Lesson 7

Children Showcased

(2 Kings 5 & 22)
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Introduction: Our lesson this week is about children. Jesus tells us in Matthew 19:14 that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those like the little children brought to Him. The "teacher's comments" section of our lesson opines "children are generally filled with trust and honesty." Yet Proverbs 22:15 tells us "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." What can we learn from the children of the Bible, if anything? Let's jump in and find out!

  1. Servant Girl


    1. Read 2 Kings 5:1-2. Let's list what we learn about Naaman? (The King thought he was great! He was the commander of the army, he was a winner, and he was respected. He had, however, this terrible health problem in his life.)


      1. Let's list what we know about this young girl? (She was an Israelite, she had been taken from her parents when she was very young. (Perhaps they had been killed?) She was now a slave serving Naaman's wife.)


        1. How would you like to be the young girl?


        2. What would your feelings be towards Naaman - since he was the ultimate commander of the troops that took you from your parents?


      2. What is going on here with the Lord here? Verse 1 tells us that God gave victory to Naaman's King - and the only battle (raids) specifically mentioned is against the citizens of Israel. Is God blessing Naaman to defeat Israel and take its children captive? (Unger's Bible Dictionary tells us the Aramaean kingdom "was the inveterate foe of the Northern Kingdom [Israel] for more than a century and a half." God is in control even when His people are defeated.)


    2. Read 2 Kings 5:3-4. What kind of attitude does this young girl have towards her captors?


      1. Read Jeremiah 29:7. Is the young girl following this advice?


        1. What does this teach employees in their everyday work, if anything?


      2. Read Psalms 8:2. Was this young girl fulfilling this special role for children?


        1. In what way could she witness to Namaan and his wife that an Israelite adult could not witness? (She was not threatening. She was praising the power of the prophet Elisha (and thus the power of the true God). She was therefore able, as Psalms 8:2 predicts, to be able to "silence the foe and the avenger.")


        2. When Jesus says in Matthew 19:14 that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those like the little children, do you think He was speaking in part of a childlike ability to witness without being threatening?


    3. Let's go back again to 2 Kings 5:4. Does the young girl convince Naaman?


      1. Why? (He is no doubt desperate.)


      2. How high does the witness of this young girl go? (To the King!)


      3. As you consider this chain of events. Where did it start? (With the godly parents who taught this child about the Lord and His prophet. They may be dead now. They certainly were out of the young girl's daily life, but their influence lived on through her.)


        1. How important is it to teach our children about God at an early age? (What an opportunity we have as a parent to make a difference beyond the span of our life!


  2. The Visit


    1. Read 2 Kings 5:5-6. Let's get the picture right. Here comes the commander of the army of the enemy. The one who has defeated you in battle and taken your people captive. He comes with a letter asking you to cure him of leprosy. How do you react if you are the King of Israel?


    2. Read 2 Kings 5:7. How did the King of Israel react?


      1. Who has the better relationship with God, the King or the young girl?


        1. Does this suggest a reason why Israel is getting beaten in battles by Aram?


        2. What does this teach us about good people suffering? (This young girl was a good person, but was apparently suffering because of the evil of this King.)


    3. Read 2 Kings 5:8-9. Have you ever been like the King of Israel - that you are reminded to turn to God only after you have exhausted what you can personally do to get out of trouble?


  3. The Cure


    1. Read 2 Kings 5:10-12. Why is Naaman angry? (1. He is an important man, yet Elisha did not even come out to meet him! 2. He was expecting a fancy or fantastic healing ceremony. Instead, he just got told to go wash up in dirtier water than he had back at home. This didn't sound very "scientific" to him!)


      1. Why do you think Elisha treated Naaman this way? Verse 9 tells us that Naaman and his entourage "stopped at the door of Elisha's house." He was right there! He was the one Naaman had come to see - yet he did not come out!


        1. Was Naaman offended by this?


        2. Would you be offended?


      2. What does this show about Naaman's character? (Verse 11 shows that He had a proud heart. He expected respect and he was willing to rely on his own thinking rather than some message through a stranger that was unwilling to even come to his front door.)


        1. Who would be the best witness to someone like Naaman? (A child would be able to disarm his pride where an adult might not be able to break through his arrogance.)


    2. Read 2 Kings 5:13-14. What else do we learn about Naaman's personality? (He is proud and arrogant, but he is willing to listen to counsel and he is not stupid.)


      1. Does Elisha's message to Naaman sound like the way to salvation? (Yes! Put aside your pride and "scientific logic," put aside your great works, and depend on simple obedience for healing.)


        1. What if Naaman had dipped 6 times, would he have been healed? (Another salvation lesson. If God tells you to do something, obey. If God tells you to rest on the Sabbath, you do it. You do not spiritualize it, substitute it or circumvent it.)


    3. Read 2 Kings 5:15. Has Naaman's attitude changed?


      1. Notice that he has now met Elisha. How did that happen? (It is not completely clear, but we have some good clues. Verse 9 makes it appear that Naaman stayed in his chariot and Elisha stayed in his house. Now we read that Naaman "stood" before Elisha, thus making it appear that he got out of his chariot and went to Elisha!)


      2. Verse 14 tells us that Naaman's flesh became that "of a young boy." Anything else become like a child? (Putting away the baggage of age and pride, simply following God's direction, shows a "child-like" dependence.)


    4. Friend, do you have the "new Naaman" attitude in your life?


  4. Josiah


    1. Read 2 Kings 22:1-5. How well would you predict a king of this age would do in leading a nation?


      1. How old is he when he decides to repair the temple? (26 years old.)


    2. Read 2 Kings 22:8, 10-11. What has the temple renovation unearthed? (God's word - the book of the law.)


      1. Why do you think Josiah reacted that way? Why did he tear his robes? (Read 2 Kings 22:13. Not only was idol worship widespread in Judah, but God's instructions were so disregarded that they had become lost (or hidden)!)


    3. Read 2 Kings 22:18-20. Why does God spare Josiah, but not his people, when God did not spare the young servant girl in the Naaman story from captivity? (I think the lesson is that obeying God is an obligation that does not always end up in earthly riches for us. However, my estimate is that the servant girl in Naaman's house was a favorite after he was healed. We know that Josiah led a life that was pleasing to God and his kingdom was protected until his death. An attitude of obedience is what God wants for us.)


    4. Chapter 23 of 2 Kings reveals how Josiah "cleaned house" of all the idols. Do you think his age had anything to do with his willingness to follow God when his kingly ancestors were not willing?


    5. Friend, God is looking for the child-like attitude of trust, dependence and obedience towards His will. Will you ask Him for those traits in your life?


  5. Next Week: The Personal Factor

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