TWO MULE'S LOAD OF EARTH

Today's devotion from 2 Kings 5 & 6.

Today's reading presents an interesting truth in the person of Naaman. What do we know about this man? First, we see that he was the commander of the army...of the king of Syria. Yep, that's Syria and definitely not Israel of Judah. Secondly, we see that he was a great man and in high favor. The reason for his greatness? Scripture says, "...because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria." Yes, that's right. Scripture indicates that God (who had chosen Israel as His covenant people) was responsible for giving victory to the enemy of Israel.

In fact, it was during one of these victorious raids that leads us to this event in Namaan's life. During one victorious raid, a young girl had been taken, but had ended up in his household as a maid to this man's wife. It would be easy to assume this girl would wish for nothing more than vengeance on the man who had led to her abduction and her servitude. The truth is very different.

The girl, who was obviously not too young due to her awareness of Elisha, obviously cared for Namaan and his family. Why else would she show such genuine concern for him as to direct him to the prophet. The man who had won victory in battle and the heart of a young serving girl, would leave this encounter proclaiming, "Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel." Elisha seems to take this conversation as genuine.

However, Naaman knows that his position will require him to attend certain ceremonies dedicated to Rimmon, the equivalent of Baal. However, he is clear that he will not worship Rimmon, but still asks forgiveness in this matter.

This is the work of God carried on in a non-Israelite community before the incarnation, and serves as proof that God cares for more than just His chosen or faithful few. God's reach was never just twelve tribes, though that is His work we most often focus on in the Old Testament. Yet, we should be encouraged to play our part. What if Elisha had not fulfilled his role? What if the young girl had kept silent and burned with bitter unforgiveness? Perhaps today or tomorrow, by good or bad, God will bring someone into your life that you can impact for eternity through His design?