Everyone is aware that a mother bear will fight to the death to protect her cubs. Few people would want to encounter two mother bears at once. It happened once upon a time near the city of Bethel which was located just north of Jerusalem. Today it is known as the Arab village of Bitan.
Now it came to be that the prophet Elisha had left Jericho and was traveling to Bethel. As he was walking along he was approached by some forty two young people who began to mock him. You see Elisha had been a follower of Elijah and God had taken Elijah up in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this miracle and asked Elijah to throw him his coat which Elijah did. Now Elisha was picking up the mantle of Elijah and working for God as he beloved friend had done.
“Why can’t you do miracles like Elijah? He did great miracles but you can’t do any. You are just an old bald headed man. Go on up old bald headed man. Go up like Elijah!” The young men taunted the prophet laughing at him and making fun of him.
It often happens that when young people come together in gangs bad things happen. So it was with this gang. They had always been abusive to any of God’s prophets. They had been born in Bethel and King Jeroboam had created an idol calf for the people to worship. When God is absent from anyone’s life corruption is sure to follow.
“Let’s see you go up into a whirlwind you old bald headed man. Let’s see if you are as good as the other so-called prophet. Let’s see if God thinks as much of you as He did Elijah!” They mocked.
Elisha wondered why these young men were outside the city and trying to cause trouble. He had done nothing to cause this onslaught. He was trying to show all the people that they were worshipping an evil god and should turn away from such. He was only doing God’s work for God was the one who performed the miracle with Elijah. Yet the taunts continued as the gang followed him.
“We want to see you perform a miracle if you CAN!” The men continued as they laughed and jeered. “We heard others talk about you and Elijah. They said you are a miracle worker. Let’s see you go up into the heavens in a whirlwind!” They scoffed.
Elisha finally became irritated. Turning around he looked directly at them and said.
“I call down a curse upon all of you in the name of God!” He pointed his finger in the men’s direction.
Suddenly God stepped into the picture to protect His prophet.
A thunderous growl sounded. As the young men looked around they began to scream.
“It is two she bears coming out of the woods. Everyone run for your lives!” They screamed.
Now the she bears came out of the woods running, angry and hungry. The bears were in a full run at a speed of about thirty miles per hour. The young men tried to out run the bears but they could not. All forty-two men were mauled and eaten by the she bears. Elisha had cursed the gang but God was the one who sent the judgment against them.
It is not a wise thing to taunt a servant of the highest God. When you taunt one who is chosen of God you are also mocking God.
“These young men wanted to see the same power that had taken Elijah up into the heavens in a whirlwind. God granted them their wish.” Elisha mumbled as he continued his journey.
Be careful about making fun of others for God is watching and will always defend the righteous.
Question: Why did the forty two men become food for the bears?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved
Taken from (2 Kings 2:24)