AN INSTRUMENT FOR HEALING

Sickness can come to all people, including important people, as you can read in II Kings 5:1

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. 

However, a young girl in his household has the answer to his problem: Naaman should visit the prophet in Samaria, as you can read in II Kings 5:2-3

Now bands of Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

No doubt, Naaman will already have been to every doctor in the land but to no avail. All the medicine he has received up till this moment will only have made him worse rather than better. Very likely, that is why he decides to listen to this young girl’s advice. I doubt that he would have listened to her at any other time. In fact, he may not even have known of her existence in his household. But times are not normal for he is a very sick man and he knows it. Now Naaman has a very close relationship with his king so he goes to him and explains to him what the young girl in his household has suggested he should do. The king is only too pleased to do whatever he can to prepare the way for Naaman to be received with favour in Israel but he goes about it in the way that kings do by writing a letter to the king of Israel. After all, kings communicate with kings and not with ordinary people such as prophets, as you can read in II Kings 5:4-5

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, ten thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing.

And so Naaman sets off on his journey to meet with the king of Israel. However, God has not prepared the king of Israel to be His instrument of healing for Naaman. He has chosen the prophet to be that instrument, just as the young girl has said. Consequently, the king becomes very confused when he reads the letter of the king of Aram for God has not told him about his plans for Naaman, as you can read in II Kings 5:6-7

The letter that he took to the king of Israel read, “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you that you may cure him of his leprosy.” As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

Thankfully, someone does know what God intends to do for this important soldier of Aram and his name is Elisha, the prophet. As soon as he hears about the distress of the king, he sends a message to him telling the king to have Naaman come to him instead. Very relieved, the king sends Naaman on his way to the true man of God, Elisha. Let him deal with this very sick person. Perhaps he can do something for him, as you can read in II Kings 5:8

When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message, “Why have you torn your robes? Make the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

As instructed by the king, Naaman travels down to Elisha’s home expecting a special welcome from the prophet. No doubt, the prophet will meet him the moment he arrives and will perform his special brand of magic to bring about his healing. However, that does not happen. In fact, when Naaman arrives at the door of Elisha’s home. Elisha does not even come out but sends his servant with a message, as you can read in II Kings 5:9

So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

The message states that Naaman is to wash himself in the river Jordan and to do it not just once or twice but to do it seven times! These words hurt the pride of Naaman so much that he flies into a rage and declares that he may as well go home and wash in one of the rivers in his own country for they are so much better than the river Jordan, as you can read in II Kings 5:11-12

But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord His God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters in Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

He is about to leave when his servants begin to speak to him. Their care for him is very obvious from the way they address him as “my father.” They are able to calm him down and go to the river Jordan after all, as you can read in II Kings 5:13

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, “Wash and be cleansed?”

When he gets to the river he begins to dip himself into the water. It is true, he has been told he has to do it seven times. However, he hopes that he will be healed after the first dip already. But that does not happen for, when he comes up out of the water after the first time, he is still as leprous as ever. So he dips into the water for the second time. But still there is no change. He dips into the water for the third time. Still nothing has happened to his skin condition. He is about to give up but his servants encourage him to go on for, after all, he is supposed to dip into the water seven times. For their sake, he dips into the water for the fourth time. Again, no change. The fifth time, still no change. Even the sixth time, as expected, there is no change to his skin condition. He really would like to give up but, it is true, he only needs to take one more dip and so he goes under the water one more time. And when he comes up out of the water this time, everything is different, for this time his skin is as smooth and beautiful as that of a young boy, as you can read in II Kings 5:14

So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

The miracle has happened. He has been healed just as the man of God told him would happen. Naaman rides back to Elisha’s home. This time his heart is no longer full of pride but full of gratitude to the prophet and to the God of Israel who has healed him. And he determines that from now on he will serve the God of Israel, as you can read in II Kings 5:15-19a

Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.” The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused. “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the Temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I bow there also – when I bow down in the Temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.” “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

It seems this story is primarily about two people: Naaman, the soldier and Elisha, the prophet of God. However, they are not the reason why I have chosen for us to look at this story. I chose this story because of a young girl in Israel”. You see, if not for this young girl, Naaman would not have known about the prophet of God and he would not have received his healing. Therefore, this young girl has a very important role to play in this story. Let’s read again what has been written about her in II Kings 5:2-3

Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Now these are only a few lines but there is a story behind these few lines that is worth investigating. First of all, you can learn from these few lines that there is a young girl who once lived in a village or a town in Israel where she will have lived at home with her family. Every day she will have gone about her usual business of helping in the home. Then one day a group of enemy soldiers arrives in the village or town where she lives. No doubt, she will have hidden because she will have known that these men will have been up to do no good. But to no avail for she is snatched from her home and taken far away to a strange country, where the people speak a different language, have strange customs and most of all serve a false god. And, instead of being a beloved daughter of her parents, she has become a servant of the wife of a man named Naaman. 

