Our kids at church have been slowly traveling through the accounts of the Old Testament judges, kings, and prophets. A major theme of our conversations throughout our study has been trusting God’s plans and living in obedience to the one true King. This week in class we discussed the fact that sometimes God’s plan doesn’t seem to line up with our own or seems to bring more hardship than we’d like to endure. Sometimes His plan seems messy and confusing. But really we are looking through the lens of our own hearts not His. God’s plan is always best even when it means traveling a difficult road, showing mercy to people we’d rather despise, and walking in a posture of faith and obedience. This particular passage presents a character who is the epitome of this type of faith–the young girl who continues in faith and obedience even in exile. She points her leprous master, Naaman, to Israel and the prophet of God who could heal him. I’ll let you read the account for yourself to glean all the exciting details of Naaman’s journey, but ultimately, this girl’s willingness to point to the one true God, led not only to Naaman’s physical healing but also his spiritual conversion. God had called the Israelites to be set apart and to live in faith…even when their earthly kings were making the tragic choice to worship false gods and bring chaos on their nation…this girl did exactly that. She lived in a way that brought glory to God.
Now in contrast, we also are given a sneak peek into the heart of Gehazi, Elisha’s servant. Unlike the young girl in exile, his heart was askew and given to pursuing his own desires. He saw an opportunity to reap some material benefits for himself from Elisha’s healing of Naaman. His own lust and selfishness sent him down a path of sinning against God, lying to Elisha, and ultimately paying the price for his sin by receiving the infliction of leprosy. I’m only guessing, but based on my own experience, Gehazi probably started down that path justifying his actions and thinking that they were of no harm to anyone. What he failed to understand was that God desires full and true obedience. When he made this sinful choice he was showing a lack of trust and faith in God’s plan and a greedy heart that desired more than God had provided.
I’ll leave you with a few questions that our kids have been learning and pondering that apply to our passage today. How can we glorify God? Is anyone or anything greater than God? How is Jesus the perfect King? I encourage you to take stock of this account, these questions, and your own life and motives. Remember that as children of God we are called to be set apart and pointing to Him with our every word, thought, and deed…not for our own gain and glory, but with a heart that truly desires to follow Him. And…if you have a kid that comes to Sunday School weekly, try asking them one of these questions and see what they say.