TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 5:1-14
TO CHEW ON: “Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, 'If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.' ” 2 Kings 5:2,3
Suppose you were a little girl who, one day, was captured by enemy soldiers. They took you far away from home. Alone in a new country, you had to work for the people who captured you. This was what happened to the little Israeli girl who worked for Captain Naaman’s wife.
One day she noticed her mistress was very sad. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“My husband has leprosy,” Naaman’s wife answered.
Now the little girl could have been selfish. She could have thought, this man’s soldiers took me away from my parents. He deserves to be sick. But that wasn’t her attitude. Instead she thought about how she could help Captain Naaman. And she thought of prophet Elisha. He did amazing things. He had even raised a little boy from the dead.
“If only my master could see the prophet who is in Samaria,” she said. “He would cure him of his leprosy.”
Naaman’s wife told this to Naaman. Soon he was on his way to find the prophet.
When he came to Elisha’s house, Elisha sent his servant with a message telling Naaman what to do: “Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan.”
This instruction made Naaman furious. He thought the least Elisha would do was come out, pray and wave his hands over his leprosy. He wanted to turn around and go home. But his servants convinced him to do as the prophet had said.
Sure enough. After seven-dips in the Jordan, Naaman was healed! Because a little girl loved others – even her enemies – more than herself, God healed an army captain of leprosy.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to love others more than myself. Amen.
Leprosy was one of the most dreaded diseases in Bible times. There was no cure for it. It was also very contagious (spread easily from person to person). For that reason, a person who had leprosy had to move away from family and friends so their loved ones wouldn’t get sick too. They had to live alone or in colonies with other lepers.
Find out more about leprosy (now usually called Hansen’s disease) from books or the internet.
1. Do people still get leprosy?
2. Are there medicines to cure it?
3. How can you tell if a person has leprosy?
4. Find out about Father Damien, a missionary to lepers in Hawaii.