Every day she will have cried as soon as she has gone to bed because she so desperately misses her mother and her father and her brothers and sisters. She will have worried about them for she does not know what has happened to them. She has often prayed to her God to bring her back home but He has not done so. However, she knows that He is taking care of her even in this strange land for He has given her kind people to serve. One day her master becomes ill with leprosy and his condition gets worse and worse. So eventually she dares to speak to her mistress about the prophet of God in her own nation who surely can bring healing to her master. She is very happy when her master does go to her country. And so she waits until his return. And then one day she hears voices outside the house, including the voice of her master and his voice sounds full of life and strength. So she knows God has healed her master. Right there and then in the middle of the room where she is cleaning she kneels down and thanks God for the miracle that only He could have performed….

Having shown this story from the young girl’s viewpoint I would now like for us to look at it from a heavenly viewpoint for God has His eyes on this young girl, as you can read in II Chronicles 16:9a

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him….

She may be a nobody in the eyes of the world but God delights in choosing the weak, as you can read in I Corinthians 1:26-29

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things –and the things that are not –to nullify the things that are so that no-one may boast before Him.

And He has chosen the plans for her life, as you can read in Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

So God chose the place where she was to live, when she was to live there, and the family she was to be part of. He even allowed her to be abducted. But the abduction took place by a specific people selected by Him, who took her back to a nation selected by Him, where she came to live in a home selected by Him. He allowed the master of the household to become ill and used this young girl as His tool to bring healing and restoration to this man. In fact, God used this young girl to bring salvation to this household, for you have learned that this man after his healing decided to worship the God of Israel instead of the god of his own country. No doubt, he will have introduced the God of Israel to his whole household. Paul explains these principles in Romans 8:28

For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Therefore, if God can use a young girl from Israel, whose name who do not even know, but whose name was known by God, then you can believe that God can and wants to use you too. You may not be known by the world but you will be known by God by name. And that is what really matters. So, know that God is the One who has chosen for you the place where you were to be born, when you were to be born there and chose the family you were to be born into. And He has a plan and a purpose for you because He knows you and loves you. So allow God to use you just as He chose to use this young girl. Moreover, following God’s plan and purpose for your life will bring you a satisfaction beyond what you may have ever known.

QUESTIONS

1:  Can sickness come to all people?

2a: According to II Kings 5:1 who is the commander of the army of the king of Aram?

2b: According to II Kings 5:1 why does the king of Aram highly regard Naaman?

2c: According to II Kings 5:1 what does Naaman suffer from?

3: Who in Naaman’s household has the answer to his problem?

4: Who should Naaman visit?

5a: According to II Kings 5:2-3 who has gone out of Aram?

5b: According to II Kings 5:2-3 who have these bands of Aram taken captive?

5c: According to II Kings 5:2-3 who does the young girl from Israel serve?

5d: According to II Kings 5:2-3 what does the young girl from Israel say to her mistress?

5e: According to II Kings 5:2-3 why does the young girl from Israel wish for Naaman to see the prophet who is in Samaria?

6: Will Naaman have been to every doctor in Aram?

7: Has any medicine that Naaman has taken made him better?

8: Why does Naaman decide to listen to the young girl’s advice?

9: Why are times not normal for Naaman?

10: Who does Naaman go to see?

11: What does Naaman tell the king of Aram?

12: In what way does the king of Aram prepare the way for Naaman to be received with favour in Israel?

13: Why does the king of Aram write a letter to the king of Israel?

14a: According to II Kings 5:4-5 what does the king of Aram say to Naaman?

 14b: According to II Kings 5:4-5 what does the king of Aram say he will do?

14c: According to II Kings 5:4-5 what does Naaman take with him?

