I love pondering things. I believe I have mentioned before my struggles with sometimes thinking too much. I can delay making a decision with the very best of them. For whatever reason, my natural tendency is to think deeper than others my own age and debate what the point of something really is and why it matters. In no way do I go seeking these things out, but rather they seem to find me. As I was reading the other day about the transition of leadership from Elijah to Elisha and immediately after Elijah’s calling up into Heaven, you can find the story of Elisha and the two bears. I had read it before, but I have pondered it more lately.
What is the purpose of this story? Why would Elisha (a prophet of the Lord) curse a group of young punk boys simply because they call him bald? Is there something greater to the story than what we read ? If you have not ever met it, or would like to re-read it again, you can find it in 2 Kings 2.
There are a couple of things that I have taken away from this time of wrestling with this passage and I believe they shed more light on this. The first thing to take note of is that it says they mocked him. Elisha would need to prove himself as being God’s messenger for the people. Is causing harm to a group of people harsh? Potentially, but it also shows that the power that once rested on Elijah now rests on him. Every source I have come across agree that these were more than likely children around the age of eleven or twelve, and not five or six like we would first think. Next, take note that it only says the bears mauled them. It does not mention that the bears ate them. In our own life we have seen reports of animal attacks. Often the humans are killed, but there is potential for them to be injured and not exterminated. The multiple times that I had read this scene, I had skipped over the fact that it was just mauling, it was not killing. Were there injuries? Absolutely, but there may not have been any death.
I think the main principle one can take away from this is that there are dire results for disrespecting a person of the Lord. I am not saying that every situation will result in bears coming and ripping your arm off or a falcon swooping in from above to remove your eyes from their sockets. I do believe that the result is severe. One cannot go throughout their life and ridicule their pastor or other Godly person and expect to stay unscathed. It may not be physical ailment here on Earth or an eternal punishment, but if someone is continually mocking someone, they need to check their own heart.