Naaman was an unlikely recipient of God’s mercy. He was the commander of the king of Aram’s army. Aram was Israel’s enemy and eventually assisted in the fall of Jerusalem. Naaman was highly regarded and a brave soldier, but he had leprosy.
Marauders from Aram had gone into Israel. They took a young Israelite girl who became the servant of Naaman’s wife. We don’t know this young girl’s name, but she tells her mistress that the prophet, Elisha, has the power to heal Naaman.
Naaman asks the king for permission to seek healing from the king of Israel. The king is distressed, and Elisha hears about it. He tells the king to send Naaman to him. When Naaman arrives at Elisha’s door, Elisha sends a messenger to tell him to wash seven times in the river Jordan.
Naaman is angry and prideful. He expected more preferential treatment and some hand waving. But his servants encourage him to do as Elisha advised. And when he did, he was cleansed.
So where’s the mercy?
When God made Israel His people, He intended for Israel to be a light to the nations. God sent a young girl to Naaman, a young girl who wasn’t timid and could testify to the goodness of God and His healing power through Elisha. Because of her testimony, Naaman also testified. Notice what he said –
“Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”2 Kings 5:15b NIV
Naaman joined the list of Gentiles – like Rahab and Ruth who recognized the Lord as the only true God.
To whom is God sending you? Who needs to hear about the soul-transforming God? In His mercy, God wants to use each of us to take the truth far and wide.
Prayer of Gratitude
Father, we praise you for seeking the lost – even those in a faraway place, those trapped in pride, and those who have no idea they need You. Thank you for sending someone to share the gospel with us so that we, too, might testify to Your mercy and grace! May we be bold to share our faith, to tell of Your goodness, and to be a light in our dark world. Amen.
*You can read the details of Naaman’s story in 2 Kings 5:1 – 14.