The Little Maid of Israel
A Scripture Story
Ye joyous little maidens
Of happy Christian land,
Who have the Bible, and are taught
To read and understand,
A lovely tale those Scriptures tell
Of one we only know
As littk maid of Israel,
She lived so long ago.
For she, so young and nameless,
A glorious work achieved !
'Twas through her faith, the Syrian lord
In Israel's God believed.
While she 'mid Syria's idols strove
To make Jehovah known,
He marked for her a crown above,
And sealed her here his own.
To Syria borne a captive,
In Naaman's house a slave,
A missionary sweet she proved.
Her foreign lord to save.
That honored favorite of the king,
His chief in rank and power,
Felt on himself an evil cling,
Corroding every hour.
For Naaman was a leper,
Whilst all the power and skill
Of magic, art, and pagan rite
Had failed to reach the ill.
Though clothed in jeweled raiment bright
And golden-wrought array,
His form with leprosy was white,
To foul disease a prey.
'Twas then this little maiden,
While serving Naaman's wife,
Was made the means his soul to save,
And heal his blighted life.
For with that truly pious zeal
The faithful only know,
She sought his malady to heal,
The healing balm to show.
She said, " Would God my master
Were in Samaria, where
There dwells a Prophet, who would find
The cleansing secret there !;
But little did the leper know
How fresh and free and pure
The balsam of the Lord would flow
His malady to cure.
And Naaman sought Elisha,
With gifts and rich array ;
When from them all that man of God
With loathing turned away.
The gift of God he " did not buy,
Nor speak his will for hire ! "
Then lightning flashed through Naaman's eye
From out his breast of ire.
The Syrian thought the Prophet
Would come with grand display ;
And call upon his God with pomp,
And sacrifice to pay.
But when he merely bade him go,
And wash in Jordan's tide ;
He deemed it mockery ; spoken so,
His misery to deride !
" Hath not/' he said, "Damascus,
The city where I dwell,
The better waters, far, than all
The streams of Israel ?
Abana, there, and Pharpar flow,
In shining fulness seen !
Have they not floods, where I may go
To wash me, and be clean ?'
And had not Naaman's servants
Their master's wrath assuaged,
The leper thence had hastened home,
Despairing and enraged.
As yet the pagan never knew,
'Mid all his keen distress,
What one small act of faith may do,
With Israel's God to bless.
But by his sufferings humbled,
Not knowing where to lean,
He turned and washed him seven times
In Jordan, and was clean !
Renewed in faith, in person fair,
This witness thence he gave :
" No god in all the earth is there,
But Israel's God, to save !"
Yet of this lovely captive,
The maid of Israel,
And of the mission she performed,
My song can feebly tell.
You'll find the tale, and best derive
The lesson sweet it brings,
By studying it, in chapter five,
Of Second Book of Kings.