I recently read a story about a young girl who was taken from her home and all that she had known. She was placed into unfamiliar surroundings and made a servant in a foreign land. She cared for strangers and made to take on harsh work. She could have fallen victim to despair, but instead she did something amazing.
2 Kings 5:2-3 NIV
Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
She hoped for a better life for those she served, she probably prayed for healing, and she didn’t grumble about her treatment. This child hoped for salvation.
I see humility and wonder if we would grab on to the same character trait if we were in such circumstances. Would we have prayers for our captures? Would we hope for a better life for those who may be oppressing us? Could we find a place in our hearts for those we wait on hand and foot?
We need to find the hope in this young girl’s humility when we look further into the Lord’s faithfulness. She did not pray in vain, but reached for the Lord in hope and He remained faithful to this child. He wants us to be small, meek, and child-like as we approach Him. The lesson here goes something like this:
Luke 4:27 NIV
And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
The Lord was faithful to this child who held out in hope for the Lord’s healing. Her act of selfless prayer allowed for God to demonstrate His faithfulness.
We see this in another story that we may be a bit more familiar with. In Acts 8: 23-40, Philip was on his way to Samaria after the church was starting to be persecuted throughout Jerusalem. As he was speaking the gospel in Samaria, God approached Philip by sending an angel, giving him new direction.
God sent Philip to the desert of Gaza. There he had a mission that would be life changing to a stranger in the land. An eunuch from Ethiopia was just turned away in Jerusalem. He went there to worship the Lord and they felt that there was no place for a man such as he to be worshipping among other believers. He was on his way back home when Philip arrived.
The Ethiopian was reading from he book of Isaiah and did not understand. Although he believed in God, he had not learned of the gospel message.
Acts 8:32-33 NIV This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
He didn’t know who Isaiah spoke of and Philip was happy to share with him the good news. The good news led the Ethiopian to stop at some water along the way and be baptized by Philip. The Ethiopian went home, rejoicing.
The thing we miss in this scripture is the promise that God had made in the book of Isaiah is a promise fulfilled in the book of Acts. It was a promise made to those who so many people tossed to the side, thought to be hopeless and of no use to the Lord’s kingdom. This is a passage that, once again, promises God’s faithfulness that we see fulfilled years later in the New Testament.
Isaiah 56: 4-5 NIV For this is what the Lord says:
“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant—
to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever.
And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord.”
Faithfulness. It spans lifetimes and keeps its promises. Faithfulness doesn’t fail when it comes from the Lord. He doesn’t waver in his promises and he remains steadfast.
When you are struggling in oppression, in lack of understanding, in hopeless situations, or maybe just in life’s frustrations, we need to make sure we really grab on to the fact that God doesn’t fail us. Even in desperation, we need to remember that his timing is always perfect and remains true.
He is faithful.