Saturday, May 4, 2013

Teens in the Bible - a nameless servant girl



Chapter 16 the nameless servant girl

Naaman was a commander in the army of the king of Aram, enemy of Israel; he was a great man, a valiant soldier and highly regarded. But he had one huge negative against him: he had leprosy. Now bands of men from his army had gone out and taken some captives. One was a young girl from Israel who became a servant to Naaman’s wife. This is the nameless servant girl I want to look at. She has a small part in the Bible – doesn't even get her name recorded – but she does something truly remarkable. She tells Naaman’s wife that there is a prophet in Samaria who could cure Naaman of the leprosy. She was referring to the prophet Elisha.

My first question is why would she help her captors? If I were stolen away from my family and forced into servitude I would not be so magnanimous as to give away this special bit of information. I've taught over three thousand teenagers in my career and I can tell you that the vast majority of them would also be tight-lipped about the cure if they were in this situation. We all have something to learn here about developing a kind and generous nature. Hooray for this teen for she is teaching me something all these thousands of years later. If I have information that could help someone, even my enemy, I should tell him.

My second question is why did Naaman believe her at all? I’m going to conclude that he must have seen her honesty, sincerity, and truthfulness. He went to his king and got a royal letter to take to the king of Israel plus ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold (worth about $750,000 in today’s money) and ten sets of clothing. (You can read the story and see if he gets cured in 2nd Kings, chapter 5.) We don’t hear anything else about “nameless servant girl”, but she did get a place in God’s Holy Word. What an honor.

(next Saturday teen Jeremiah)