The Slave Girl Heroine
I have a new Bible hero. There’s a girl in 2 Kings 5 who is an admirable human being.
The beginning of her story is unfortunately too reminiscent of stories of other young girls in warring countries today. I am reminded of Nigeria and Pakistan and Sudan and Nepal as I read this: “Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel.” Every girl’s nightmare; every parent’s torment – to be abducted by enemy soldiers, taken to another country, and used as a slave. This might make any of us feel abandoned by God, but she doesn’t lose her faith. Not only does she keep her faith in God, but she really lives it out fully.
She was given to Naaman’s wife as a slave. (If you don’t know the story of Namaam, check it out in this chapter.) Naaman was commander of the army of Aram and a “great man” and “highly regarded.” But he had leprosy, an incurable disease. So what does this girl do? Rejoice in his misfortune? Pray for him to get worse? Amazingly, she tells her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of this leprosy.” Amazing! She wants him healed! She’s not praying for justice, for retribution for her captivity. She’s wanting mercy for him! What a great example of wanting the best for another person, of blessing your enemies, not cursing them. What a lack of resentment.
Maybe Namaam treated her well. There’s no comment on that. But the sheer fact of her captivity could have made her bitter and vengeful. At the least, you think she might have used her knowledge of the healing powers of Elisha as a bargaining chip to get her out of captivity or buy her better treatment. But no. She just wants Namaan to see Elisha.
AND, amazingly again, he LISTENS to her. Just ponder this a minute. Not only is she an Israelite (insignificant to Arameans), and a slave, but she’s a FEMALE. An army commander in that era taking the advice of a slave girl? Going into a foreign country seeking some unknown prophet for healing? What a long shot. He’s risking his pride and taking time off from work, having to get the king’s permission, just to do what this teenager tells him he needs to do. This speaks so highly of her character and integrity, that Namaan would have enough faith in her to trust her unknown prophet and unknown God. She’s only a young girl and a slave, and yet she has this much influence on a powerful man.
May we be as full of the Spirit of God as this girl, that our light and love shine out of us and overflow us onto those around us, no matter who they are.