Two mules and a heap of dirt

I was reading in 2 Kings chapter 5 recently and was blown away (again) by the story of Naaman and the little Israeli girl held captive by old Naaman and his wife.

This little girl was obviously far away from home – taken as a slave to Syria and made to work hard for Naamans wife.I expect that life wasn’t easy for her – she must have missed her Mum and her home and it doesn’t really bear thinking about what atrocities she witnessed as her family was separated and her whole way of life changed.God was using this little girl to change in a most miraculous way the entire household in which she found herself.
God can use anyone and anything at any time for His holy purpose – He can even use you and me! The thing is we may not realise what is happening at the time. God’s big picture is seldom seen by those he is using.
For example – You may be working hard to win others for Christ and seeing no results whatever – or you may be completely in the dark not even realising that God is using you.
Remember that sharing with others is a Holy Spirit Job – Their response to you is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility – Your job is to do the sharing bit. In one way you become the Holy Spirit’s mouthpiece.
So …… getting back to the story – poor old Naaman, that big strong Syrian soldier – the Commander of the army to King Aram – the one everyone looked up to – the ever valiant Naaman – hero of the nation – had leprosy!
Yes – the old dreaded skin disease – killer of that time – and still a scourge today – had struck down the mighty, courageous and looked-up-to Naaman and he was devastated!
The little slave girl plucked up enough courage to go to her mistress and suggest that Naaman go to her home country and visit Elisha the prophet – not only that but she was emphatic that if Naaman should go then Elisha would definitely cure him of his leprosy – What faith was that!!Can you imagine what would have happened to her if Elisha wouldn’t have helped?
What faith was that??? How is our faith? – I have been convicted only this week of how little faith I have – I look at friends who have given up family, jobs and security to go to another land without all the mod cons – to raise their young family in squalid conditions and why? because they know deep in their hearts that God will look after them.They trust God with their future – not even considering the ‘big picture’ just trusting God and having faith to follow through with the conviction that God has placed in their hearts.Oh Lord – please give us the faith to follow you more closely – to trust you more and to hand everything over to you.
……Back to the story – so anyway Naaman’s wife told him about the young slave girl and old Naaman went to the king and asked him leave to travel to see Elisha the prophet from Israel –  The king agreed – but instead of going to Elisha – the king of Syria sent a letter to the king of Israel introducing Naaman and more or less demanded that HE cure him of his leprosy!
It is interesting to note that the little slave girl disappears from the picture – I wonder whatever happened to her? – God used her to get Naaman to Israel – she did an amazing job – Was she ever rewarded? I doubt it.
We, may never know what we have sown in this life – whether good or bad – Have we encouraged or convicted others of their need for Christ? – have we maybe put others off the very thought of becoming Christians? – a sobering thought! Like the little slave girl we may never know.
Well you can imagine the King of Israel’s surprise – fortunately Elisha heard of the commotion and had Naaman brought to him. Elisha knew that God was going to work a miracle in the man’s life.
Well whatever old Naaman thought was going to happen – didn’t! He figured he would be treated with respect – that Elisha would maybe bow and scrape – tug at his forelock, fall down at Naaman’s feet and generally be subserviant like everyone else.
Instead Elisha send his servants out to tell Naaman to go wash in the Jordan river and dip himself down seven times and he would be free of leprosy.
Naaman was disgusted – not only didn’t Elisha show respect, but he told him to go wash in the dirty Israeli river – He had much better and cleaner rivers back home – so off he flounced?
How do we go when God tells us to do something? – or when we are convicted about something or someone – do we obey straight away? or are we like old Naaman – flounce off and ignore God!
Anyway, once again a servant spoke up (luckily for him he had these amazing servants) and convinced him to turn around, dry his tears, toughen up and go throw himself in the river Jordan seven times.
Well, to cut a long story short – the miraculous happened and he was cured – what a shock!!
When God answers our prayers like we thought – do we get a huge shock!! Again our faith is questioned! Faith in God is believing what he says in His word over anything we may see, hear or experience.
Good old Naaman all cured, pink and fluffy went back to Elisha and wanted to pay the prophet heaps of cash to say thank you – But Elisha would have none of it. The more Naaman insisted the more adamant Elisha got – He would not accept payment for something that God alone had done.
Like Naaman from way way back how often do we try to buy our way into heaven? – maybe not so much with money and wealth but even thinking that there is more we have to do to somehow secure a place.
Jesus did it all – there is absolutely nothing we can do – God cannot love us more and He cannot love us less – He paid the price for our salvation on the cross.
Because of His great sacrifice God sees us as spotless and blameless – Our sins have been buried in the deepest sea and God has planted a sign over them saying ‘No fishing’ – in other words no dredging up your sins once they have been buried.
God forgives our sins and then forgets them.
Anyway, old Naaman finally got the message – God and Elisha finally got through to him –  I guess he looked at his new pink skin and praised the God of Elisha and Israel and this is where the mules and dirt come in….
Being an over-the-top kind of guy, he asked Elisha for as much earth as a pair of mules could carry so he could build an alter to God in his own homeland – He still didn’t realize that God can be worshipped anywhere at any time – nevertheless that what he wanted.
How are we at worshipping God? Do we worship Him at all? We should and can worship God in everything we do – Glorifying Him in everything – mundane or important.
Give God the glory in everything and he will give us the assistance to make things happen and/or get through any trials or tribulations.
So old Naaman finally got going back to his own country – with his glowing new skin – and his new found faith in God. It was a worry though that before he left he asked that God would forgive him for those times when he must accompany his king in the temples of Rimmon (their idol god) .
God accepts no rivals in our lives – He will not have anyone or anything ahead of Him. Naaman didn’t understand that – makes me wonder if he ever did!
God wants all of our lives – He won’t play 2nd fiddle to anyone or anything.
It’s absolutely no good by handing over your vessel to God and saying ‘here fill it up Lord’ when He can’t because it’s already crammed full of all sorts of stuff.
Let’s get rid of the ‘stuff’ in our lives then ask God to re-fill our lives with Him – True freedom only comes by complete surrender to God’s will.
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1 reply

  1. Enjoyed the story… Thanks for the reminder 🙂 Darrell

Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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