Chapter 2 of 2 Kings ends with a couple stories about Elisha. The first a miracle….. “men of the city said….the water is polluted and nothing grows”. Big problem for sure. We all know how important water is to life. This city has a big issue. Their supply of life sustaining water has become unusable. It is no longer giving life but death. Elisha asks for “a brand new bowl and put some salt in it”. Not exactly the miracle formula I might have expected but ok, he is the prophet. He “went to the spring, sprinkled salt into it, and proclaimed…I’ve healed this water”. And that is exactly what happened. The water was corrected and “remains so to this day”. God’s power in action through the obedience and faith of Elisha. Obviously his request from Elijah to become like him was honored by God.
The second story that ends the chapter is a who lot different. “Some little kids came out from the town and taunted him”. Elisha is on his way up to Bethel and these punk kids come out and make fun of him. Here is what they said: “What’s up, old baldhead! Out of our way, skinhead”. Gives us a little indication that Elisha didn’t have a lot of hair and was probably somewhat older. His response sort of caught me off guard here. Maybe he needs a little anger management? “Elisha turned, took one look at them, and cursed them…..two bears charged out….knocked them about…..ripping them limb from limb”. Pretty severe response to a bunch of kids – scripture tells us 42 in all – that were calling him names. Then he goes on his way. I really am struggling to understand the meaning of this little interaction other than to know that it again shows the power of God that was alive in Elisha. I can only imagine the fear and reverence it would have created in the people, and the impact it would have on the parents and families of these kids. We do need to be in control of our children. More and more I see kids out of control and parents who seem to be oblivious to that happening right in front of their eyes. God does hold us accountable to train them up right and that means to teach them to respect and honor their elders. Elisha has been given God’s power and he also has received His word. He is plugged in. There is a reason this happened even though it is not apparent to me.