Naaman, the commander of the army of Aram, is suffering from leprosy. His wife has a Jewish servant-girl who tells her mistress about a prophet called Elisha who might be able to help Naaman, so the commander sets off for the land of Israel to find a cure for his disease.
Naaman was commander of the army of Aram,
A favourite of the king, a very important man!
He'd led his master's army to many victories,
But Naaman had a problem, an awful skin disease.
Now Aramean raiders had returned from Israel,
Bringing Naaman's wife a Jewish servant-girl.
“In Samaria,” she said, “lives Elisha the prophet,
He will cure this illness; you can be sure of it.”
When the King of Aram heard what this young girl was saying,
He knew it was the answer to the prayers that he'd been praying.
He sent Naaman to Israel, with a letter for their king,
Bags of gold and silver coins and ten sets of clothing.
The letter said, “I'm sending you Naaman my faithful friend,
So you can cure his sickness and return him on the mend.”
But Israel's king misunderstood and tore his robes in fright,
“It's impossible,” he said, “he's looking for a fight!”
When Elisha the prophet heard that the king was fearful,
He wrote a little message to make him feel more cheerful.
“Send the man to me,” he said, “Then he will be assured,
A prophet lives in Israel, a servant of the LORD.”
So Naaman took his horses, his chariots and men
Straight to the prophet's house, where a messenger told them
“Go to the River Jordan and wash from head to toe,
You'll need to do it seven times for this disease to go.”
“Is that it?” raged Naaman, “I find that rather odd!
I thought that he would come out and call upon his God
And wave his hand above the spot that's bothering me,
And then I would be cured of this disease called leprosy.”
“Aren't Arbana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus,
In every way much better than the waters that Israel has?
Surely if I wash in them that would be good enough?”
And with that Naaman turned away and went off in a huff!
“But master,” said his servants, “if the prophet had told you,
To do some mighty deed, you would have seen it through.
So why not take the trouble to follow to the letter
The very simple step that he says will make you better?”
Down at the River Jordan, Naaman did as they requested,
He washed there seven times as Elisha had suggested.
As soon as it was over he could see that he'd been healed,
His sickness was now gone and fresh skin had been revealed.
Naaman went to Elisha and said “Now I can tell,
There is no God in all the world except in Israel.”
Then he offered him a gift to show his gratitude,
But no matter what he said, Elisha just refused.
“Go in peace,” Elisha said, “I will not accept a thing.”
So Naaman left at once to report back to his king.
He'd travelled quite some distance before he realised,
Someone was running after him, a man he recognised.
It was Elisha's servant, his name was Gehazi,
When he reached Naaman he said, “My master has sent me.
Two prophets from the hill country are visiting today,
Please give them clothes and silver coins to bless them on their way.”
“Help yourself dear boy,” said Naaman with a deep contented sigh,
Not realising that the servant's message was a lie!
Gehazi really wanted those things for his own pleasure,
And when he got back home, he hid away his treasure.
“Where have you been?” Elisha asked when Gehazi returned,
“Nowhere, master,” he replied, completely unconcerned.
But then Elisha told him, “My spirit was with you,
When Naaman stopped his chariot, when you took his money too”
“Is this the time to take things you think will make you wealthy?
Because of this your family will no longer be healthy.
Naaman's disease will now be yours and everyone will know.”
And as he said these words Gehazi's skin turned white as snow