Questions for September 21 Bible Study: 2 Kings 5
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Bible Study, September 21, 2017
2 Kings 5
Chapter 5 is an amazing story of humility, grace, and healing. The story begins with Naaman who was a big deal in his job for the king of Syria, but he was a leper. His servant girl spoke of a prophet who could heal him and Naaman dropped everything and went to see the prophet with a lot of cash and a letter of commendation from the king of Syria to the king of Israel. The King of Israel exclaimed that he had no power to heal and is worried that this is just a ploy to start a war. Elisha heard how upset the king was and sent a letter to the King of Israel in order to tell him to send Naaman his way. Naaman went to Elisha with all of his gifts. Elisha sent a messenger outside to tell Naaman to wash in the Jordan river seven times. Naaman felt slighted and became very angry. His servants talk him down and into the Jordan in whose waters he was cleansed. Naaman tries to give the money. Naaman then asks for a gift of soil from Israel to take home. Elisha made a counteroffer Naaman to simply leave in peace. Elisha’s servant got sneaky and decided that he should be able to get the gift that Elisha turned down. He went to Naaman claiming that Elisha had changed his mind about the gift. He took silver from Naaman.
When he returned, Elisha cursed him and the servant was stricken with the leprosy of which Naaman had been healed.
- The last time we saw the Arameans, it was when the King of Israel slaughtered them in battle (1 Kings 20-22). This time we see a key commander of the King of Syria (Aram) being healed by Elisha (5). What do you think this means for the relationship between Israel/Judah and Syria?
- Have you ever offered hospitality to someone you considered an enemy?
- Naaman listened to an Israelite slave girl (5:2-5). What have you noticed about the way women have been treated in the story of 1 & 2 Kings so far? Is this different or more of the same?
- Naaman came to Elisha as if he was a strong and important man, but Elisha treated him as unimportant (5:10). What do you think Elisha was trying to accomplish by treating him this way?
- Why do you think the servant received leprosy? Was it fair? Does it sound like what you know about God?