15: who has God chosen to be His instrument of healing for Naaman?

16: How does the king of Israel feel about the letter from the king of Aram?

17: Why does the king of Israel become confused when he reads the letter of the king of Aram?

18a: According to II Kings 5:6-7 what has the king of Aram written in his letter?

18b: According to II Kings 5:6-7 what does the king of Israel do in response to the letter from the king of Aram?

18c: According to II Kings 5:6-7 what does the king of Israel say in response to the letter from the king of Aram?

18d: According to II Kings 5:6-7 what question does the king of Israel have?

18e: According to II Kings 5:6-7 does the king of Israel wonder about the reason the king of Aram has sent Naaman to him?

19: Does anyone know what God intends to do for Naaman?

20: Who knows what God intends to do for Naaman?

21: What does the prophet Elisha do?

22: What does the king of Israel do when he receives the prophet Elisha’s message?

23a: According to II Kings 5:8 what has Elisha heard  the king of Israel has done?

23b: According to II Kings 5:8 what does Elisha do when he hears that the king has torn his robes?

23c: According to II Kings 5:8 what does Elisha ask the king of Israel in his message?

23d: According to II Kings 5:8 what does Elisha write to the king of Israel with regards Naaman?

23e: According to II Kings 5:8 why does Elisha write to the king of Israel to send Naaman to him?

24: What does Naaman do?

25: What does Naaman expect will happen?

26: What kind of welcome is Naaman expecting?

27: What happens when Naaman arrives at Elisha’s home?

28a: According to II Kings 5:9 how does Naaman travel to Elisha’s home?

28b: According to II Kings 5:9 who does Elisha send to Naaman?

28c: According to II Kings 5:9 what does the messenger say to Naaman?

28d: According to II Kings 5:9 what will happen after Naaman has washed himself seven times in the Jordan?

29: Does the message state that Naaman has to wash himself in the river Jordan once or twice?

30: Is Naaman’s pride hurt by this command of the prophet Elisha?

31: Why do you know that Naaman’s pride has been hurt?

32: How does Naaman reveal his rage?

33: Why does Naaman think he may as well go home and wash in one of the rivers in his own country?

34a: According to II Kings 5:11-12 what does Naaman do after the messenger speaks to him?

34b: According to II Kings 5:11-12 why is Naaman angry?

34c: According to II Kings 5:11-12 who does Naaman expect Elisha to have called on for his healing?

34d: According to II Kings 5:11-12 what does Naaman expect Elisha to have done besides calling on the name of the Lord, his God?

34e: According to II Kings 5:11-12 which rivers of Damascus does Naaman believe are better?

34f: According to II Kings 5:11-12 what does Naaman believe about the rivers Abana and Pharpar of Damascus?

35: Who begin to speak to Naaman?

36: Why do you know Naaman’s servants care about him?

37: How do you know that Naaman’s servants are able to calm him down?

38a: According to II Kings 5:13 does Naaman act as a soldier towards his servants?

38b: According to II Kings 5:13 what question do Naaman’s servants ask Naaman?

38c: According to II Kings 5:13 what other question do Naaman’s servants ask him?

39: What does Naaman do when he gets to the river Jordan?

40: How many times has Naaman been told he has to dip into the water?

41: Does anything happen after Naaman has dipped into the water for the first time?

42: Is there any change to Naaman’s skin condition after he has dipped into the water for the second and third time?

43: Is there a change to Naaman’s skin condition after he has dipped into the water for the fourth, fifth and sixth time?

44: Why does Naaman not give up now?

45: What happens after Naaman goes under the water for the seventh time?

46: Why is everything different when Naaman goes under the water for the seventh time?

47a: According to II Kings 5:14 does Naaman follow the instructions of the man of God?

47b: According to II Kings 5:14 what happens to Naaman’s flesh after he has dipped himself seven times in the river Jordan?

47c: According to II Kings 5:14 how does Naaman know his flesh is restored?

48: What has happened to Naaman?

49: What miracle has happened to Naaman?

50: Who has told Naaman he will be healed?

51: To whose home does Naaman return?

52: What is Naaman’s heart attitude?

53: Which God will Naaman serve from now on?

54a: According to II Kings 5:15-19a what does Naaman say to Elisha?

54b: According to II Kings 5:15-19a what does Naaman want Elisha to accept from him?

