Everyone gets sick at some point in his or her lifetime … often many times! Illness is probably no stranger to your kids. This week, kids will learn about a commander for the Syrian army—he was really sick. He had leprosy, a skin disease that was likely disfiguring and isolating. Without a cure, Naaman would face great suffering. But help came from an unlikely source: a young slave girl.
The people of Israel and Syria were often at odds with one another. The Syrians sometimes attacked the cities in Israel and plundered them. They took what they wanted, including people to work as slaves.
The young slave girl who served Naaman’s wife had been taken from her home in Israel.
As an Israelite, the girl knew about the one true God. She was familiar with God’s prophets, including Elisha, who had performed miracles to help and heal people. The girl told her mistress that Elisha the prophet could heal Naaman. So the king of Syria sent a letter to the king of Israel, asking him to cure Naaman of his leprosy. But the king of Israel had no power to heal Naaman. The power to heal comes only from God.
Elisha called for Naaman. But what happened next was not at all what Naaman expected. Naaman expected Elisha to call upon the name of God, wave his hand over Naaman, and miraculously heal him. Instead, Elisha instructed Naaman to go wash in the river.
Naaman was upset! He could have washed in a river back home! But Naaman’s servants urged him to wash. He did, and God healed him.
Naaman was sick. He had a problem with his skin. When Naaman washed in the river, his skin got better. It was a miracle! We are all sick with a sin problem—but when we trust in Jesus, He heals us. It’s a miracle! God forgives us and gives us new life.
Help your kids understand that not all sick people will be healed on this side of heaven, but our physical maladies are symptoms of an even greater illness–sin. Life is not how it was designed to be, but God plans to make it good! Jesus’ death and resurrection provided healing—forgiveness and eternal life—for those who trust in Him. As you talk, reinforce these truths:
- There is one true God.
- The servant girl teaches us to always want the best for others–even people who treat us poorly.
- God healed Naaman.
- Naaman learned that obeying God is always best.
- There is no one like God.
- How many gods are there? There is one true God.