Esteemed and Still Needy
Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great
man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD
had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour,
but he was a leper.
2 Kings 5:1
Read 2 Kings 5:1-3
Hardly a day goes by that we do not read an article in the newspaper about
Israel’s relationship to her Arab neighbours. Nations and movements in the
Middle East are out to oppress Israel and would like to see her wiped off
the map. This is not something that has just come to pass recently. This
has been true throughout the centuries, also during the time of the prophet
Elisha; during that time, Syria was engaged in fighting with Israel.
However, in our Scripture reading we see that a top army general, with a
delegation from Damascus, went to Israel for help. That would certainly
make the headlines of every newspaper if that happened today. The army
general’s name was Naaman. His name means of fair countenance or the
notable one. His achievements on behalf of his nation suited his name, and
as a result he had an important position in Syria. He had achieved the high
rank of a general in the army because of all his successes in battle. If we
could see him in uniform today we would be very impressed by how much
he was decorated. He was a highly esteemed figurehead among his nation
and a preferred soldier by King Benhadad. Yet of this high ranking officer it
is written: He was a leper.
Thought: Why do you think Israel is still being held with contempt and hatred
Psalter 136: 1,4 (based on Psalm 149)
Dust to dust the mortal dies, Both the foolish and the wise;
None forever can remain, Each must leave his hoarded gain.
Yet within their heart they say That their houses are for aye,
That their dwelling places grand Shall for generations stand.
Though in life he wealth attained, Tho’ the praise of man he gained,
He shall join those gone before, Where the light shall shine no more.
Crowned with honor tho’ he be, Highly gifted, strong and free,
If he be not truly wise, Man is like the beast that dies.