Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

Strong and Courageous, Unnamed Slave Girl

August 23, 2020 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 4 Episode 12
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Strong and Courageous, Unnamed Slave Girl
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Strong and Courageous, Unnamed Slave Girl
Aug 23, 2020 Season 4 Episode 12
Pastor Dave Tucker

Dave tells the story of a faithful and unnamed slave girl who overcame fear and shared good news that brought physical and spiritual healing to her captor.
Based on 2 Kings 5:1-3.  

Originally presented Aug. 23, 2020 at St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford, TX. 

Show Notes Transcript

Dave tells the story of a faithful and unnamed slave girl who overcame fear and shared good news that brought physical and spiritual healing to her captor.
Based on 2 Kings 5:1-3.  

Originally presented Aug. 23, 2020 at St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford, TX. 

STRONG AND COURAGEOUS, UNNAMED SLAVE GIRL

2 KINGS 5:1-3

         Today’s Strong and Courageous Bible Character doesn’t have a name… at least not one that we would know. For whatever reason the author of today’s Bible story did not give us her name. She has been identified in scripture as “a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife.” She, however, was a simple yet mighty servant of God.

This slave girl doesn’t even have a large part to play in the story. The commentaries I consulted as I put this message together barely even mention her. Most students of the Bible will say this is a story of Elisha and his ability to work miracles. Or others would say it is a story of Naaman, a great and mighty Aramean warrior, who was relieved of a skin disease by taking a dip in the Jordan river. I have chosen to focus on the faithfulness of this young slave girl. 

The story begins with introducing Naaman, who, according to scripture, was “commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. I am going to be perfectly honest with you when I say there are some things in the Bible I wish was not there… this would be one of them. I am not so troubled with the fact that God blessed other nations… What is troublesome to me, however is how, during one conquest, people of God were taken captive and were made into slaves. The Unnamed Slave Girl was presumably one of those taken and enslaved by one of the many victorious conquests of this man Naaman. I will also be honest with you when I say, It’s okay to wrestle with God’s word. It’s okay to ask tough questions of biblical text. And it is certainly okay to ask God the tough questions… God is big enough. I have said this many times before, and I will say this many times again, If we fully understood the Bible and the God of the Bible, why would we need God? It is in the questions that our faith is built… Just ask Job!

So here we have a mighty conqueror who, by the way, has leprosy. Leprosy is a dreaded disease that eats away at your skin. It takes away one’s sensation of pain which means those afflicted would often be walking around without fingers, toes, or limbs. And this unnamed slave girl, went to her mistress, Naaman’s wife and told her about a man from Samaria named Elisha, who could cure Naaman of this terrible disease. Naaman, in response to the news from this Unnamed Slave Girl, went to the king of Aram, and asked if the king would agree to him going to see this Prophet Elisha. The King, who was not interested in losing his most valiant warrior readily agreed and sent Naaman to the king of Israel with a letter and gifts of silver, gold and fine clothing. You know, suits from Armani, Justin original boots, and Stetson hats!

Upon Naaman’s arrival, to Israel, the king freaked out! He tore his kingly robes and said, and I quote, “Am I God, to give death or life,  that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.” I am certain that Naaman’s reputation preceded him and the king was quite possibly concerned that there would be war if he didn’t heal Naaman. Now here is a serious question… Could it be that this young Unnamed Slave Girl had more faith than the king of Israel? I wonder if God would have worked a healing miracle for Naaman through the king of Israel if he just exhibited a little faith in God himself?

When Elisha heard the news of the King of Israel tearing his kingly robes, he rolled his eyes, conducted a facepalm, and said, and I quote, “I ‘aint skared of no mighty warrior with leprosy! Lemme at em! I’ll fix him up!” Actually, scripture shows Elisha as more of a diplomat than that. This is the message that Elisha sent to the king of Israel, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went to Elijah’s house with the silver and gold and fancy clothes for a healin’… all because of the faithfulness of a young unnamed slave girl.

Upon his arrival at Elisha’s house, Elisha sent out his servant. The servant told Naaman, “Elisha told me to tell you, Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” Naaman became angry! He was hoping for something a little more immediate. He was hoping Elisha would come out himself and wave his hand over the spot and cure his leprosy. That didn’t happen. Naaman told his entourage, why the Jordan river? We have better rivers back home! The Bible tells us that Naaman turned around and left in a rage! 

Those in his entourage kept trying to calm Naaman down, “Father,” They said… I find it interesting that his servants called him father. “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So, Naaman went to the Jordan river, dipped seven times, on coming out the seventh time, scripture says, “his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.” All this because of the faithfulness of a strong and courageous, unnamed slave girl. Because of the faithfulness of a strong and courageous unnamed slave girl, Naaman became a new man, both physically and spiritually. Because of the faithfulness of a strong and courageous, unnamed slave girl Naaman encountered the healing and redemptive power of God! Because of the faithfulness of a strong and courageous, unnamed slave girl, I like to think the king of Israel experienced new hope and faith in God.

Journal Prompts: 

1 - Does this story of the slave girl bring out any emotions in you? 

2 - If you could give this slave girl a name, what would it be and why? 

3 - Does the slave Girl's story speak to you in your current situation?

Despite the Trauma and Fear she must have experienced when she was captured, this unnamed slave girl still spoke up. She could have, out of fear, kept her mouth closed. She could have, out of fear said to herself, “Naaman conquered my village, took me from my home, and enslaved me in his home. Why would I help HIM.” Instead, though the power of god, God she was faithful… She spoke up. And even though we do not know her name, God does!

And for the faithfulness of this strong and courageous slave girl, we can say, thanks be to God, Amen!