By Ps Suresh
- The Scripture introduces Naaman as a mighty man of valor, favored by his master and commander of the army of king of Syria. It is also mentioned that even God favored him and gave victory to Syria through him against Israel.
- This passage is a beautiful depiction of people and events which God uses to fulfill His great purpose through their lives. It is a story of success which involves selflessness, kindness and devotion in case of servant girl & Elisha and at the same time with a lesson against evil in our hearts which causes God’s anger upon us as with Gehazi.
– Few points from the lives of various characters from the story
1. THE SERVANT GIRL
- God uses a little girl brought as a captive to serve Naaman’s wife. Though forced into captivity and slavery, but the servant girl did not had any bitterness towards the people who had wronged her. On the contrary, we see a strange kindness and desire for her master to be cured. God wanted to make Himself known to Naaman and if it was not for the little Israelite girl, Naaman would still be in misery both physically due to leprosy and spiritually.
- Impossible as situations may seem sometimes, when everything appears to be insignificant or unfair, it is required of us even more to hold on to God and His purpose which He is carrying out in His divine wisdom and would surely lead to good in someone’s life.
- Inspite of his position and pride, he was willing to listen to his servants, which played a major role towards his salvation.
- In 2 Kings 5:13, we read that his servants address him as “My Father”, which could be taken to understand Naaman’s kind and fatherly dealing with his servants.
- Naaman comes with offerings of gold and silver in return for his healing, but instead he requests dirt of Israel to be carried back with him after he is cleansed. A man with so much boast in his might & possession transforms into a man seeking after a God.
3. KING OF ARAM- Ben-Hadad
- When Naaman takes this request to King of Syria about visiting a prophet in Israel in order to be healed, surprisingly king’s faith in God of Israel appears to be more dominant than in the gods he worshipped.
4. KING OF ISRAEL – Joram
- The king of Israel had lost faith in God. He had forgotten there were prophets in Israel.
- On one hand, the king of Aram, a foreigner demonstrates great faith in God just by listening to his servant, whereas on the other, a man raised among God’s own people not lacking accounts of events where God brought impossible to pass in their midst, is in despair.
- An Israelite servant girl in captivity shows more faith than the king of Israel.
- He is a man of great faith. When he comes to know such a difficult request has been brought to the king, in contrast to the king’s response, Elisha looks it as an opportunity to glorify God.
- Though Elisha knows that God has brought Naaman to him, instead of drawing attention to himself he is more keen to pointing Naaman towards God than to himself.
- Inspite of many personal needs that might have had, considering the present state of Israel in those days, he doesn’t accept anything from Naaman in return, which brings humility in Naaman and opens his eyes towards the only who can meet all our needs.
6. GEHAZI (Elisha’s Servant)
- A huge contrast can be seen between the lives of the servant girl who after loosing everything also is eager to help and Gehazi Elisha’s servant who even after witnessing God’s glory & might with his own eyes still chooses to cling on to temporary possession.
- He tries to use God’s purpose for his selfish gains and to satisfy his greediness. As a consequence of which Naaman’s leprosy comes upon him and even upon the generations to come. His selfish act of gain could demean the divine purpose of God and make the labor of others waste.
We all get opportunities to labor for God’s purpose and we are left with a choice of either bringing glory or shame to God through our actions.
God’s view of a successful person is very different from how we view success. It may not appear successful to the outside world, but God carefully orchestrates his plans through us. Not what we do but how we do it makes all the differnece. Success is being in God’s perfect will. What he uses you for, is success. What you do doesn’t matter, but how you do it. And where you’re heart is.