Naaman was a big man in Aram -- HUGE! According to 2 Kings 5, he was a valiant warrior, a highly successful captain in the army, and had earned the respect of his king. He was this way, we're told, because God had blessed him. Imagine that -- a pagan was used by God to defeat (chasten) His own people!

But he also had leprosy. Turns out that was in order to bring him to God. Truly, God turns the hearts of powerful people in His hands (Proverbs 21:1).

Whom did God use to influence this great man? A little Israeli servant girl. What do we know about her?

• She was one of the few remaining faithful people in the land. We know that because she had knowledge of the prophet Elisha's abilities. This was rare, as we shall see.

• She had great faith in the power of God.

• She also knew the compassion of God, because she extended it to her mistress and master by not withholding good news from them.

These were her enemies. They were pagans -- not only did not believe in the true God but followed an idol. They were enemies of God and His people, and they were her captors. We can't assume she did good to them because they were good to her, although that may have been the case. 

Still, she had been taken from her home and they had not allowed her to return. She'd probably seen members of her family killed, or also taken captive. She probably had no hope of ever returning to Israel. But like Joseph, she maintained her faith in God and adherence to His ways.

And she saw her captors as human beings, no different from her. They were people in need of help from God -- help only He could give -- and she boldly acted for their good.

Her behavior stands in stark contrast to that of Israel's king, who seemed to forget that God and His prophet existed. Confronted by Naaman's need, he only thought of himself. He had no relationship with God, no faith, and no prayer life. Until Elisha inserted himself in the situation, he wallowed in despair.

There are, of course, many parallels in this account to our own situation. Let us, on this International Women's Day, celebrate the bravery and faith of a little girl who's actions perfectly reflected God's own heart for the lost. It would be centuries later that Jesus would say, "Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you." In her we have an ideal example.

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