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Elisha and Naaman - part 1

A Jewish slave girl tells Naaman that God can heal him.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish
In the kingdom of Syria was a mighty army commander called Naaman. – Slide 1
He was commander of the King of Syria’s troops. A very powerful man. – Slide 2
But as strong and fearless as Naaman was, he began to notice small blemishes on his skin. It was the first sign that he was developing the dreaded disease of leprosy. It was a disease that had no cure and would spread across his body. Most people with leprosy died of the disease. – Slide 3
Naaman had led an invasion into Israel and taken Jews as captives to become slaves. One of the slaves was a young girl. – Slide 4
‘I’ll take that one to be a servant for my wife,’ Naaman announced, pointing to the young girl. ‘She can do all the jobs in my house my wife orders her do.’ The Bible does not tell us the young girl’s name. – Slide 5
One day, as the young servant girl was looking after Naaman’s wife, she saw how sad she was because her husband was dying of leprosy. ‘If only Naaman would seek the help of the One True God,’ she said. ‘He has the power to heal him of his leprosy.’ – Slide 6
The words of the servant girl gave Naaman’s wife hope. Was there really a cure for her husband’s disease? She sent a servant to the King of Syria to tell him what the little Jewish girl had said. – Slide 7
The King of Syria also knew it was the only hope to save his trusted army commander. – Slide 8
So he wrote a letter to the King of Israel. Along with the letter he sent gifts of gold, silver and fine clothes. – Slide 9
When the king of Israel read the letter he became scared. He did not trust in God. ‘Oh no,’ he panicked. ‘The King of Syria knows I can’t cure leprosy and wants to pick a quarrel with me.’ – Slide 10
News of what had happened reached Elisha and he sent a message to the King of Israel. ‘Tell Naaman to come to me,’ Elisha wrote. ‘You might have turned your back on the One True God but I haven’t.’ – Slide 11
When Naaman heard about Elisha he dressed in his finest uniform, got into his chariot and rode off with his troops to Elisha’s house. – Slide 12
When he arrived outside the house, he waited for Elisha to come out and greet him. ‘How dare he!’ thought Naaman. ‘Doesn’t he know who I am? Nobody keeps me waiting!’ – Slide 13
Eventually the door opened. It was not Elisha but his servant Gehazi who came out to speak to Naaman. ‘Elisha says, “Go wash seven times in the River Jordan and you will be made clean.”’ – Slide 14
‘What!?’ cried Naaman. ‘That’s crazy! Nobody is cured from leprosy by washing in water!’ – Slide 15
Naaman became more and more angry. He had expected Elisha would come out and do something to heal him right then and there. ‘I don’t want to be told to wash in a dirty river in Israel,’ he fumed. ‘I’d prefer wash in one of the rivers in Syria – they have cleaner water!’ – Slide 16
Naaman turned his chariot around and started heading back to Syria. He felt humiliated and was in a steaming rage. And he had no intention of doing what Elisha the prophet of God had told him to do. – Slide 17
To find out what happened next, read part 2 of the story (available at www.freebibleimages.org). – Slide 18
Slide 19