I love the whole chapter of II Kings 5. For the purposes of this post, however, I just want to concentrate on verses 1-4 (KJV):
“(1) Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.
(2) And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.
(3) And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
(4) And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.”
To paraphrase this chapter very quickly, Naaman is the captain of the host of the King of Syria. When Naaman conquers Israel, somewhere, somehow–in the midst of all this, a little maid ends up being taken prisoner and becomes a servant to Naaman’s wife.
The maid learns Naaman has leprosy, suggests to his wife (the maid’s mistress) that if only Naaman would visit the prophet in Israel (Elisha), the God of Israel could heal him. Well, word eventually makes its way to Naaman’s ears, and he eventually goes to see Elisha. After finally being persuaded to dip in the River Jordan seven times (another lesson for another day), he comes up the seventh time clean. He then declares before Elisha in verse 15, “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel . . .”
Now it is time for me to share with you my take–as a woman, wife, & mother–on this whole passage:
Visualizing the context of the story, I cannot imagine how the circumstances might have been for the slave girl. We’re not told how old she is, but she is obviously separated from her parents and siblings when taken captive. She doesn’t know what is going to happen to her when lo and behold she finds herself in the service of the wife of a great man–the “captain of the host of the King of Syria”(II Kings 5:1). This great captain also just so happens to be a leper.
Now, if I were that young maid, I personally don’t know if I’d be throwing a pity party for myself or wishing harm upon my owners. However, this maid has a different heart. The fact that she suggests to the wife whom she’s serving that there is–residing in Israel–a prophet through whom the God of Israel can cure Naaman of his leprosy proves this: that she is thinking beyond herself, outside of her own losses, and upholding someone else’s welfare above her own sorrows (how would I feel if I knew I’d more than likely never see any of my family members again?).
In evaluating this girl’s circumstances, I am having to stop and digest what she has been through and what she is continuing to endure: having been forced from freedom into slavery–as low a status as one can go–it’s a wonder anyone can find any victory in such a seemingly hopeless situation. Yet I see for me as a women, wife, & mother some very important principles:
This maid doesn’t allow the:
Lowly Status of her Position
Limit her Spiritual Productivity.
In addition, her
Godly Outlook (e.g. her looking out for Naaman’s welfare above & beyond her own grief)
Godly Opportunity (by the end of II Kings 5, Naaman gets saved)!
Application for me as a woman, wife, and mother:
Because this maid loves the Lord, she has nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain. The same TRUTH exists for me today: No matter how frustrated I might feel with ISIS or my teenager’s fruitless obsession with pop culture, I still have NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to GAIN!
This maid is separated from her family and yet doesn’t allow her heart to depart from her God! She doesn’t allow the unknowns about her family determine how she will serve the Lord right where God puts her. The same is true with me: I don’t need to allow what my teenager does or doesn’t do or where my other family members are or aren’t to determine or define my RESOLVE to serve God wherever God places me.
My Status doesn’t Limit my Service;
My Sorrow doesn’t Lament Self
My Steadfastness Leads to Success **(The little maid’s commitment to the Lord eventually ends with the joy of Naaman’s proclamation that the God of Israel is the One and Only True God.)**
The maid has a willing heart, God isn’t hindered by her imprisonment, and God uses the girl in the midst of her enslavement.
This maid is not JUST a little maid–she is a girl after God’s Heart!
Thus, I don’t ever need to think I’m JUST a wife or JUST a mom–there’s no such thing. God uses women who seek His Heart–period!