Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
Take note of the little girl in verses 2 and 3. She had been captured in a raid, taken to a foreign country and made a slave. Yet instead of bitterness, she showed compassion toward her master. God used this girl’s tragedy to heal and convert her enemy.
1. When’s the last time you picked up the entire tab at a restaurant or ball game (other than for your family)? Do you usually pay, let someone else, or do you mostly go ‘dutch’ (and split the bill)?
2. Since Israel and Aram are officially at peace, why is a little captive girl the instigator of this story? What does she tell you about the survival of true faith in Israel?
3. How would you describe Naaman before he was healed?
- easily offended
4. Why would a pagan king agree to have his top soldier travel to the heart of Israel for an unlikely cure (verses 4 – 6)?
5. Why does Naaman take so much money with him? Why does he take a letter to Joram, king of Israel?
6. On the surface, who shows greater faith – the pagan king of Aram in sending Naaman, or the king of Israel in receiving him (verse 7)?
7. Do you see Elisha chiding the king in verse 8 (compare chapter 3:13, 14)?
8. What is significant about the contrast between Naaman’s grand arrival and Elisha’s quiet, even cool, reception (verses 9 and 10)?
9. What do you make of Elisha’s attitude toward Naaman?
- Naaman’s arrival with horses and chariots turned him off
- He was too busy to see Naaman
- He made it clear the Lord would be the healer
- He made it clear Naaman’s healing would require faith on his part
- Since Elisha didn’t do the healing, he wouldn’t take any reward from Naaman
10. Why does Naaman become angry (verses 11 and 12)?
- So that his soldiers won’t think he is naive
- Because Elisha’s reception was so cool
- Because the healing would require his cooperation
- He wanted a big spectacle
11. Why are Naaman’s servants persuasive in urging him to lighten up and get into the Jordan River (verse 13)? What happens to Naaman that he didn’t expect and couldn’t foresee?
12. How would you describe Naaman after he was healed?
13. Why doesn’t Elisha accept any gift of gratitude? Why does Naaman want the dirt (verses 17 and 18)? Does Elisha tolerate this outward show of idolatry?
14. What did Gehazi think?
- “Elisha was a fool.”
- “Naaman got off too easy.”
- “It’s a shame to let Naaman go home with everything he brought.”
- “If Elisha doesn’t want anything, I might as well get something.”
- “Elisha deserves to be paid.”
- “I deserve to be paid.”
15. What was Gehazi’s root problem (verses 20 – 26)? How is it manifested?
16. What’s the symbolism in Gehazi being stricken with leprosy? How is it that Naaman (the pagan warlord) enters the “Faith Hall of Fame” while Gehazi (companion of saints) hits the street with a perpetual case of leprosy (see Luke 4: 27)? What’s the message for all of us?
17. What caused Gehazi’s leprosy?
- getting caught
- it was contagious
18. What did it take to convince you, like Naaman, that there is no God in the world except the Lord?
19. Naaman resisted Elisha’s message. Are you resisting anything God would like you to do? If so, why?
20. Are there ways you try to “buy” God’s blessings or favor, such as by giving your money or your time?
21. How do you feel about a fellow “brother in Christ” holding you accountable the way Elisha did Gehazi?
- That would be great!
- Yeah, great . . . just so he can’t see me all the time like Elisha could!
- I don’t want someone looking over my shoulder.
- It’s scary, but it’s also what I need.
22. Is total honesty always the best policy? Explain.