Seeking the well-being of your captor

Last updated on December 2, 2021

Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, ‘Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’” (2 Kings 5:2-3)

The book of 2 Kings contains many stories about the prophet Elisha. In chapter 5, we read about a commander of the Syrian army who was a leper. He came to the prophet Elisha and was healed by him. Moreover, he got to know the God of Israel and promised: “From now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the Lord” (2 Kings 5:17). Both Naaman’s body and his soul were cleansed and healed.

But I don’t want to focus on this commander or on the prophet Elisha today. Instead, let’s think a moment about the slave girl who told Naaman’s wife about this opportunity.
This girl was from Israel, but had been taken captive by Syrian soldiers. Far away from her parents, she worked as a house slave. In this position, it would have been natural for her to hate her master. He had ruined her life!

But no, this little girl sought the well-being of her captor. She shared her faith in God’s healing power with her mistress, leading to Naaman’s healing and salvation. This little girl became a blessing despite — or maybe thanks to? — her own miserable situation.

Does this story inspire you to love others, even your enemies?

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