Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Little Maid



2 Kings 5: 2-4

Background: 9 Century BC

Naaman was the captain of the host of Syria, and he had recently returned victorious in war against Israel. Upon his return he brought back many Israelite riches and captives, including a little maid whom he gave to his wife. Naaman was a "mighty man of valor" but was stricken with leprosy. Despite being a very rich and powerful man he had found no one who could cure him of his leprosy.

Facts about her:
  • She was an Israelite who had been captured by Syria during war (2 Kings 5:2);
  • She was living in Syria as the servant of Naaman's wife (2 Kings 5:2);
  • She was young (2 Kings 5:2);
  • She told her mistress that there was a prophet in Israel that could heal Naaman of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:3) ;
  • Someone told Naaman about what she had said about a prophet who could heal (2 Kings 5:4);
  • Naaman believed her ;
  • As a result of her testimony Naaman traveled to Israel and was healed by the prophet Elisha by bathing in the Jordan river seven times. Because of this event, Naaman and many of his household gained a testimony of the one true God ( 2 King 5:5-15).
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Speculations about her:
  • She was probably all alone, having been separated from her family during the war and her captivity;
  • She must have exemplified great honesty and integrity at other times during her captivity or else Naaman's wife, the other servants and Naaman himself wouldn't have believed her enough to travel all the way to Israel;
  • Maybe she had forgiven Naaman and the Syrians for taking her away from her home and family, and that was why she was able to have faith and hope that the prophet could heal him;
  • Perhaps her faith contributed to Naaman's healing.
"The Seed of Faith" by Elspeth Young
My Thoughts:

This little girl's faith humbles me. I don't know if I would personally have had the faith to open my mouth and bear testimony in a strange country, among people who didn't believe like I did, and especially not to the people who had torn me away from my home and taken me captive. She is an example to me of forgiveness, of compassion, of faith and great courage. Think about the great risk she took in opening her mouth and bearing testimony of the prophet. What if no one listened to her? What if they laughed at her? What if the prophet hadn't been able to heal Naaman? But she did open her mouth, she didn't let her fear keep her silent, and God took her little seed of faith and worked mighty miracles with it.

I hope that I can become more like this faithful little girl, and learn not to be afraid of the truth. To have the faith to bear testimony even in hard and scary situations. Also, her story makes me realize how important it is to teach our children to gain testimonies of the truth. We never know where life is going to take them and when those little seeds of truth will blossom in their hearts.

What we can learn from her:
  • Even when we are in difficult situations we need to have the faith and the courage to open our mouths and bear testimony of what we know is true;
  • God can work great miracles with just a little bit of faith;
  • Children remember the simple truths that they are taught when they are young, and we never know when those testimonies will blossom and work miracles;
  • Adults need to listen to children;
  • God is aware of the needs of little girls and he listens to them.
Questions:
  • What do you suppose she was doing while Naaman was in Israel being healed?
  • What do you think happened to her when Naaman came back completely healed by the prophet?
  • Who taught her about the gospel?
  • Do you think she bore testimony of the gospel often?
  • Do you have courage like this young woman and are willing to open your mouth and bear testimony of the truth?

2 comments:

  1. Wow, that statement about how important it is to help our children gain their own testimonies of the truth really stood out to me. We really don't know where life will take them--or us as parents if we get sick or die. Children do listen, even though they don't always show it when we ask them to do something. I think that's what makes their actions so impacting when they do all of the sudden say something true and timely.
    Love the blog, keep up the illuminating work.

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  2. Heatherlady, This is such an amazing site. I can't believe it's free! Hehe. You are like my favorite book now! I love your insights. I'm sure it was pure inspiration behind your original idea. I've put your button on my site. Don't stop writing.

    Darcee Yates

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