Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Forty Six

March 26, 2020
Dear friends, 

This week I received the March/April 2020 edition of the “Israel My Glory” magazine published by The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc. I have enjoyed reading their magazines for many years and found some especially encouraging articles in this edition, including one entitled “Portrait of Grace” by Cecelia Weer. She writes about a girl, whose name is not mentioned, in a story found in 2 Kings 5. In his Study Bible, Dr. David Jeremiah writes the following in his introduction of 2 Kings: “Anyone wishing to indulge in hours of true drama that makes fiction seem tame should begin with 1 Samuel and read straight through to the end of 2 Kings. Those four books narrate the rise and fall of the monarchy in Israel – from its establishment under the prophet Samuel to its demise with the deportation of the last two tribes into captivity. It is a sad, often violent, story made bearable only by the unconditional promise of God to King David that his throne would never lack for one of his descendants (Acts 2:29,30). That final seed of David will one day sit upon that throne – the Son of David, Jesus of Nazareth (Matt. 1:1; 12:23; 21:15; 22:42).”

We are not given any information about the family of the “little girl” (in the New American Standard translation of the Bible) or “young girl” (in the New King James version), except that she was taken from her native country (Israel) to be a servant in a foreign land (Syria). In one day, her life changed drastically … a lot like what has happened to people around the world in recent months.

Cecelia Weer writes: “Though she was in bondage, the child’s heart surged with compassion for Naaman. In a cry of urgency, she told her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet (Elisha) who is in Samaria! For he would cure him of his leprosy’ (2 Kings 5:3). These are her only recorded words. And we’ll never know her name. Yet she sparked a wonderful testimony of the grace, mercy, and sovereignty of God … This amazing little girl illustrates the beauty of grace, which is kindness undeserved and unearned. If anyone had a good reason to hate, she did. Naaman’s vicious raid snatched her from her home and from everyone she knew and loved. She may even have witnessed the murder of her parents.”

Dr. David Jeremiah writes: “The author attributes Naaman’s greatness and success to God’s sovereignty. Naaman was a military leader of one of the region’s most powerful nations, Syria; he was a man of position, prestige, power and wealth; an admired hero, but also a leper. Leprosy (generic for many skin diseases) was feared because of social rejection as well as the physical suffering it caused (Luke 4:27).” The latter reference reveals that there were many lepers in Israel at the time that Naaman was healed, but only he received God’s miracle.

On Tuesday, I phoned a neighbour to ask how her mother is, after breaking her leg. Barbara (pseudonym) is in a hospital where there are several patients with COVID-19 and is hoping to be released soon. Please pray for her recovery.

Scripture for the weekend: “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.” Proverbs 25:11 (NASB)

Thought for the weekend: “To put things in perspective for those of us feeling a bit stir crazy already – Anne Frank and 7 other people hid in a 450 sq. ft. attic for 761 days, quietly trying to remain undiscovered to stay alive. We can all do our part to keep everyone safe and spend a few weeks at home.”


By His grace,