The Servant Girl

A Powerful Witness

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

Her story is told in three verses, yet the legacy of her faith has endured for almost 3,000 years. She was simply a “young girl” taken captive by the Aramean army. Given to the army commander, Naaman, as a prize of war, the enslaved Israelite girl served his wife (2 Kings 5:2-4).

The Hebrew word translated “girl” in verse 2 refers to any female from infancy to adolescence, but the adjective young indicates she hadn’t reached puberty. How devastated she must have felt—snatched from her family and homeland, thennaaman_11 thrust into a foreign environment and servitude. The Bible doesn’t say whether Naaman and his wife were kind or cruel to her. But her concern for them suggests that the relationship between the girl and her captors was amicable. And the fact that they listened to her advice testifies to her reliable, gracious spirit.

This young girl illustrates a true servant’s heart. She glorified God by serving Naaman and his wife in a way that pleased God. As Colossians 3:22 says, she served “with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.” She also offered the best possible solution to Naaman’s illness: “If only my master would see the prophet [Elisha] who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy” (2 Kings 5:3).

Consider the ultimate result of her faithful service and witness: After Naaman’s leprosy had been cured, he said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel” (2 Kings 5:15).

Are you being held captive by your circumstances—an unkind boss, an unpleasant neighbor, or an unloving family member? What does God want you to do? Exactly what this young girl did. She consistently served to the best of her ability, she cared about the well-being of her captors, and she pointed them toward the true God.

Can we do any less than she did? Regardless of our circumstances, we are called to “serve wholeheartedly” those who have authority over us and point them to Jesus (see Ephesians 6:7; 1 Peter 2:12). What a privilege it would be to influence someone else’s life as significantly as this young girl influenced Naaman’s.

DIG DEEPER:

Read 2 Kings 5:1-14. In what ways do Naaman’s other servants demonstrate true servanthood? What information given about Naaman in the passage indicates why his servants were so concerned about his welfare?

Read 2 Kings 5:15-27. How does Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, prove that he is an unworthy servant, both of God and of Elisha?

Read Luke 17:7-10. What does this parable teach us about our attitude toward the work God has assigned to us?

For related devotions on work that pleases God, see Colossians 3:15-25 and Labor Day.

Denise K. Loock

Note: This devotion is part of a series, Unnamed Heroes.

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