Summary: She was born free in the land of Israel but reduced to a slave in Syria. Yet no thought of revenge was in her heart. She could have rejoiced in his affliction. But instead, the little maid thought of how Naaman might be healed.
NAAMAN'S LITTLE MAID
"1 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. 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.” 2 Kings 5:1-3.
The man called Naaman was an important man in the Kingdom of Syria. He was the General of the Syrian Army, and second in command to the King. Indeed, Naaman was a man of great authority, influence and position. Sadly, there was a a big 'but' in his life. And, this ‘but’ was causing him sleepless nights. Naaman held a big position, but also a big problem. In spite of all that he had achieved, Naaman was a leper. His name means “radiant, pleasant, delightful, gracious, and beautiful.” Yet he was a leper. What an irony! Leprosy destroyed his beauty. Naaman had everything going for him, except leprosy. He was wealthy and respected in the community, but afflicted with a disease money could not cure. In the ancient world, leprosy was a death sentence because it was incurable. General Naaman occupied a powerful position in the nation. He was respected, admired, and followed by many. Yet he had a flaw. His successes brought him honor, fame and glory. But leprosy turned him into an object of ridicule, shame and reproach. Despite his impeccable military records, Naaman was sick and soon to be an outcast. Despite his brilliance, that ‘but’ remained a part of his biography. He had a full compliments of trained officers, professionals, soldiers and other servants in his command. Yet none of them could help him. When he give orders, many people hurried to pleased him. But now he is facing something that is out of his control. God had given him great victories, gifts, and blessings. But the one thing he desired the most eluded him. Since his youth, Naaman had fought and won many battles for the Syrians. Yet leprosy defeated him. He had destroyed armies of many nation, but leprosy is destroying him. He was well-connected. But his connections, and power couldn't help him. He had visited the best physicians, and healers in Syria but found no cure. He had paid prophets in Syria to get a cure, but it all came to nothing. The courageous and decorated son of Syria was faced with imminent death. Even the gods of Damascus could not help him. Without a cure, Naaman would be doomed to a life of shame, isolation, humiliation. Only an act of God could help him. He alone could heal Naaman from his leprosy. And from an unlikely source, God sent him a helper. "For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’" Isaiah 41:13.
Naaman’s wife had been given a maid, a young girl from Israel. We don’t really know much about her. In fact the Bible doesn’t even mention her name, family, or tribe. But she was from the Northern Kingdom of Israel. In those days, the Syrians were bad news for the people of Israel and were constantly at war with them. In one of those wars, the little girl was abducted. Through no choice of her own, she was taken away from her home, family, friends and all that was familiar. She was brought to a foreign country. The girl must have wept bitterly as they violently took her away. But with no way out, she settled in Syria. The anonymous young maid from Israel served her mistress faithfully. These Syrians brought tears, blood and death to her people yet she served Naaman’s wife reliably, and brought joy into the household. Even in the midst of deep sorrow over not been able to see her family again, she was not bitter. She was a victim of life's unfavourable circumstances, yet she refused to dwell in a victim mode. She dutifully waited on Naaman’s wife. On a certain day, she saw Naaman's leprosy, and felt very sorry for him. She could have rejoiced in his agony. But instead, she thought of how to help him. The little maid felt compassion on Naaman, even though he didn't had compassion on her people. Though he was an enemy, she still looked at him with concern. The little maid could easily have been bitter against the Syrian. But she showed love. She had every reason to feel sad and vengeful. Yet she chose to help him seek healing for his leprosy. She wanted him healed. This girl had been raised in a society governed by the influence of God’s commandments, covenants and promises. Although far away from home, she remembered what she had learned in Israel. The girl knew God could do outstanding things through prophet Elisha. So she spoke to her mistress. Naaman’s wife told him and after he sought permission from the King, he and his servants traveled to Israel.