Monday, 27 May 2013

Matriarchs on a Monday {just a little maid}

I find this little girl a true inspiration.

A little girl, snatched from her family, and taken away to become a maid in a household far, far away.

Just a little girl, but one who loved the Lord enough to speak up for Him, RIGHT WHERE SHE WAS.

An account that challenges us to being salt and light, in the little corner where God has placed us.

Just to set the scene, we are in the home of a very important military leader - Naaman.  He was a man of high standing - well respected, and good at his job. He was a Syrian.  Not an Israelite.  Yet, we read that God had prospered him.   He probably had no idea that it was GOD who had given him victory, but in His sovereignty, He had.

"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..."
II Kings 5:1

The words that then follow are what I call "a big but".  You know those "buts"?  When someone tells you something great about someone or something, but then they say "but"....and something not so good comes next?

"but he was a leper"

That terrible disease that brought devastation to the person, and to the family, of one who had it.  Ostracised, separated from society, cast away to a life of loneliness, with only the company of other lepers to cheer your day. 

In the midst of this tragic discovery, however, this faithful little girl - personal maid to Naaman's wife - spoke up of the power of God, that could be found through the prophet Elisha, to her mistress.   

I am quite sure, that a little girl, who was a captive from a foreign land, was probably not of very high standing or sought out for wise counsel by her master and mistress.  The confidence that she had in God, however, was so strong, that she spoke up for the sake of hope for her master. 

Having been snatched away from her home, and those she loved so much, she could easily have been bitter and said not a single word about a potential source of healing for Naaman.  Such was her faith and love, that she could do nothing but speak up. 

We know how the account continues - The King of Syria going to the wrong source, being sent to Elisha instead, of Naaman being told he must visit in person, and of his pride and eventual resignation to doing as he was instructed - then, the complete healing that followed.  In itself, this amazing story has so much to teach us, but that's not what is speaking to my heart today.

My thoughts are two-fold.

Firstly, how could this little girl have such confidence in speaking forth like this?

There can only be one answer.  Her parents had brought her up in the fear and knowledge of the Lord.  They had demonstrated to her, by a life of faith and devotion to God, that He alone is the answer to our problems and dilemmas.  They had most likely seen God at work in many ways through their own lives - living through the times of Elijah and Elisha, and learning of God's power and ability to heal.  Perhaps they had even heard of the healing of the Shunamite boy? All that they had learnt, they must have taught to their little girl, in such a clear way that she had it in her heart, as a living faith.  A living faith that she wanted to share with Naaman. 

I read of this little girl, and wonder how my children would fare in a similar situation.  Would the faith that I have demonstrated and shared in my own life, influence my children enough to have them share it with others when they were away from home?  Have I taught them from scriptures faithfully enough for them to have a knowledge of God's power and goodness - His ability to do great things for those who put their faith and trust in Him alone?  Am I being a faithful teacher?  Sharing the truths of God's Word to my children EVERY day - not only through the scriptures, but through my life, and how I live?

The second thing that challenged me, was to do with my own life and witness.  Do I willingly share the gospel, as this little girl did?  She shared that only God can cleanse, and that is the same message we should be sharing.  Leprosy, as I am sure you already know, is a Biblical picture of sin.  It's grip and power over a person - the inability to make yourself better - how it spreads so easily - how it separates us from those who are not unclean.  If we equate leprosy with those who are sinners, needing salvation, then we need to tell them that THEY can be "cured" from their "disease".  We have the cure to their disease, and yet do we share it as much as we should?  If we had the cure to cancer, we would be shouting from the rooftops and sharing it with all those who needed it.

We HAVE the cure to sin - we have the Holy Spirit in our lives because we have already been cleansed from sin.  We need to tell others that they, too, can be saved from sin and its consequences.  Think of all those that we know who are living in sin, and if they died today they would be eternally lost!

I'm not saying we should all be standing on the street corner, preaching to all who walk by.  Like the little maid, sharing our faith should simply be part of our life.  A natural thing to do.  A living faith, that is evidenced by how we live, to those around us.  Like the maiden, we need to start RIGHT where we are.  We are not all called to be missionaries, or to be the wife of a Pastor, or a Sunday school teacher.  But, we all have people right in our little "corner", that we need to share the gospel with.

Our children.

Our wider family.

Our friends.

Our neighbours.

Do some of these people even KNOW that we are saved?  I would hope our family do, but do we diligently teach them about their need of salvation?

What about our wider family and friends.  Do we live a life that demonstrates the saving faith in our lives?  Are we a good witness and testimony in an everyday sense?

Do our neighbours see us faithfully going to the Lord's house, week by week?  Do we take every opportunity that God gives us to speak of God and His goodness in our lives?

Oh, how my own heart is pricked!  How often I do NOT take the opportunities that come my way.

So few words are even mentioned about this little girl, and yet so deeply my heart has been challenged - as God's child, and as a mother.

Faithfulness.  That's the lesson I need to learn from this young girl.  Faithfulness in sharing the gospel - faithfulness in raising my children for the Lord.

May God grant us the boldness in our lives to share His goodness with those He has placed us among.

1 comment :

  1. What a beautiful devotion! I had never even considered that little girl! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They are very good.
    Hope your day is wonderful!