Naaman the Leper

Naaman washing in the Jordan.

Theme:

God's provision; healing.

Object:

A facemask or hand sanitizer.

Scripture:

2 Kings 5:1-15 Key Verse: Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” 2 Kings 5:10

There is no doubt that this year will go down in history as the year of the coronavirus disease. Even though children are not often infected by this disease, they have definitely been affected by it. Schools have been closed, church activities have been canceled, and you have been told to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. If it is necessary to leave your home, it is recommended, and in some places mandatory, that you wear a facemask and that you stay at least six feet from other people. All of these things are being done to prevent the spread of the disease.

This isn't anything new. Even in Bible times, people sometimes became infected with a disease. One such disease was leprosy which caused sores to break out all over a person's body. The Bible says that when a person had leprosy, they were to cover the lower part of their face and cry out, "Unclean! Unclean!" For as long as they had the disease, they were forced to live alone and stay away from others so that the disease would not spread.

In our Bible lesson today, we read the story about a man named Naaman. Naaman was the commander of the army of Syria. The king of Syria thought very highly of Naaman because he was a brave soldier and had led the army to many victories, but he had leprosy.

In one of the Syrian army's raids, they captured a young girl from Israel, and she was given to Naaman's wife to serve as her maid. One day the girl said to her mistress, "I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy."

Naaman went to see the king of Syria and told him what the girl had said. The king answered, “I think you should go. I will give you a letter of introduction to take to the king of Israel.”

So, Naaman went to see the King of Israel and showed him the letter. The letter said, “I am sending my servant Naaman to you with this letter. I want you to heal him of his skin disease.”

The king of Israel read the letter, but he thought it must surely be some kind of trick. “Why does this fellow send someone to me to be healed of his skin disease? He must be trying to pick a fight with me!”

The prophet Elisha heard about this and sent a message to the king. "Tell the man to come to me. Then he will know there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went to see Elisha. He stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger out to him. The messenger said, “Go! Wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times and your skin will be healed.”

Naaman became angry when he heard Elisha's instructions. He thought Elisha’s advice was too simple. He thought that to be cured he would have to do something more difficult. Naaman's servants spoke to him, and said, “If the prophet had asked you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? He only said, ‘Wash yourself in the Jordan river and you will be clean'. You should be willing to do that!”

So Naaman went and washed in the river seven times and the Bible tells us the sores on his skin were healed and he was clean.

What can we learn from Naaman's story? We will face problems in life. The solution may be as simple as putting our trust in God's promise. "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." (Nahum 1:7)

Heavenly Father, we know you care for us. In times of trouble we place our trust in you. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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