Today's reading was disturbing to say the least. These two chapters mark the transition of the prophet Elijah's mantle unto his protogege Elisha. It's a powerful transition including chariots of fire and the whirlwind--great stuff! Sadly, the transition is sandwiched between two weird stories about each of our highlighted prophets. At the start of chapter one Elijah calls God's fire down on 100 people. People that are just doing their job.
"If I am a man of God..." Ugh.
And then after our "hero" Elijah murders 102 people, he is carried into heaven and Elisha his succesor takes over. What's the first thing he does? Well, the first thing he does is fix some nasty water. But...the second thing, the second thing he does is murder several boys by calling a curse from God upon them. The curse is bears. BEARS.
So...call a prophet baldy? God kills ya with bears.
Imagine being the mother of one of those boys and getting that news.
"Sorry, your kid was being rude, so...the prophet killed him bears. Justice served."
Or, what happens when you work for a king (or his captains) who wants to inquire a false god?
Death by Fire!
Do ya think maybe one of the captains or just one of the 100 soldiers there that day had some children at home? How do we tell them what happened on this day?
"Well, God is just and the king was wrong so God killed your Daddy with fire...you should trust him forever! His ways are beyond ours--praise his name." :)
How do you balance stories like these with your understanding of Jesus?
Has God changed? Does justice change? What gives?