“Home-Study Lesson: 1 Kings 18–22; 2 Kings 1–20 (Unit 20)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Unit 20,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
Naaman, the Syrian military leader, had leprosy. Through the suggestion of an Israelite maid in his household, he sought healing from the prophet Elisha. By studying his experience, students will learn what we can do to show our faith in the Lord and to increase our testimony of Him.
Ask students to consider how they would respond in the following scenario: A friend who is not very religious asks you for advice on how to handle a difficult personal problem. You suggest to her that when you struggle with challenges, you pray to God for help. She responds, “I don’t think my prayers would be answered because I don’t even know if I believe in God.”
What would you say to your friend to help her strengthen her belief in God?
Invite students to look for principles as they study 2 Kings 5 that can help them and others increase their faith in God.
Explain that while Elisha was serving as a prophet in Israel, a man named Naaman was living in the neighboring country of Syria. Invite a student to read 2 Kings 5:1 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for details about Naaman.
What do we learn about Naaman from these verses? (Explain that “captain of the host of the king of Syria” means that he was the commander of the Syrian army.)
Invite a student to read 2 Kings 5:2–4 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Naaman learned of a possible solution to his problem.
Who did the Israelite maid say could heal Naaman? (The prophet Elisha.)
Summarize 2 Kings 5:5–8 by explaining that the king of Syria sent Naaman with a letter to the king of Israel asking that Naaman be healed of his leprosy. When Elisha heard about Naaman’s request, he told the king of Israel to send Naaman to him.
If you had been Naaman, who held the important position of captain of the Syrian army, what are some things you might have expected Elisha to do so that you would be healed?
Invite a student to read 2 Kings 5:9–10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened when Naaman went to see Elisha.
How did Elisha communicate with Naaman?
What did Elisha tell Naaman to do in order to be healed?
If you were Naaman, how might you have responded to Elisha’s instructions?
Invite a student to read 2 Kings 5:11–12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Naaman responded to Elisha’s instructions. Explain that Abana and Pharpar were rivers in Naaman’s homeland.
According to verse 11, why was Naaman upset about how Elisha had given his instructions?
According to verse 12, why was Naaman upset about the instructions Elisha had given?
In what ways might following these instructions have been a test of faith for Naaman?
Invite a student to read 2 Kings 5:13 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the questions Naaman’s servants asked him.
In your own words, how would you summarize the questions Naaman’s servants asked him?
What truths can we learn from the servants’ questions? (Students may identify several truths, including the following: If we have faith that the prophet speaks for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, then we will follow all of his words. As we do the small and simple things requested by God’s prophets, we will receive great blessings.)
Why might we be more willing to do something great and less willing to do something small to keep the commandments?
How does learning to obey the prophets in the small things prepare us to do the greater things we may be called to do in the kingdom?
Invite students to ponder some examples of small things that the Lord has asked of them. Encourage them to identify one small thing they can do to show their faithfulness to the Lord.
Invite a student to read 2 Kings 5:14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Naaman chose to do.
How did Naaman show his faith in the words of God as given through His prophet Elisha?
If you were Naaman, what might you have been thinking the first time you dipped yourself in the water? The second time? The seventh time?
What thoughts or feelings might you have had as you saw your leprosy healed?
How might this experience have affected your testimony of the prophet’s calling?
Invite a student to read 2 Kings 5:15 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Naaman did after he was cleansed. Invite students to report what they find.
What did Naaman come to know through this experience?
What will happen to our testimonies of God as we choose to exercise faith in His words? (Students may use different words, but they should identify a principle similar to the following: As we exercise faith by acting on God’s words, our testimony of Him is strengthened.)
Why do you think we frequently need to exercise faith in God before our testimonies are strengthened?
Refer to the scenario at the beginning of the lesson. Ask a few students to explain how they could use the account of Naaman and the principles they identified to help their friend. Ask them to consider what she would need to do to exercise her faith in God so that her belief in or testimony of Him could be strengthened.
When have you exercised faith by acting on God’s words?
How was your testimony of God strengthened as a result?
Invite students to ponder aspects of their testimonies that they would like to strengthen. Ask them to think about what they can do to exercise their faith in God’s words so that those parts of their testimony can grow.
Summarize 2 Kings 6 by explaining that Elisha performed another miracle by causing an axe head that had fallen into the water to float to the surface. Explain that in 2 Kings 7–13 we learn that Syria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel began to war against each other; these chapters chronicle those wars.
During the war between Syria and Israel, the king of Syria would privately discuss his battle plans with his servants. Through inspiration, Elisha knew the king’s plans and would inform the king of Israel of Syria’s plans. When he learned what Elisha was doing, the Syrian king commanded his army to capture Elisha. When the Syrian army surrounded the city the prophet was in, the servant of Elisha was afraid.
Invite a student to read 2 Kings 6:15–16 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Elisha told his servant.
How did Elisha answer his servant’s question?
Why might Elisha’s answer have been confusing to the servant?
Invite a student to read 2 Kings 6:17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the servant came to understand what the prophet told him.
What did Elisha’s servant see after his eyes were opened?
What do you think happened to his fear when he saw the heavenly army?
How can knowing that “they that be with us [the righteous] are more than they that be with them [the wicked]” (2 Kings 6:16) help when we are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges?
Conclude with your testimony of truths identified in today’s lesson, and invite students to apply these truths in their lives.
Ask students to consider what kind of opposition they have faced as they have tried to keep the commandments of the Lord and how they responded to that opposition. Explain that in their studies next week, they will learn principles that can help them when they encounter opposition to their efforts to be righteous.