THE SLAVE GIRL WHO PUT THE GOD OF ISRAEL ON POSITIVE DISPLAY
Friends, I come to you again in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, I’m seeking on: The Slave Girl who put the God of Israel on Positive Display, with the subtitle: Enslaved Yet Free.
Our text is taken from 2 Kings 5.
2 Kings 5, reading at verse 1
2 Kings 5:1-5
Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. 2 And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife [she was her servant]. 3 Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” 4 And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.”
In the interest of time, drop down to verse 9,
2 Kings 5:9-14
9 Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ 12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
Father, we have come again; and we ask now that Your Spirit would be with us, causing Your Word to come alive to my friends in radioland….in Jesus Name. Amen!
Our text reminds me of the observation which I have shared with you before, on one of my radio messages: an observation that an Irish Evangelist, Gypsy Smith made long ago. Gypsy Smith said: “There are five gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – and the Christian. And some people will never read the first four.
General Naaman, his family – the King of Syria and his army, did not and could not read the Pentateuch – the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. But the nameless slave girl from Israel was a gospel – the good news they read.
Let us examine the character of this exiled girl from Israel who turned out to be a walking-talking gospel, the slave girl who put the God of Israel on positive display, the slave girl who was indeed free. We shall try to draw some lessons from her life.
The first observation I would like to make is that her circumstance did not make her bitter but better. Her circumstance did not make her bitter but better. She was in Syria against her will as we see in our text in verse 2a. She was taken there by force – she was a captive.
Secondly, she missed her family, her friends and the worship of the true God.
Thirdly, she served as a slave in the house of a leper, facing the danger of being infected with the dreaded disease.
And, fourthly, she had to deal with the possibility of not getting married ever.
That’s the circumstance of her life.
But in spite of these, she served her captors with her whole heart – as evidenced in her willingness to help General Naaman get well.
By way of application, how do you, friend, respond to the circumstances of your life, especially those that threaten your wellbeing, those that are not favourable to you, those that make it difficult or close to impossible for you to realize the goals of your life? Do such situations make you bitter or do they make you better? Take for example the last threat to the slave girl’s wellbeing – the threat of kissing marriage bye-bye. Some young girls today will stop at nothing to make a marriage happen when they count the marriage of birthdays they have already celebrated. They will start chasing eligible bachelors. Some will even bend over backwards literally to give the young man a fait accompli. What do I mean by a fait accompli? Once I’m now carrying his baby I have entrapped him, and he will not have any choice but get married to me. Young lady, there are not many marriages that turn out happy and good where the marriage took place by entrapment.
Observation number two: first, we looked at the circumstance of the slave girl. Her circumstance did not make her bitter but better. Number two, she remained godly in spite of her circumstance. She had compassion for the one who deprived her of her freedom. Instead of saying, your leprosy is an appropriate return to sender. Secondly she witnessed to her God, spoke well of her God though He, the God of Israel, permitted her to be enslaved in a foreign heathen land.
Thirdly, her faith, in the ability of her God, remained strong even though her God did not change her circumstance. He had not delivered her from the bondage in Syria – yet her faith in God did not waver.
Again, by way of application, how easily, friend, do you forget God once things are not going your way? Serving God is not your concern anymore – it’s out of the question once it does not give you what you have been praying for. You tend to make your relationship with him a matter of quid pro quo. Quid pro quo by that I mean: I scratch Your back God, and you scratch my back, too. Someone once said, Now I have sacrificed money and time for God; it is His turn to bless me, and to bless me real good. This young man has never read Acts of the Apostles 17:24-25. Acts 17:224-25 – where God says – where the bible says,
24 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
This young man had never read Romans 11:35-36. Romans 11:35-36 that says:
35“Or who has first given to Him [God]
And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him [God] and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
My people perish and they are deceived because of lack of understanding of the Word of God. Some Christians even sin deliberately as a protest against God yet they claim to fear Him. Since God will not change my circumstance, they reason, I have to be a god to myself and do what I like. Who cares what God thinks about it! Such tantrum does not hurt God but you.
And finally, this girl put the God of Israel on positive display. She gave God the opportunity to be God to the Syrians. And Naaman returned to the man of God (in our text in verse 15), he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant – (which he turned down).” But Naamann said, 17 So Naaman said, “Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord.
You see, this girl put the God of Israel on positive display. This heathen general will now worship no other God – has now acknowledged the God of Israel as the true God and will worship Him. She orchestrated an incident even Jesus Himself talked about hundreds of years later; for in Luke 4:27, Jesus says,
27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
Thirdly, she no doubt improved her circumstance for being a walking-talking gospel; though the bible is silent regarding the rest of the slave girl’s story – but it is inconceivable that her life was not affected positively from that time on. The least Naaman and his wife could have done would be to remain eternally grateful to her for salvaging Naaman’s ruined status, for removing the unpleasant ‘but a leper’ attached to his life.
Even if you don’t agree with my sanctified imagination, friend, the truth remains that this slave girl and what she did is still being talked about for centuries now and will be talked about after we are gone.
Friend, will you put God on positive display? But the only way to do it is that you would first of all give your life to Christ. If you have not, invite Jesus into your life now, and from now on you can then think of putting Him on positive display.
Let us pray.
Father, thank You again for bringing us close to the end of this broadcast. May You bless Your people in radioland. Draw to Yourself those who do not know the Saviour; and those who already know Him, help them to put Him on positive display…in His Name and His Name alone we pray. AMEN!
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