Friday 12 June 2015

Bible Book:
2 Kings

“his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy” (v. 14)

2 Kings 5:1-14 Friday 12 June 2015

Psalm: Psalm 21:1-7


The stories of Elisha's ability to heal abound and the one ofNaaman's healing comes in the middle of them all. The story givesus an insight into the highly structured society of which Naamanwas part. Permissions have to be granted for the servant girl toconvey her knowledge, for Naaman to go and see the prophet and forthe King to grant permission to Elisha to see Naaman. In theintervening dialogues tempers are stretched and valuable goods andmoney are offered as gifts of payment. It all sounds quitecomplicated.

The story begins with the servant girl who knows about a man whocan help her master. Not able to go to him directly the girl tellsher mistress who tells her husband, who asks the King of Aram, whosends him with a letter to the King of Israel, who sees the requestas a threat to him until the prophet's servant points him in theright direction. The servant girl, the most hidden within thatsociety, is the one who has the knowledge that will transformNaaman's life but it seems that she has to be careful about how shereleases that information.

Having travelled to meet Elisha, Naaman is incensed at beingtold what to do to cure his leprosy by relayed message (verse 11).He may feel as though the prophet cannot really be bothered withhim, even though he is the commander of the King of Aram's army.But again it is the hidden ones, his servants who pacify him andencourage him to do as the prophet has said; it is, they say, avery simple thing to do (verse 13).

To Ponder

  • Human beings can and do sometimes, make life too complicatedwith the systems we set up. We can overlook simplicity andinnocence, 'the hidden ones', and in so doing reinforce a hierarchythat restricts our natural inclinations and can make us fearful of'not getting it right'. But "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). Consider how these words sitwith you alongside hierarchical processes in the Church and in thelight of today's passage.
  • Culturally we learn that the more complicated a task sounds,the greater its appeal and more prestige seem to be attached toaccomplishing the complicated. As Christians, our calling today hasmore about being counter-cultural than going with the flow. Reflecton the cost of counter-culturalism to you, those you know and love,and what it might mean for the future of the Church.
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