When Bears Attack

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! Readers are aware I have a blogroll on the side of my blog and today, I am pleased to announce a new blog. My wife is a great admirer of nature and animals, much more so than I am. She has also started her own blog now to remind Christians of the wonders of nature. It’s called Evergreen Glades and can be found here.

Speaking of her, the best man at our wedding, an excellent friend of mine, saw my blog yesterday on stoning children and said he prefers letting bears handle rebellious ones. Now he is a Christian in case any one is wondering, and he’s quite the apologist as well. What he’s referring to however is another story often raised up by atheists supposed to make Christians embarrassed about their Bibles. It’s found in 2 Kings 2:23-24.

23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 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 boys.

What’s going on here?

For one thing, these boys again were most likely not even boys. They were more like young men who were capable of inflicting some serious damage on the prophet if they wanted to. The same word is used to describe soldiers in the army. Considering Israel didn’t exactly live in peaceful times, they’d want there to be soldiers in the army ready.

Thus, the prophet could justifiably be seen as being in danger. There is more going on as well. This was just after the event of Elijah going up to Heaven in a whirlwind. The story would have been well known even if not believed by all and would have been a picture of the hand of God on the life of Elijah.

What the boys were saying was mockery first off. That would be enough actually. YHWH does not take mockery of Himself lightly and anything that would make YHWH be seen as less than holy would not be allowed. It would be a direct challenge to the honor of YHWH in the face of false gods in the area.

However, it’s more than mockery. It’s also a blatant disregard for YHWH and his rule in the lives of these men. They were in telling Elisha that he should go on up away just like Elijah did. They didn’t want to hear the message of Elijah and they don’t want to hear the message of his successor either.

This was the start of the ministry of Elisha and already it was being challenged and it was being challenged with violence. God’s response is to bring the stakes up to the level they brought them up. The young generation growing up would get the message that this messenger was to be heeded like Elijah was.

But they died!

Yeah. YHWH takes sin seriously. Why should I have a problem with that? I contend that the reason modern skeptics have a problem with this is that they do not see seriously the holiness of YHWH in the Bible. As long as they don’t see that, it will be their problem until convinced. We are under no obligation to lower the holiness of God to handle the outrage of skeptics.