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2 Kings 2:13-25

“Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. “Go away, baldy!” they chanted. ‘Go away, baldy!’ Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them. From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel and finally returned to Samaria.” v. 23-25
This groups of biys was from Bethel, the religious center of idolitry in the northern kingdom, and they probably were warning Elisha not to speak against their immorality as Elijah had done. They were not merely teasing Elisha about his baldness, but showing severe disrespect for Elisha’s message and God’s power. They may have also jeared because of thier disbelief in the chariot of fire that had taken Elijah. When Elisha cursed them, he did not call out to the bears himself. God sent them as a judgement for their callous unbelief. These young men mocked Gods messengers and paid for it with their lives. Making fun of religious leaders has been a popular sport through the years. To take a stand for God is to be different from the world and vulnerable to verbal abuse. When we are cynical and sarcastic toward religious leaders, we are in danger of mocking not just the person but also the spiritual message. While we are not to condone the sin that some leaders commit, we need to pray for them, not laugh at them. True leaders, those who follow God, need to be heard with great respect and encouraged in their ministry.

Taken from the NLT Life Application Study Bible

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