HAVE you ever known someone who was very sick?— Did you wish you could do something to help him?— What if he was from a different country or of a different religion? Would you still want to help him get well?— A young girl who lived in the land of Israel nearly 3,000 years ago did. Let’s talk about what happened then.
There is often fighting between ancient Israel, where the girl lives, and the nearby country of Syria. (1 Kings 22:1) One day the Syrians come to Israel and capture the little girl. She is taken to Syria, where she becomes the servant of the wife of Naaman, the Syrian army chief. Naaman has a bad disease called leprosy, which can cause some of a person’s flesh to fall off.
The servant girl tells Naaman’s wife how her husband can be healed. She says: ‘If Naaman were in Samaria, Jehovah’s prophet Elisha could make his leprosy go away.’ Well, the way the servant girl talks about Elisha makes Naaman believe that the prophet really might be able to make him well. So with the approval of Ben-hadad, the king of Syria, Naaman and some attendants make the long trip of about a hundred miles [about 150 km] to find Elisha.
First, they go to Jehoram, the king of Israel. They show him King Ben-hadad’s letter that asks for help for Naaman. But Jehoram does not have faith in Jehovah or the prophet Elisha. Jehoram thinks Ben-hadad is trying to pick a fight with him. When Elisha hears about this, he tells King Jehoram: “Let him come, please, to me.” Elisha wants to demonstrate God’s power to heal Naaman of his bad disease.—2 Kings 5:1-8.
When Naaman arrives at Elisha’s house with his horses and chariots, Elisha sends out a messenger to tell him: ‘You must bathe seven times in the Jordan River, and you will be healed.’ Naaman is angry. He expects Elisha to come out and wave his hand over the leprosy to make it go away. Instead, he sees only this messenger! So Naaman turns away in a rage and begins to go back home.—2 Kings 5:9-12.
What would you have done if you were one of Naaman’s servants?— Well, the servants ask him: ‘If it was some hard thing Elisha asked you to do, would you not do it? So why not do this simple thing—just bathe and be clean?’ Naaman listens to them. He goes “down and [begins] to plunge into the Jordan seven times . . . , after which his flesh [comes] back like the flesh of a little boy.”
Naaman returns to Elisha and says: “Here, now, I certainly know that there is no God anywhere in the earth but in Israel.” He promises Elisha that he will never again “render up a burnt offering or a sacrifice to any other gods but to Jehovah.”—2 Kings 5:13-17.
Would you like to help someone to learn about Jehovah and about what he can do, as that little girl did?— When Jesus was on earth, a man who had leprosy believed in him and said: ‘If you really want to help me, you can.’ Do you know what Jesus replied?— “I want to.” And Jesus healed him, just as Jehovah had healed Naaman.—Matthew 8:2, 3.
Do you know about the new world that Jehovah will create in which all people will be healthy and can live forever?— (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:3, 4) Surely, then, you will want to tell others about these wonderful things!