Lessons from The Story of Naaman

The Story of Naaman is an amazing little passage of scripture. Found in 2 Kings 5:1-19, it tells of a strong general who is successful, but desperate, and it tells of how his life was altered forever by a little girl from a foreign land and the God to whom she was faithful. If you get nothing else than a nice short story, it’s worth the read, but if you take the time to think about it—what it says and how you might learn from it today—you might just find something there that could change your life also. Below are a few thoughts to consider as you peruse the tale

  1. Never be too proud to listen. Naaman is high and mighty, but the people who lead him to healing are all servants, including a little girl from a foreign land. What could she possibly have to teach him?!
  2. Never forget that God is still in charge. The king of Israel receives Naaman and immediately fears the worst, but he’s wrong. God has a plan and it is much bigger than the king imagines.
  3. Just because it’s menial doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Naaman wants to turn back because the task he is given is beneath him, as is the messenger who brought it to him. But menial things are no less necessary and often more important that they at first appear. Next time you come across a clean toilet at a gas station, consider the person who scrubbed it out before you got there.
  4. Things don’t always have to make sense for them to work or be true. We want explanations for everything. That’s why science exists! As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” But sometimes you have to believe to understand. Such was the case for Naaman. Imagine what he was thinking after five or six dips in the dirty waters of the Jordan hadn’t yet cured his body, and imagine his surprise when he came out healed on dip seven!
  5. Be courageous. That little slave girl from Israel was serving in a foreign land where people spoke a different language and worshiped different Gods. There is a good chance she got there because Naaman himself captured her and killed her family. Pretty gutsy call to speak up like that, don’t you think?
  6. Give credit where credit is due. Naaman was healed in Israel by the God of Israel and it changed his life. He went home a different man physically and spiritually. The dirt he took home was his way of making sure that the God of Israel would be with him always. He knew who healed him and wanted to keep that relationship alive no matter where he went. What a story he had to share with his king, his wife and a little girl who had the courage to speak up!
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