We have an account of the mood swing of one man who was “great and honorable” from his master’s perspective and went from being a proud, haughty man to a humble, contrite believer in the One True God of Israel; as well as that mood swing of a man who desired to be great and honorable, believing wealth and clothing would put him such a position of being thought as such by everyone but the One that counted.
Naaman is the first man, who some scholars believe is the one who took the “random” shot with his bow and arrow, mortally wounding Ahab (vs. 1). On one of the raids they were accustomed to take, “a young girl” who is unknown was taken from Israel and her family to be the slave of Naaman and his wife. There is much to learn about this nameless young lady we can glean and cultivate in our lives.
She had won over her mistress through having strong character, as well as having integrity in a very challenging situation. Her character so impressed Naaman’s wife, that when she mentioned “the prophet who is in Samaria” who would not just help the honorable man, but be the agent by which he would be healed. This information was then shared with the king of Syria who amassed a sizeable amount of silver and gold, over twenty thousand dollars at least, that would enable this hero to obtain his hope and desire of being free of leprosy.
Upon arriving in Samaria, the king of Israel, felt as though he was in a catch twenty-two; with no way out and would likely end up in a battle, losing again to Syria. News of this came to Elisha, who immediately contacted the king, declaring “let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” God will always have His man or woman positioned to give testimony, provided they’ll walk in obedience to Him.
When Naaman arrived, Elisha didn’t go out to greet this “great man”, he only sent word of what he should do to and be cured. This caused a shredding away of the guise by which he had been forced to walk out publicly. Great men and women have their foibles as everyone else does. Note that Naaman “said to” himself or thought to himself (vs. 11) because of his stature, there would be some type of production where he would be healed; rather than his expectation, he would told to go to the Jordan River and dip seven times, which was the complete reverse of those thoughts. The issue so upset him, not only did he think them; but he spoke them as well, with passion that all of his servants witnessed.
For those who are in positions of being “great and honorable”, they need those who are willing to “speak the truth in love”. Naaman was blessed to have those who would risk their positions and possibly their lives to say and ask things that needed to ask. Common sense prevails over proud minds and hearts. Common sense is “Bible Sense”, get it in your spirit and you’ll succeed!
Naaman heeded the counsel of his servants and when he came up the seventh time, his skin “was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”
Think of it, a nameless, faceless girl’s influence not only resulted in her master being healed, but he came to a level faith. Never underestimate the place or position you may find yourself in. God will use your faithful witness and influence for His Kingdom purposes. Don’t be-little where or what you are doing in life. You can have impact on “great and honorable” people.
Knowing “that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel” he desired all the more to give Elisha a gift; which seems to have been forgotten about earlier. Elisha refused the gift, knowing that it was God who had accomplished it and not him.
As a back-up, Naaman what “two mule-loads of earth” from Samaria that would be used to offer sacrifices on; even though he understood the king of Syria would likely continue on with his idol worship to Rimmon.
Gehazi appears to be an innocent by-stander in all of this conversation and chooses benefit himself as a result of being associated with Elisha; even though he didn’t really have anything to offer at this time. Who knows, he could have been the first prophet to be mentored by Elisha?
Under the cover of a setting sun, he pursues Naaman, who upon recognizing him as Elisha’s servant; got out of his chariot and wondered if all was “well”. Unlike the lady whose son died of a heat stroke, all was not well; a dastardly plot was about to take place. Gehazi does fabricate a believable story that required “a talent of silver and two changes” of clothes.
Naaman’s gratefulness prompted him to give two talents of silver and the two changes of clothes. Gehazi hid them where Elisha wouldn’t likely go, but God knew.
When confronted with his plot, total denial was the response. It is then the “word of knowledge” manifests through Elisha, declaring his “heart” went with Gehazi. The prophet asks Gehazi an interesting question; “Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?” The implication is there was COMING A TIME, but it wasn’t yet. Gehazi, like so many, have no patience, endurance or staying power for God’s timing. Did not Jesus promise if we left all that in the natural could make wealth, that there would a return in this life?
The consequences were greater than Gehazi could have imagined; receiving what Naaman had lived with for years, leprosy. Now, in Israel; he would be considered cursed, rather than blessed.
Remember, God will bless faithful, endurance. Continue to be faithful and you’ll be blessed!