The Twisted Sovereignty of God Part 1 of 3 (Reading 2 Kings 5)

The story of 1 and 2 Kings is about the slow erosion of Israel’s sovereignty. She has been unfaithful. Soon she will be captured. As the borders begin to collapse there is a recurring theme of God giving victory to Israel’s enemies. God is sovereign over Israel losing its sovereignty.

Humans are harsh and unforgiving. One particularly nasty human is Naaman, the commander of the armies of Syria. War is never a beautiful thing. The only apt metaphor for war is Hell. Naaman was great at war. His success is attributed to the most unlikely of sources, “By him the LORD had given victory to Syria (v. 1).” God is sovereign over Naaman's succcess. In the Hell of war there are causalities. One such casualty was a little girl from Israel who was “carried off” during a Syrian raid.

Because God made Naaman good at war, a little girl lost her family. The Bible does not neglect to share this horrid detail, but neither does it elaborate on its tragedy. As a father of daughters, little girls, I cannot imagine what it would be like for them to be “carried off.” Even worse, the little girl of 2 Kings 5 is carried off because in God’s sovereignty. In His plan Israel is losing her sovereignty and Naaman is great at war. The whole thing seems so twisted to a father of little girls.

What happens to little girls who are “carried off” in war? Nothing good. Every story I have read is painful and unimaginable. Another proper word for such an act is “nasty.” Naaman is nasty because he is the dispenser of Hell on earth, he is nasty because he owns a little girl, and he is nasty because he is leprous. Naaman is nasty. He deserves nothing good. He deserves Hell. People like Naaman should have leprosy. At least that's how I feel sometimes.

I am not God. That is good news for Naaman. He will find a cure and he will encounter the secret of his success, the God of Israel. People like me who hate people like Naaman, through the voice of a little girl, will also encounter God. Perhaps we too, will find a cure.

To be continued. . .


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