The longer I’m at seminary the more I wonder where all these men of God go once they graduate. The vast majority serve small churches where they do not receive recognition. I thought I’d read 2 Kings 5, a story where the unnamed are important.
Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior, but he was a leper. Now the Arameans had gone out in bands and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus spoke the girl who is from the land of Israel.” (2 Kings 5:1-4, NASB)
There are three people, mostly unnoticed, that this story hinges on. The first two, above, are the wife of Naaman, a Syrian commander, and her Israelite servant. The faith of the servant appears when she mentions to her mistress the ability of the prophet (Elisha) who is in Samaria. The wife, then, must have mentioned to her husband the servant’s faith and her suggestion to visit the prophet in Samaria.
Naaman visits Elisha and is told just to go wash. Naaman gets angry and leaves because of the simple instructions,
Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean. (2 Kings 5:13-14)
Naaman’s servants offer wisdom at this point. They points out that it isn’t a hard thing that Naaman has to do. And if the task Elisha assigned was more difficult then Naaman probably would have gone more quickly to do it. But God heals through faith, not hard work. When Naaman does what Elisha told him, he is healed.
So Naaman’s servants, Naaman’s wife, and Naaman’s wife’s servant all serve God by directing Naaman toward salvation through faith (5:15-19).
May God be with those of us who are servants or wives of great men, may our faith and wisdom glorify God by advising and supporting the great men He has chosen.