Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32.
Elisha was a man of mild and kindly spirit; but that he could also be stern is shown by his course when, on the way to Bethel, he was mocked by ungodly youth who had come out of the city. These youth had heard of Elijah’s ascension, and they made this solemn event the subject of their jeers, saying to Elisha, “Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.” At the sound of their mocking words the prophet turned back, and under the inspiration of the Almighty he pronounced a curse upon them. The awful judgment that followed was of God. “There came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two” of them (2 Kings 2:23, 24).
Had Elisha allowed the mockery to pass unnoticed, he would have continued to be ridiculed and reviled by the rabble, and his mission to instruct and save in a time of grave national peril might have been defeated. This one instance of terrible severity was sufficient to command respect throughout his life. For fifty years he went in and out of the gate of Bethel, and to and fro in the land, from city to city, passing through crowds of idle, rude, dissolute youth; but none mocked him or made light of his qualifications as the prophet of the Most High….
Reverence, in which the youth who mocked Elisha were so lacking, is a grace that should be carefully cherished. Every child should be taught to show true reverence for God. Never should His name be spoken lightly or thoughtlessly. Angels, as they speak it, veil their faces. With what reverence should we, who are fallen and sinful, take it upon our lips!….
Courtesy, also, is one of the graces of the Spirit and should be cultivated by all. It has power to soften natures which without it would grow hard and rough. Those who profess to be followers of Christ, and are at the same time rough, unkind, and uncourteous, have not learned of Jesus. Their sincerity may not be doubted, their uprightness may not be questioned; but sincerity and uprightness will not atone for a lack of kindness and courtesy.
Conflict and Courage p. 225
—–Having a racing heart and a severe anxiety attack since last night. I don’t want to go to the ER. Every time I go they just do a bunch of tests that come back negative and then send me home. Please pray! Mary
—–One of the dear members of my church is experiencing severe pain after surgery because she is allergic to all pain medication. Please pray that God gives strength and/or takes away the pain. Pastor C
—–Please pray for the Oroville dam situation in Oroville, Ca. Emergency spillway could fail Lots of family members evacuating Lots of towns evacuating. Johanna
—–PLEASE pray for a 6 year old girl who is having brain surgery today. It is very serious! Pray sincerely and earnestly! Lyra
—–I was asking for prayer because of an undiagnosed condition that is very debilitating and causes me to be isolated. Judy
When I was in 9th grade, I sat beside Marlene in my homeroom . There was also time for quiet talking. Marlene and I became instant friends. Both of us were misfits and were shunned by the other teens—she because of her learning disabilities and me because of my being overweight.
At that school, the majority of students were perfectly normal, but there were a couple of gangs of ruffians that made everyone else miserable. As the year progressed, the girl gang got angry with Marlene, and because I was her friend, they were angry at me. We had done nothing to them. They had just decided that because Marlene was a little slow in learning, they were against her. This gang of girls was the terror of the school. Even the boy gangs were afraid of them. One time they cornered me in the bathroom, forced me down on the floor, and put bright red lipstick on my face. It was so embarrassing and scary.
South Junior High was about 2 1/2 miles from where I lived. Every day I would leave early and walk to school rather than take the school bus which was always so crowded. During the winter I often waded in snow above my knees. I felt frozen by the time I got there. Because of all of these gangs that ruined everything for everyone else, they didn’t open the doors until just a few minutes before class, so I would join all of the other students who were huddled up tight to the school doors trying to stay out of the cold Michigan weather as much as we possibly could. As I look back upon it, the “gang activity” that was in the late 1950’s was nothing at all when compared to today, but in those days, the majority of us students were afraid of these groups who had a reputation for vandalism and for beating their fellow students.
On my way to school one spring day, I suddenly found myself surrounded by this gang of girls. I was terrified and tried to ignore them hoping that they would go away. They surrounded me and kept me from going further. The leader of the group tried to start an argument with me. A cold finger of fear crept up my back as I saw that some of them had knives: open knives. I wasn’t sure what they planned to do with those knives, but I was certain that they were not planning on eating an apple.
Because of my terror, for years I could not remember what happened next, but then one day a few years ago, I suddenly could. As I looked around for someone to help me, I noticed a teacher, who occasionally also walked to work, walking along on the other side of the street. I had seen her at school, but had never spoken to her or even waved “hello.” I saw here look over toward us and immediately begin to cross over to our side of the street. When the girls saw the teacher coming, they quickly put away their knives and tried to pretend like they were being friendly, but that teacher was not fooled a bit. She talked with the girls for a few minutes and then walked the rest of the way to school with me. How thankful I was to have a rescuer! From then on, I always waved and said “hello” to her and sometimes we would walk to school together.
We all need rescuing from someone far more frightening than that girl gang, for our “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 Praise God! We have a Rescuer from his evil schemes. We have a Saviour Who sees the plight we are in and delivers us from the power of the evil one. He assures us, “For the Son of man is come to save that
which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.” Matt 18:11-13 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
Wonderful Saviour! Think of it! He left all of the glories of His Heavenly Kingdom and came to this dark and sinful world to save us. We were surrounded by the enemy and in the greatest of danger, but he provided a way of escape for us. With a heart full of love, He pleads “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die?” Isa 1:18,Eze 33:11
“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king, he will save us.” Isa 33:22 He will forgive us! He will cleanse us! He will give us the victory over those sins that so easily beset us! But we must ask for these blessings, we must desire them more than any other gift. We must co-operate with Him. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matt 13:44-46
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation” Heb 2:3 How shall we answer Him in the judgment if we turn away from His great gift of grace? Jesus is coming soon! All around we can see this world crumbling. Now is the time to get ready. Now is the time to make our calling and election sure. “2 Peter 1:10”
“And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!” Zech 9:16,17 Soon we will see Jesus coming in the clouds of glory! Soon we will look up and say, “Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isa 25:9
May we allow Jesus to rescue us and drive the evil one away. May our response to His great offer of salvation be, “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed, save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.” “Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy” Jer17:14, Ps 109:26 May we continually walk with Him, for when we do, the evil one’s fiery darts cannot harm us.