Our story begins with captivity and ends with freedom for two people. Naaman is the captain of the host of the king of Syria. The Bible says he was a great man, an honorable man and a mighty man in valor (verse 1). It also says that he was a leper.
There are a few things we must consider before we begin our story. The first is that Naaman lived with his family, had a host of men under him and had access to the king of the Syrian nation. Yet he was a leper.
The second is that his wife's maid was an Israelite. For an Israelite to come into contact with anyone known to have leprosy was strictly forbidden. If they did there were certain ceremonial washings that they had to perform in order to be considered clean again. Yet Naaman's maid was a little Jewish girl and she was in constant contact with a man who had leprosy (verse 2).
It is important to understand that there are two types of leprosy. One is a dangerous form in that it is contagious and the person must be isolated from the general population. (Leviticus 13:45-46) And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.
The other is a whiteness that disfigured the victim but did not disable him and the person was free to associate with others. (Matthew 8:1-3) When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. This must have been the type of leprosy that Naaman had.
Now let's take a look at the life of our little maid. Verse two tells us as little bit about who she was and what she was doing in Syria. (2 Kings 5:2) And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
All the Bible says about her is that she was a little girl. I don't think little here refers to her size as much as it does to her age. I think it is safe to assume that she must have been under twenty years old, maybe even as young as ten or twelve. We don't know for sure. What we do know is that her job was to be a companion and servant to Naaman's wife. In this capacity her duties varied.
She must have been well treated by her captors for she obviously loved them very much. (2 Kings 5:3) And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. She had the freedom to speak her mind with her mistress and tell her that there was a man who could help her husband. It was out of her love for Naaman that she wanted to see him healed. I believe she was a humble girl but it was her faith in her God that gave her the boldness to speak and the assurance that her master could be healed.
This little girl had a good testimony. (2 Kings 5:4) And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. When Naaman's servants heard her advice they took steps to get permission from the king to have Naaman seek out the cure. They wouldn't have done that if they did not care for her. Why take the advice of a slave, especially a little girl? Because this little girl had a good testimony.
Naaman's maid was a soul-winner just like Rahab; just like Andrew; just like Philip but instead of bringing her master to The Master she sent him in search of Him. Luke 4:27 says, "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian." Naaman was a Gentile yet this little Jewish girl cared about his soul. Because of her, Naaman acknowledged God and declared his intention of forsaking all other gods. (2 Kings 5:17b) .for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.
Our little maid also was not afraid to tell others about the greatness of her God. If she had kept silence Naaman would have continued to suffer from leprosy and would also have gone to hell when he died.
Are you saved? How great is your God? What has He done for you? Can you tell others about his goodness? Will you? Will you look for opportunities to tell people what God can do for them. Will you tell others that to them that mourn God can " ... give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3)
Our little maid was not afraid to speak about the mercies of God for she knew about them firsthand. (Lamentations 3:22-23) It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. It was God who kept her faithful to Him while she was in Syria. It was God who allowed her to be a slave yet treated with respect and appreciation. It was God who had His hand on her life.
I said at the beginning that this is a story of captivity and freedom for two people. Naaman was a captive to his leprosy. Through Elisha and ultimately, God, he was given his freedom from it. Naaman's captivity was physical. When he experienced the miracle of his healing he acknowledged God. (2 Kings 5:14-15) Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 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. Naaman's freedom was spiritual. He got eternal life when he got saved.
The little maid was also held captive physically. She was taken from her homeland of Israel and brought to Syria as a slave. Yet in her captivity she possessed her freedom for hers was a spiritual freedom. She already knew the living God. Two people were held captive. Two people were set free.
How about you? What are you physically held captive to? Do you suffer from any physical illnesses or diseases? Are you in bondage to drinking or smoking, gambling? Did you awake one morning to find yourself in an adulterous situation? What are you in bondage to spiritually? What is your besetting sin? (Hebrews 12:1) "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," What weight or burden are your carrying around that you won't put down? What can't you get victory over in your life?
The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."