Captured to….Save?

Pray for the Persecution

The young girl kneeled before her mistress. She dared to speak. Yet, her words were not advocacy for herself. Instead, she desired to offer a word of hope. The slave girl had overheard the despair and anguish shared between her mistress and master….

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife.  She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”  New International Version, 2 Kings 5:1-4

She could have remained silent.

She could have ignored the plight of her captors.

She could have allowed resentment and bitterness to chain her heart as well.

Yet, this unnamed child rose up to speak love and salvation into the dire situation.

Her slave masters were desperate enough to listen.

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied.  New International Version, 2 Kings 5:5

Naaman left Aram and traveled to Israel to seek physical healing. Yet, what he would ultimately discover in his quest was humility and salvation. (You can read more of this story in 2 Kings 5.) What especially intrigued me about this salvation story was the unnamed slave girl and the pivotal role she played in changing the course of Naaman’s life. Had she not spoken up, leprosy would have consumed his body and he would have died – never knowing the true God and experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven.

Imagine it!

Taken captive by foreigners, separated from her family, her friends, and her home land, and then forced into slave labor, she refused to let her circumstances prohibit her from speaking life, love, and truth into the lives of her oppressors.

In our present times, there is an evil, oppressive tide arising in many parts of the world. Thousands of men, women, and children are being forcefully removed from their homes. Once captured, women and children are being sold into slavery. Hundreds of male captives are being brutally tortured and killed. Thousands have fled their homelands to escape and find shelter and protection.

What is our response to these unimaginable cruelties?

Just as the slave girl chose to respond in love and good faith to her enemies, our Savior Jesus Christ beckons us to do likewise…

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” New International Version, Matthew 5:43-48

The young girl’s situation was a hopeless one. She was inconsequential and without influence. Yet, she did not allow her circumstances or her captors to determine her identity or her purpose. Instead, she clung to her faith and to her God. She chose to love and pray for her enemy. And in so doing, she arose above her plight, and boldly shared what God could accomplish in the life of her oppressor. Her captivity resulted in the salvation of her captors!

The young slave girl had a voice and she chose to use it with courage.

The young slave girl had a conviction and she chose to express it with purpose.

The young slave girl had a heart and she chose to expand it with love to her enemies.

My friends, what are we doing with our voices, our convictions, and our hearts?

I believe we must do whatever we can to share the love and hope of Christ. Our enemy desires to strike fear into our hearts and cause us to become paralyzed and ultimately imprisoned by our outrage, anger, bitterness, resentment, and anxiety. Jesus offers us an alternative. He asks us to love and to pray for our enemies. I believe we also have the opportunity, just like the young slave girl, to share the message of the hope of Jesus Christ with others. We must seek our God for opportunities to share His love in our sphere of influence – no matter how large or small our sphere is at this time. We have no idea who is ready to listen or even desperate to hear the hope and life that is offered in Christ.

We may think we are inconsequential and have no voice, but the courageous example of the captured servant girl offers us no excuse.

A servant girl with no recorded name altered the destiny of her master and his family because she chose to share the unchained, boundless love of her God. May we serve our enemies and oppressors with this same kind of incomprehensible love found only in Jesus Christ.

Will we choose to speak hope and life into the dire and desperate situations that are in our midst and are in our world?

Will we pray that our enemies seek Christ?

Will we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been taken captive and are experiencing persecution at this very moment – that they will rise up and boldly share the love and joy of Christ with their oppressors?

I believe the lives and eternal destinies of us all depend upon such hope and courage only found in Jesus Christ.

Do you?

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4 Comments

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  1. Wonderful Meditation – wonderful thoughts.

  2. Bless you and give you courage to continue all that you do as I sit safely home in Southern California and may I do what you ask. Boldly proclaim our Lord.

    • Hi Julie, thanks so much for your kinds words. I share your sentiment. I pray we each have opportunities to share the incredible news of life, love, and peace in Jesus Christ. So many need to know that there is lasting hope in Christ. Be blessed! Take care, heather

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