And Naaman said ‘Then at least let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will never again offer up burnt offering or sacrifice to any god, except the Lord. But may the Lord pardon your servant for this: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow low in worship there, and he is leaning on my arm so that I must bow low in the temple of Rimmon — when I bow low in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant in this.’ And [Elisha] said to him, ‘Go in peace.’
II Kings 5:17-19 (TANAKH)
Although Naaman was hesitant he finally submitted and received healing. Typical of a man of his status he wanted to pay Elisha for the healing that he provided. Elisha refused payment and gave God the glory. Naaman turned from the worship of idols to worshiping the Lord. But there was one catch!
As a servant of a very powerful man he could not refuse his master in worshiping the false gods. Naaman asks the man of God for forgiveness ahead of time, knowing that this situation would take place time and time again.
This made me think of the many today that are bound to ways of life that do not honor God and have little choice in the matter. They bow down to other gods, they live in ways that might negate God’s purpose, they find themselves objects of another’s whim.
What do we tell them? Do we, like Elisha, pronounce forgiveness?
Sometimes in our life of abundance and self-determination we forget that there are many who do not have such a say in their life. Some due to being physically bound (inmates for example) other due to emotional and/or spiritual incarceration. They have a master they must please, God is not an option.
The good news comes to them also . . . forgiving, healing, and reconciling. It comes through those of us who are free and who know that such modern day slavery exist in our world, in multi-faceted ways.
You can read my post on Human Trafficking for an example of one of the ways that people are enslaved today. There are many others . . .