Naaman, a Syrian,
Becomes a Believer in Jehovah
( This story is an adaptation taken from The Holy Bible, written by Melineze Logan Hite. )
A long time ago in Syria there lived a great and mighty man of valour. He was the captain of the King of Syria's army. He had everything that he could possibly want in life: a fine wife, fine family and friends, power, money, a great reputation, and prestige.
However, there was something he lacked: good health. You see Naaman had leprosy which is a horrible disease that causes one's flesh to turn white and many times to become deformed. One would usually be a social outcast, be pitied, and then die.
Naaman was the leper's name. Some time ago he and his men had fought with the people of Israel, and Naaman had brought back a young girl who became his wife's servant.
The girl said to her mistress, "Would God, my lord, were with the prophet that is in Samaria for he would recover him of his leprosy!"
In Israel there lived a man of God whose name was Elisha, a student of Elijah, (one of the greatest prophets in all of Israel, who slew 450 of Baal's prophets ). Elijah, before he went to Heaven in a whirlwind in a chariot with horses of fire, gave his student a double portion of his spirit or anointing.
"Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee." Elisha saw, and he did get this mighty anointing of God.
Haaman, beieving that this prophet of God could heal him, asked the King of Syria if he could depart on this quest.
" Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the King of Israel."
Naaman departed, and he took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of garments. He presented this letter to the King of Israel, hoping that the man of God could recover him of his leprosy.
However, the King of Israel, upon reading the letter, said, "Am I, God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to
recover a man of his leprosy? Wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me." He then rents his clothing.
Elisha heard of the news in the palace. So he sent a message to the King of Israel saying, "Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."
So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
Elisha did not come out to greet Haaman. Haaman was very insulted and angry.
However, a servant came outside to tell Haaman of the words of the prophet. "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean."
Haaman went away in a rage. "Behold, I thought, he would surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord, his God, and strike his hand over the leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, which are rivers in the city of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Why can't I wash in one of them and be clean?"
Naman's servants came near him and spoke encouraging and comforting words. " Master, if the prophet had bid thee to do something difficult, wouldn't thou have gladly done it? This request is a simple one to go to the muddy Jordan River, wash seven times, and be clean."
So, Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times according to the man of God,and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child. He was clean!
Naman and all of his company returned to the man of God. Naaman stood before Elisha and said, "Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel. I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant."
" As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none." Naaman urged him to take it; Elisha refused.
"Thy servant shall henceforth never offer burnt offerings or sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord of Israel." Naaman believed.
Haaman asks the Lord to pardon him when he has to go with his master, who worships idols in the temple in Syria.
Elisha bids him, " Go in peace." Haman and his company ride away.
However, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, said to himself, " Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him and take somewhat of him."
Naaman jumps from his chariot when he sees the servant running after him. "Is all well?"
Gehazi admits, " All is well." However, he lies and tells Naaman that the prophet sent him saying that two young men, sons of the prophets from Mount Ephraim, will be coming, and they will need "a talent of silver, and two changes of garments."
"Be content, take two talents of silver."
Naamn orders two of his servants to bare for Gehazi two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments.
Gehazi soon takes the blessings from the two servants and allows them to depart.
When he went into the house, he stood before Elisha. " Whence comest thou, Gehazi?"
"Thy servant went nowhere."
"Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee?" Elisha knew of the evil of his servant. Elisha adds, "Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave unto thee and unto thy seed for ever."
Instantly, Gehazi's skin became as white as snow.
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