July 9, 2022
Today’s reading: 2 Kings 2:23-24
Elisha Cursing the Youths
We read in 2 Kings 2:23-24:
23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”
24 So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
Some enemies of the Bible and unbelievers use these verses to prove that God is unreasonable, sadistic, and harsh. However, a deeper look reveals an important lesson we must learn.
Judging from the reaction of Elisha, these “youths” are old enough to know what’s good and evil. Thus, they are held accountable for their actions. This tells us that these are not children, but rather teens or young adults.
Moreover, take note of how many youths there were. There are forty-two of them. You can just imagine that this is an organized group. It can even be a mob that poses a great threat to Elisha.
Aside from that, nowhere in this passage says that the youths were killed. They are mauled, but not killed. It opens up to a wider range of injuries.
Finally, the place this took place was Bethel. This was a place where idolatrous people reside. It could be that it was their custom or practice to ridicule prophets of God to drive them away.
As you can see, God has a good reason why He punished these youths for Elisha. Thus, we can be confident that God isn’t the God whom the unbelievers describe Him to be.
He is a God who is merciful and just at the same time.
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