The Captive Maid
2 Kings 5:2-4
And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid…

The rich and the poor meet together. The mighty and the ignoble, the monarch and the slave, are, after all, near companions on the pilgrimage of life. Naaman the Syrian, mighty and honourable, is a dweller beneath the same roof with the little captive maid of the land of Israel.

I. We notice, HER RECOGNITION OF GOD IN PROVIDENCE. She might have looked at the dark cloud of adversity hanging over her, and failed to discern a gleam of light; but she believed that the God of providence was behind the cloud, and would disperse it in His own good time. She had the conviction that God had directed, and would still direct, her steps. Is not her example a pattern to believers? The captive maid does indeed reprove and exhort us, in our mistrust of God in providence. Christian experience may well be tested by the Christian precept which enjoins us, as believers, to be "careful for nothing" (Philippians 4:6). Afflictions, trials, disappointments, rightly regarded, would help us in the application of this test. We might safely reason thus: If we cannot commit the ordering of our earthly way to our Father, who hath loved us, and "blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 1:3); if we cannot confide in His wisdom, and trust in His goodness, under the trials and afflictions lie may send us, have we not reason to examine ourselves, whether we be in the faith at all? Assuredly the measure of our faith in the God of grace will find no uncertain index in the measure of our faith in the God of providence.

II. We notice, secondly, THE USEFULNESS OF THE CAPTIVE MAID IN THE HUMBLE POSITION SHE OCCUPIED. We see in her an illustration of God's employment of simple means to accomplish mighty ends. How great is their folly who despise the day of small things! There is no station so humble, but God is able to find in it those who may render valuable service in His Church. Humility of circumstance, when attended with humility of character, especially commends a man as a fitting co-worker with God. "Not many wise men after the flesh," etc. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). Let us beware of the delusive thought, which paralyses so much Christian exertion, that our station is too humble, our sphere of influence too circumscribed, to allow of Christian usefulness.

III. As a concluding remark on the history of the captive maid, we notice THE INESTIMABLE VALUE OF HER PIETY, BOTH TO HERSELF AND OTHERS. This lesson may be commended to us in a twofold form. It may remind us of the value of a pious servant in every household, and of the value of piety to every servant. It is recorded of the Rev. Henry Venn, that he often thanked God for a pious servant; and he once said to his children respecting her, "Ruth is my servant here; but if your father is found at her feet at the Great Day his place will not be a low one." Happy the servant who, by a life of piety, so "adorns the doctrine of God her Saviour," as to win from those whom she serves such a testimony of her worth!

(C. Bullock.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.

WEB: The Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maiden; and she waited on Naaman's wife.

A Young Captive
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