54c: According to II Kings 5:15-19a which God does Elisha serve?

54d: According to II Kings 5:15-19a how does Elisha respond to Naaman’s offer of a gift?

54e: According to II Kings 5:15-19a what does Naaman ask Elisha that he be given?

54f: According to II Kings 5:15-19a which God is Naaman going to bring offerings and sacrifices to?

54g: According to II Kings 5:15-19a what situation does Naaman ask Elisha forgiveness from the Lord for?

54h: According to II Kings 5:15-19a why does Naaman need the Lord’s forgiveness when he enters the temple of Rimmon with the king of Aram?

54i: According to II Kings 5:15-19a how does Elisha respond to Naaman’s request to be forgiven by God when he enters the temple of Rimmon with the king of Aram and bows down?

55: About whom does this story seem to be about primarily?

56: Who else has an important role to play in this story?

57a: Going back to II Kings 5:2-3 what have you learned about this young girl from Israel?

57b: According to II Kings 5:2-3 who does this young girl from Israel serve in Aram?

57c: According to II Kings 5:2-3 who suggests that Naaman go and see the prophet who is in Samaria?

58: What can you learn from these few lines in II Kings 5:2-3?

59: What has happened to this young girl?

60: Do the people in that strange country speak the same language that she speaks?

61: Do the people in that strange country serve the same God that this young girl serves?

62: Who has this young girl begun to serve?

63: Does this young girl know that God takes care of her even in this strange land?

64: What happens to her master Naaman?

65: What does this young girl eventually do?

66: Why does she speak about the prophet in her own nation to her mistress?

67: How does this young girl feel when her master Naaman goes to her nation?

68: What does this young girl hear one day?

69: How does the voice of this young girl’s master sound?

70: What does this young girl do when she hears the voice of her master Naaman?

71: Who has His eyes on this young girl?

72a: According to II Chronicles 16:9a Whose eyes range throughout the earth?

72b: According to II Chronicles 16:9a why do the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth?

73: Is this young girl from Israel an important person in the eyes of the world?

74: Who does God delight in to choose?

75a: According to I Corinthians 1:26-29 were those who were called considered wise?

75b: According to I Corinthians 1:26-29 were many who were called influential?

75c: According to I Corinthians 1:26-29 were many who were called of noble birth?

75d: According to I Corinthians 1:26-29 what did God choose?

75e: According to I Corinthians 1:26-29 why did God choose the weak things of the world?

75f: According to I Corinthians 1:26-29 what else did God choose?

75g: According to I Corinthians 1:262-9 why did God choose the lowly things of this word and the despised things – the things that are not?

75h: According to I Corinthians 1:26-29 why did God want to nullify the things that are?

76: What has God chosen for you?

77a: According to Ephesians 2:10 as a believer what are you?

77b: According to Ephesians 2:10 as a believer what are you created to do?

77c: According to Ephesians 2:10 Who prepared the good works for you?

78: Who chose the place where this young girl from Israel was to live?

79: Who chose the time when this young girl from Israel was to live there?

80: Who chose the family this young girl from Israel was to be part of?

81: Who allowed this young girl from Israel to be abducted?

82: Who selected the people by whom this young girl from Israel was abducted?

83: Who selected the nation this young girl from Israel was to be taken?

84: Who selected the home this young girl from Israel was to live in?

85: Who allowed the master of the household, Naaman to become ill?

86: Who was used by God as His tool to bring healing and restoration to Naaman?

87: Who was used by God to bring salvation to Naaman’s household?

88: How do you know that God used this young girl from Israel to bring salvation to Naaman’s household?

89: Will Naaman have introduced the God of Israel to his whole household?

90a: According to Romans 8:28 Who works in all things?

90b: According to Romans 8:28 how does God work in all things?

90c: According to Romans 8:28 for whom does God work for the good in all things?

90d: According to Romans 8:28 who are those who love God?

91: Do you know the name of this young girl from Israel?

92: Did God know the name of this young girl from Israel?

93: If God could use this young girl from Israel, can you believe that God can and wants to use you too?

94: Are you known by the world?

95: Are you known by God?

96: What matters most?

97: What are you to know?

98: Why does God have a plan and a purpose for you?

99: What are you to allow God to do?

100: What will bring you a satisfaction beyond what you may have ever known?

Chapter 10