Will all the bald men please stand up!
As a folically challenged man, I can clearly understand the biblical story I am about to share. I started losing my hair at nineteen and I’m now in my forties and you can imagine what has happened over the last twenty plus years. As a bald guy, I have used every one-liner you could possibly think up to make light of my bald head. “Solar panel for a sex machine” is one that is commonly used but my favorite was used in a speech I gave several years ago. I always made a comment about my head at the beginning of my speech to evoke laughter from the audience and this is what I said ” Ladies and gentlemen, I must apologize for the glare, some people’s hair turned gray with age, mine turned loose.” This usually receives a good laugh and I am able to carry on with my speech. There have been many times that people have made cruel jokes about my baldness and I usually have some handy comeback, but I have never gone as far as the prophet Elisha.
II Kings 2 recounts the story of Elijah and Elisha. Chapter two isn’t a very long chapter but it is chock full of unbelievable events that supposedly took place which leads up to what I will share with you today.
In this chapter, Elijah is taken up in a whirlwind and taken to heaven (v11). Elisha watched it happen and through his devastation he cried out ‘My Father! My Father!’ (v12). I think it is safe to assume that anyone would be upset after watching a man being sucked into the center of a tornado (whirlwind), so I can understand Elisha’s devastation. With Elijah gone, Elisha has left Jericho for Bethal and this is when things take a horrible turn. Elisha was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of her, Baldy!” the boys said (v24). Well this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Elisha flips a bitch!
Instead of doing the adult thing and ignoring the childish acts of children, Elisha decides that the children deserved death. After all, they are poking fun at him, so surely this is an offense worthy of the death penalty, right? Well, Elisha turns around and faces the boys. He then calls down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Two female bears come out of the woods and mauls all forty-two children to death (v24). That’s right folks, God sent two bears to kill forty-two children for acting like children. How dare those kids act like children!
I once heard a preacher say that this story is showing how God protects he chosen people. Protect them from what; children being children? Why is God so quick to kill? Where is the loving God that every pastor speaks about on Sunday morning?
Now, let’s look at this story with a little logic. We are expected to believe that forty-two children were eaten by two bears. Anyone who has ever watched Animal Planet knows that when a bear kills for food, it kills it’s prey and eats it right away. Yet we are expected to believe that two bears went on a biting and scratching spree and did not take the time to eat until all the children were dead. Even more screwed up is the fact that the other forty children did not run away while the first two children were being killed, but then again we aren’t supposed to approach scripture with logic and reason. We are to close our mind and believe with blind faith. Sorry folks but I don’t do faith. I do evidence along with logic and reason and this just doesn’t add up to either.
photo: Google images