It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Contrasts of Need and Power, a Reflection on 2 Kings 5:1-14

Ironies: Naaman and the slave girl.
Naaman has power and has used it with success. He can defeat armies but he can't do anything about the disease that has afflicted him.

The young girl was captured in one of those wars that Naaman was so good at winning. She is now a slave to his wife. But, she knows how he can be cured.
Other surprising elements in the story.
Although she is being held captive by the enemies of her people, the young girl wants to help Naaman. She tells his wife that the prophet in Samaria can heal him. The commander's wife listens to the young girl.

The wife listens. And she passes on the information to her husband. He tells the king what the young girl has suggested. The king tells him to do as the captive girl has recommended and sends a letter to the foreign king and a generous compensation for the cure.
Another irony: The king of Israel doesn't have any idea who the healer is. The young girl knows more than the king.

However, when Elisha hears about his king's distress about not being able to help Naaman, he steps up. He tells the king to send the man in need to him.

Naaman came with his horses and chariots. But, he didn't get the welcome or advice that he thought his status required. Elisha didn't even bother to meet him personally, but, rather sent a servant out to give his advice. Naaman had not minded getting advice from his wife's servant but resented being met by Elisha's.

Further, he didn't like the prescription. Elisha had told him to go wash in the waters of the Jordan. Naaman didn't see how Israel's waters could be superior to Aram's.

Again, a servant intervened. One of Naaman's servants tells him to get over himself. He does. He becomes well again.

Questions begged by text:
1. Who can you trust?
2. Who are you willing to help?
3. How does your life change after you have been helped?

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