Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Elisha: Naaman is Insulted

By Mary Vee
II Kings 5

From A Messenger's Journal

Photo Courtesy
The king of Israel was outraged. 

He sent me to Elisha's home with a message complaining about a commander from the army of Aram. 

Elisha invited me into the house. "What news do you have?"

I bowed to him in respect and said, "Naaman, commander of the Armean army, brought a letter from his master asking the king of Israel to heal Naaman's leprosy. The king was furious, he tore his clothes and screamed, 'Am I God? Why did the king of Aram send this man to me to be cured of leprosy? He's obviously trying to pick a fight.'"

Elisha sighed. "Go back to the king and give him this message, 'Why do you tear your robe? Send the man to me so that he will know there is a prophet in Israel.'"

I ran back to the king, excited to give the message. This would please the king of Israel and ease his anger.

The gatekeeper allowed me through the palace door without questions. I hurried to the king's chamber and requested to deliver my report.

The king waved his hand, allowing me to enter his chamber. "What did Elisha say?"

I repeated Elisha's message and was happy to see the king smile. 

He turned to his guard. "Send for Naaman."

Naaman and the men with him arrived soon after, bowed before the king, and stepped into his chambers. "You called for us?"

"Yes. You are to go to the prophet Elisha's home. He will care for your problem. This messenger will lead the way." He pointed to me.  "Go at once."

I led the commander from the palace, through the city, and on the road to Elisha's house. Naaman had his horses and chariots, he appeared rather official and important. I felt honored to lead his party.

We stopped in front of Elisha's house. "This is the home you seek." 

Naaman dismounted and walked to the door. Before he knocked a messenger opened the door. "Naaman, commander of king Aram's arm?"

"Yes, I am. I wish to speak with Elisha the prophet."

"I have a message for you from Elisha. He says, 'Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan. Then your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." The messenger closed the door.

Naaman's eyes widened. His face reddened. "Is that all?" he shouted. "I thought that he would surly come to to me. Stand beside me and call on the name of the Lord his God. Perhaps wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy." He balled his fist. "Aren't the Abana and Pharpar rivers near Damascus better than any of the waters in Israel.? Can't I simply wash in them and be cleansed?" 

He paced a few steps then shook his head. "Oh forget it. I should have know this wouldn't work." He mounted his horse, still red-faced and grumbling to himself.

Such a simple task for Naaman to do. I would have run to the river. 

Come back next time to find out what Naaman does.

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1. Why was the king of Israel outraged?
2. What did he ask the messenger to do?
3. What message did Elisha send back to the king?
4. What all did Naaman have with him when he followed the messenger?
5. Who answered the door?
6. What message did Elisha give Naaman.
7. What did Naaman do?

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