“Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. 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. 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. And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.” —2 Kings 5:1-4 KJV
By Hank Blok
We do not know how old this “little maid” was. We do not even know her name. But that’s not of any real importance! What little we do know is of greater significance. The Scriptures tell us that:
- She was a little Israelite girl;
- This little one was a captive in a foreign land;
- Away from home she served a Gentile lady;
- Her mistress’s husband had an incurable disease;
- She had a great concern for the man with his illness; and
- She did what she could to get her mistress’s husband to the help he needed.
This is what 2 Kings 5:3 simply records: “And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him [Naaman] of his leprosy*.”
What a wonderful statement; one full of grace on many levels. It would suggest that the little girl was most likely brought up by her parents, grandparents or other godly guardians to know the true and living God. Children do not forget the things that are indelibly inscribed on their hearts during those formative years. Of course we know that some may not always follow the teachings introduced to them in their youth. Yet, there is no doubt that they will never lose all of the influence passed on in those early years.
Had she met the prophet Elisha? We cannot tell. She certainly must have known enough about him to suggest that he could help. While she may not have been able to give Naaman’s wife the instructions for the healing of his disease, she could at least provide a reference to someone who could help. Similarly, our children may not adequately know how to lead a person to Christ. Therefore, it would be good that each child be encouraged to refer others to a parent, stronger Christian or evangelist who is able to explain the way of salvation. In actuality, this is what a lot of children do when they bring their friends, their parents and others to a Sunday school or daily vacation Bible school! Many parents can probably testify that their kids were the greatest little evangelists as young children.
It is so special that the Lord Jesus could say, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” And it is ever so personally touching that He would take them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and bless them (Mk. 10:14-16). Just as wonderfully, He can touch their lives to make them usable for His blessed purposes of bringing others to Himself.
* In the Bible, the illness of leprosy portrays sin and it’s end result – death.