I love to preach and teach the Bible. For me there is nothing really like it. The Bible has so much information, it is so packed full of wisdom, and wonder. And every week, as I preach through the Bible, I always have to leave something out. There is just so much stuff there, but there is only so much time.
So today, as we were looking at 2 Kings chapter 2, I felt I had to cut out the last part of the chapter. Up until now, I would just let it go, and hope at some time in the future I would be able to preach on it â€“ but we live in the age of the blog.
2 Kings 2:23-25
23 From there Elisha went up to
Elisha has taken Elijahâ€™s place as the prophet, and Godâ€™s mouthpiece. He was the man who was responsible for representing God. Elisha, has performed two miracles up to this point. He rolled up Elijahâ€™s cloak, struck the
In this section of scripture something very interesting happens. Elisha called down a curse upon some teenage punks who were harassing him as he walked along a road. On the surface this seems to be cruel and excessive on the part of Elisha. But letâ€™s go a little deeper.
First, the punks say, â€œgo on up.â€ Like Elijah went up in a whirlwind, they are yelling that Godâ€™s representative, should just go away, because not only were they not respectful for God, but they were not at all respectful for His messenger. And they added, â€œyou baldhead.â€ Those of us whose hair is not as thick as it used to be understand how Elisha is feeling.
2 Chronicles 36:15-16 â€œThe LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.â€
Second, Elisha curses them, â€œin the name of the Lord.â€ Elisha was Godâ€™s man â€“ and the youth completely disrespect him. So, by disrespecting him, they are disrespecting God. So when Elisha speaks, he speaks on Godâ€™s behalf. The main point of this passage is that we must have respect for God, for the things of God, and for the people of God.
It happened to be a bear, but it could just as easy have been a lion, or lightening, or whatever â€“ the youth died because they showed no respect for God. As a parent I need to understand this. Not only must I show respect for God (and his representatives), but so must my children.