2 Kings 5:1-14
This time we look at how just a casual remark, just like a casual meal for the Shunammite woman, led to an amazing healing. There are only three short verses written directly relating to this young Jewish girl, but there is an amazing testimony as a result. Her action is written for the whole earth to read about, generation after generation.
The young girl had been captured during one of the raids by Syria on Israel. She had been chosen by Naaman – probably at the slave market in Damascus – to serve his wife from all the girls available. Obviously he thought she was the best. Probably as a result of her parents’ prayers and her own cry to God, she arrived in a happy home.
She would have been chosen for:-
…………………Her willingness to serve;
…………………Her hard working;
She could have every right to be sulky, uncooperative, spiteful, resistant, and disobedient. After all she had been captured by the people she didn’t like. Her family had warned her about these people, and neither did she have a slave mentality. Because of her love and obvious faith in God this dear girl settled down in this lovely home, to throw herself into being a very good servant to Naaman’s wife. She knew that what she was doing was to glorify her God and that He would use this situation, however difficult, for her good.
She was ready at any moment to give account of herself to anyone who needed help. “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15. This describes her life and witness, so when this enormous shadow came over Naaman’s household she knew in her heart what the answer would be to this high and mighty officer’s problem.
When Naaman had realised that he had the first symptoms of leprosy he knew he was a dead man. It may have taken many years for him to die, but he would have to be an outcast for the rest of his life Leviticus 13:45-46. It did not make any difference that he ‘was a great man’…. ‘he was also a mighty man of valour’ or the King of Syria’s favourite commander, 2 Kings 5:1. He would be forced to wander outside the city walls as a beggar. Everyone who came anywhere near him would hear the warning bell to keep away, no war victories, or battle medals could prevent his expulsion.
The young Jewish maid had heard many of the amazing stories about what God had done through Elisha, and previously through Elijah, in her home nation. She knew that there was someone in Israel who would pray for God to heal her boss. She had to pray much and choose the right time to pluck up all her courage and mention to Naaman’s wife that there was an alternative to being cut off and ultimate death for her husband.
They only took note of what the young maid said because of the way she had behaved since she came into their household. They knew she was a genuine girl who really showed forth the love of God in her everyday work, doing everything to the best of her ability, so when she offered them a lifeline even though it meant going to Israel, Naaman responded in his desperate need. She had been placed in this house by God for a purpose, and she responded faithfully when the right time came.
On the young lady’s recommendation and with the King’s blessing, Naaman takes a large portion of his wealth and goes to find Elisha. He visited the King of Israel, who was so stubborn but did not look to God. He only thought about the consequences for himself, not about the poor, sick, mighty warrior with a great need in front of him, 2 Kings 5:7-8. Naaman thinks he can buy his health and so is shocked when he is treated like an ordinary person. He was such a proud man that the idea of bathing in the dirty Jordan River seven times, was beneath a man in his position. Full of pride he could not accept the simple opportunity given him to accept the gift of healing by faith. In his rage (2 Kings 5:11-12) he nearly lost out on his one opportunity to have his life saved from leprosy and to put his faith in the one true living God for eternity.
What a witness!!
Because of the Jewish servant girl’s bold witness to the healing power of God, Naaman’s own servants have the courage to confront him and show him what his pride is stealing from him. He immediately responds and goes and does as Elisha instructed him.
Naaman returned from Samaria completely healed from the dreaded leprosy but the healing process had gone a lot deeper. God showed Himself real, even to an idol-worshipping, proud, arrogant, tough hero. He showed Naaman that His favour did not depend on money or position but on love and humility and faith. Having found the only True God, Naaman repents of his other idols and gives himself to God alone.
- Only two sentences are written in the Bible about this slave girl and yet her impact is phenomenal. Her witness is told to two kings, one responds negatively (2 Kings 5:7) and one responds positively, 2 Kings 5:5.
- Her actions showed the reality of her faith (James 2:14-26) and so her mistress could take her witness seriously.
- She didn’t feel she was too young to have anything positive to contribute, 1 Timothy 4:12.
- She knew she was valuable and so wanted to be heard.
- She was moved with compassion for a person in desperate need, Zechariah 7:9-10.
- She just spoke a few simple words and his future was certain.
Just a few simple words revealed her faith which spoke to Kings; a commander and his family; all the other servants in the household, and brought healing and salvation.
God’s Word shows the importance of witnessing.
- We have been given the ministry of reconciliation and need to fulfil it, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.
- We have been given instructions to take this gospel message all over the world, Matthew 28:18-20.
- We are baptised in the Holy Spirit so that the Body of Christ may continue the ministry that Jesus began. Acts 1:5; Acts 1:8.
- We have been chosen in Christ Jesus to be fruitful, John 15:16.
- Jesus is God’s faithful witness. As we are made like Him, we will be faithful witnesses also, Revelation 1:5.
- Faith undoubtedly grows as we share the life of Christ with others, 1 Timothy 6:12.
The fact is that if a person does not believe on the Son, they are lost like Naaman. It is that simple. Many other scriptures speak of the need to witness for the Lord Jesus, because the witness to Him is in our hearts.
We can’t meet the needs of the ordinary person ourselves, only God can save them. Before going to speak to people about God, go to God about that person like the servant girl.
- Pray 1 Thessalonians 5:17
- Be led by the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8
- Lift up Jesus John 3:14
- Use the Name of Jesus John 3:17
- Be prepared 1 Peter 3:15
- Learn key Scriptures not the whole Bible
- Prepare your own story, how you met Jesus. Revelation 12:11.
- Use a tract if that helps you speak up.
What effect are your words having? Are you speaking faith-filled words OR death-filled words?
Are your actions showing the reality of your faith?
No: 08 – Naaman’s servant girl – one word for healing! – Challenge Questions
- Read the notes about Naaman’s servant girl. What really spoke to you?
- Do you have a testimony to share about when someone has just said one sentence to you, or you to them, and it has been such a blessing?
- Do you feel a challenge from this story to witness more?
- From the points in the notes about sharing your faith, which did you find helpful. Be challenged to share Jesus this week and share with the group how you felt about doing it.
Read Judges 16:1-21
- Who had Samson spent the night with (Judges 16:1-3)? Who did he fall in love with (Judges 16:4)?
- Who went to enlist Delilah’s help?
- What did they want her to find out? How much did she receive from each of the men?
- How many times did Delilah ask Samson to tell her his secret? Record the verses to back up your number.
- What were Samson’s replies? (Judges 16:7-17).
- How did Delilah react to each of Samson’s replies? (Judges 16:10; Judges 16:13-17).
- What methods did Delilah use to get her own way with her husband? Have you ever used any of these methods?
- What did it mean to be a Nazirite? (Judges 13:4-5).
- What do you think was Samson’s downfall and what do you think were his strengths?
- What were Delilah’s weaknesses, and what were her strengths?
Read Judges 16:22-31
- Who were in the Temple? (Judges 16:23-24) Who were they worshiping and how?
- What did they want Samson to do and what was the end result and at what cost?
- Write one sentence to sum up what you have learnt from the life of Samson and Delilah.