This book focuses on biblical reconciliation, both in its primary sense (as Paul uses it) and in a secondary sense, insofar as it touches on reconciliation between races, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, the powerful and the weak, and between other alienated groups. The focus of the book is Naaman, a Syrian general, and his Jewish slave girl, whose simple testimony helped to bring about a great work of reconciliation: the salvation of her Syrian master. As the story unfolds, God's saving power is displayed, particularly in bringing light to the Gentiles and in demonstrating the free offer of the gospel. Many Christians identify Naaman's story with his miraculous healing in the Jordan River but fail to see the greater truth of God's love for the Gentiles and the breadth of the gospel's reach. Mark Belz brings understanding and encouragement to us as we see God's great mercy at work.
Mark Belz brings to life a beautiful story of biblical reconciliation between rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, powerful and weak. The focus is on Naaman, a Syrian general, and his Jewish slave girl, whose simple testimony helps to bring about a spiritual reconciliation between her Syrian master and God. Belz reaches beyond Naamans miraculous healing in the river Jordan to examine its wide-ranging implications: among them, the greater truth of Gods love for the Gentiles and the breadth of the gospels reach.
Mark Belz (M.Div., Covenant Theological Seminary) has served as moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. He and his wife, Linda, have two grown children and four grandchildren.
What I particularly like about Mark's book is that it reminds us again that God's ways are not our ways nor is his method of reconciliation the same way the world would bring about reconciliation. Naaman's slave girl acts much like Christ. She brings reconciliation through humility and servant hood rather than any special strategies of communication. She shows that in God's economy weakness is really strength and deferring to others puts one in the place where they can intervene and bring about a redemptive reconciliation.
Using this beautiful old testament presentation of the Gospel, Mark Belz woos us to be reconciled to God and man. While Mark is a masterful Bible teacher, his real effectiveness in charting the journey to wholeness comes from his having walked it with Jesus.
This riveting read is now on my list of favorite books. This is a book that lingers. Not only did I frequently stop reading and spend time reflecting and praying, but I continue to ponder and celebrate the deep wonders of the gospel in the beautiful story of Namaanââ¬s slave girl.
Bible study habits gone a little cold? Need to be warmed by the re-telling of a remarkable story? Too long since you saw the gospel in the pages of the Old Testament? This highly readable account of Naaman's little slave girl will both encourage and instruct you.
For some reading this book the narrative found in II Kings 5 will be familiar. For others it is about to become familiar. This historical event recorded in history not only anticipated the New Testament clarity of the Gospel of saving grace in Christ, but it also demonstrated and announced the Gospel message and ministry of reconciliation. Mark Belz unfolds this with energy and theological clarity.