Saturday, October 19, 2013

Elisha-Disrespect in Bethel Brings Grave Consequences

By Mary Vee
II Kings 2

From Elisha's Scrolls

Many years have passed now since ungodly kings began to teach the Israelites to walk away from worshipping God. King Jeroboam put golden statues of calfs in many locations around the country and told the people they could worship the calf as their god instead of walking all the way to the Temple in Jerusalem. The people obeyed.

As time went by, the people didn't see the value in the prophets (men sent my God to bring messages to the people). The kings and the people killed many of them, and listened only to fake prophets who told them words they liked to hear. Even the great prophet Elijah felt alone at times.

There are very few Israelites left who will invite us to their home for a meal or a night's sleep anymore. Lord have mercy. 

Not only are the adults showing disrespect and violence against us, but they are also teaching their children to mock us. The parents have no restraint on the their children when they bully the prophets. In fact, the children don't suffer any punishment, they are praised and therefore have made harassment of prophets a sport.

Elijah, my mentor and friend recently went up to the heavens in a chariot of fire. He brought me comfort and taught me many things. We'd discussed the strong disrespect of prophets especially in Bethel.

The Lord sent me to do a task in Bethel, a city close to Jerusalem. I put on Elijah's coat and took my walking staff and walked the road to Bethel in confidence. Knowing the Almighty would protect me.

As I drew close to the city, a group of children ran from the city gates to my direction. When they arrived they circled me like wild snapping dogs and shouted insults. They raised their fists as though I had harmed them.

I kept walking, choosing to ignore them, but this only encouraged their wrath. Their words became louder and they fell into a group behind me. I turned back, looking for any remorse in  their faces, any cause to give mercy to these children.

There was none. I had seen the same look of the faces of grown men who killed because of their anger. Their parents from Bethel had taught these children a hatred and a desire to torment, to the utmost, any prophet of God. 

This sin needed to stop. These children would grow up to men who's goal would be to rid the country of any men of God. 

The children shouted a new chant, "Go on up, you bald head!" 

There was the proof. These children knew Elijah went up to the heavens. They wanted me to leave as well. And the disrespect for the position God has given me in their statement "bald head" showed they would never change.

I looked back at them one more time. Was there even one child who regretted their mission? No. Not one. 

This must stop. "In the name of the Lord you are all cursed."

A true prophet is one who speaks the truth. When he says something for God, it will happen.

Two she bears sprang from the woods and attacked the children. 

The people of Bethel have now seen the consequence of their anger and disrespect for God.

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Author's note: This was a difficult story to tell. I didn't know much of the background before researching in Matthew Henry's commentary. Without the background it seemed easy to think Elisha was cruel. But Matthew Henry points out that, without the Lord's approval, the curse would not have been fulfilled. This was a huge sin in the country of Israel that needed not to be passed on to future generations.

photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com





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