”BUT HE WAS A LEPER”…11 KINGS 5…Many would be willing to give this chapter the distinction of being one of the great chapters of the Old Testament. The thoughts of this short article is to help us see that the Scripture is filled with so many wonderful stories and lessons for us to read and gather great truths to help guide us in our daily walk and decision making process. One will notice as one reads and rereads this chapter the many facets of life and living portrayed in the characters found in this chapter. The setting of the story of course is noted that Naaman is a great man. He is the Chief Captain of the host of Syria’s king but he is a leper. In those days this was a pronouncement of a death sentence and usually a slow and painful death as well. May we look at several key facets of this chapter? We will be only touching on some of the key thoughts of this chapter to cause you to look more deeply to find some of the wonderful truths shared in this chapter. We will mainly only look at the first half of this chapter. However, it would be great if one would continue to see how this chapter finally affects the lives of others as well. When one reads the entire chapter of 27 verses and observes several characters in the chapter one will be amazed at the truths found.
THE GREAT MAN…As we have already noted one can immediately realize that Naaman was an outstanding person and professional man. However, when one is stricken no doubt in the prime of life it can turn one’s life completely around. The Bible says he was a great man. To determine this title perhaps one must finish the course.
THE GREVIOUS MALADY…”But he was a leper”, these words turns everything around in his life. Notice how it touched his home, his king and country and how it touched a great number of others. Of course we are aware that leprosy in Scripture denotes sin or a type of sin. Please read in Luke 4:27 where a special reference is made to this passage in 11 Kings 5.
THE GENTLE MAID…Verses 2 and 3 related the story of the “gentle maid” who was a captive from the nation of Israel serving in Naaman’s household. One can immediately begin to put ourselves in her place and feel the struggles that might be found in her life. But perhaps she may be the hero of this entire chapter. The plan was to be carried out with wonderful results.
THE GRAVE MISTAKE…Captain Naaman did make several mistakes and perhaps the first mistake was the fact that he would be able to see a “cure” by way of influence and finances. After all, he did have the power and influence of a world power and much wealth. We are familiar with this story that Elisha did not respond as was expected. In fact Naaman said, “I thought” in other words he had a plan himself but was not granted by Elisha. Naaman further displayed his displeasure when told to dip into the waters of Israel rather than the rivers of Damascus. Read on and see how he changed his mind to “now I know”.
THE GLORIOUS MIRACLE…We love a happy ending at least to the first part of this chapter. In his own way and culture, Naaman was willing to recognize the God of heaven, “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel…” What an amazing story of human nature and the revelation of God.