the small act of faith of a captive little maid the great Naaman, General of the whole Syrian Army came to know the God of Israel.

(Psa 8:2)  NKJV Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

(Psa 27:10)  NKJV When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.

Even though Elisha had not ever cleansed a leper in Israel before, this little maid, by faith, inferred not only that he could cure her Naaman, and but that he would do it, even though he was a Syrian.

Think about the great risk she took in opening her mouth and bearing testimony of the prophet of God. What if no one had listened to her? What if they laughed at her? What if the prophet hadn't been able to heal Naaman or wouldn’t do it? But she did have the faith to speak. She didn't let her fear keep her silent. She didn’t let resentment or feelings of vengeance keep her from doing what was right. Her story teaches us to have faith even in difficult and scary situations. She believed God and had faith in his healing power. Despite her circumstances, she served God where she was though but a child.

It’s not what happens to us in life that matters. That is a matter of faith that we place in God’s hands and trust in Him for our care. Often we’re put in situations in order that we might learn a lesson to develop our character or that we might be tried that God would know what’s in our hearts. (Deut 8:2) What matters is how we react to the events and circumstances in our lives, our response, what we do. That’s why we’re told to be exceedingly joyful in tribulation (2Cor 7:4) trusting in God and His love for us.

Remember, we are here to serve God and to be good ambassadors of His Kingdom (Eph 6:20) wherever we are no matter the circumstance. And to let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven  (Matt 5:16) regardless of our age or condition or even if we were a captive little girl.



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I strive to be as the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:10-11 receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searching the scriptures daily, whether those things are so. Check up on me in your own bible. Should you find me in error please let me know immediately. We must prove all things (1Thes 5:21) and rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15) together lest we be deceived. (Matt 24:24)

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