The Bible tells us that all scripture is good for us. We can use it for various things including doctrine, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). A good example of this involves the story of Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-19). For readers who are new to the Bible or need a refresher course, Naaman was a military guy who worked for the King of Syria. Described as a “mighty man,” Naaman got leprosy. Thankfully, a little servant girl from Israel spoke up and said Oh, if the preacher back home in Samaria were here, he could help Naaman. Eventually, Naaman went to meet the preacher or prophet (Elisha). However, “mighty man” Naaman did not like what he heard. Elisha told Naaman to wash in the Jordan River seven times. High and mighty Naaman thought the rivers in Syria were better. As a result of his pride, Naaman “went away in a rage” (2 Kings 5:12 KJV). After a discussion with his servants, Naaman traveled back to the Jordan River where he followed the instructions from the prophet (who of course was speaking on behalf of God). Once Naaman obeyed, Naaman was cured of his leprosy. Now read what happened next:
“And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant” (2 Kings 5:15 KJV).
Here are the lessons to learn from the true story of Naaman.
- Naaman trusted and obeyed the Lord – In Naaman’s mind, it did not make sense what he was told would cure him of his leprosy. Naaman thought What we have at home will surely do the trick. Does that sound like anyone you know? Have you ever thought that you know best? Well, you don’t always know the best, do you? But God knows. And God told Elisha what to do. God also lays out His will and His ways in the Word. All you need to is trust and obey.
- Naaman praised God – Naaman did not forget to praise the Lord for what He’d done for Naaman. In fact, “mighty man” Naaman acknowledged that “there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.” That’s big when you take into account that Syrians worshipped false gods. It’s also big when you think of how Naaman compares to the Jewish lepers, nine of which did not take the time to stop and thank Jesus for curing them of leprosy (Luke 17:11-19). One leper did. Perhaps that leper was aware of the story of Naaman.
- A little servant girl recommended her preacher – Outside of Almighty God, this little maid is responsible for what takes place in 2 Kings 5:1-19. Despite the fact that she’d been taken captive from her homeland and made a servant in another country with different ways and religions, that little unidentified girl spoke up and said Oh, wow, if only my preacher were here! When is the last time you invited someone to come and hear your pastor’s sermons? Moreover, when is the last time you shared something you heard at church with a person you know, work with, encounter, etc.? You can fix that today. No, you might not run into anyone with leprosy, but if someone mentions having difficulty at home or with their finances, invite them to church. Be kind to everyone, because everyone is going through something.