Isn’t Elisha cursing the boys who mocked him letting anger get the better of him? Was there any “rightness” to his reaction?

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Isn’t Elisha cursing the boys who mocked him letting anger get the better of him? Was there any “rightness” to his reaction?

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:49 pm

We find this story in the book of II Kings: From there (Jericho) Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him, “Get on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Get on up, you baldhead!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths—II Kings 2:23-24. So what’s going on? The key is in the wording “a curse . . . in the name of the Lord.” Elisha’s not dropping an “f-bomb” of his own choosing in the name of his own self-defense or self-righteousness. Remember that this is just a short time after the miraculous translation of his master, the prophet Elijah, into heaven (II Kings 2:11)—an amazing testament to the power of God. This was also after prophets from the city of Jericho had declared that [t]he spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha. And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him—II Kings 2:15. God was obviously going to continue to minister to His people through this particular servant. And then this group of young men (probably young people aged 20 or older), guys who obviously should have known better and were making a conscious choice of behavior, came along with a gross display of disbelief and contempt for God and His chosen servant. Elisha essentially asked God (who he knew was seeing this moment) to deal with these guys as He saw fit. In other words, “God, You can see this even better than me. You know what it means far better than me. You deal with it.” And God did—much to the pain of 42 of those who thought this was a great idea. God immediately dealt with them because to ridicule His servant was to ridicule God Himself. It was also in its own way of picture of God’s grace, reminding the people of that time of His words to His people of another time: If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted—God speaking, Leviticus 26:21-22. God warned His children because He wanted them to understand the unnecessary but absolute consequences of choosing to live outside of relationship with Him. Those words were part of their heritage; if only they would believe them!


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