By: Ely Lagajino
To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Titus 3:2 (ESV)
One sunny day while looking for the house of my friend in Manila, I spotted a group of children at the end of a narrow street. I thought there was a running contest. The children started running together and then slowed down and suddenly they shouted at an old man on the other side of the gate “Kalbo!”(Bald!) They quickly ran away in boisterous laughter.
In a few seconds the children returned running fast and then slowed down as they reached the gate and then shouted again, “bald, bald”, as they threw little stones at the old man. I made a hand signal to the children, telling them to stop, but they just ran away as I continued searching for my friend’s house.
I remembered the story of Prophet Elisha while he walkedthe streets of Bethel. Elisha “was a man of mild and kindly spirit” (PP p.223). But he did not tolerate severe ridicule. A group of ungodly youth mocked him. These young people heard the Prophet Elijah’s ascension and used this solemn event as the topic of their insults. They followed Elisha while chanting “Go up, you baldheaded, go up; fly away bald head.” The youth continued following him as they teased and mocked. Elisha turned around, boldly faced the menacing kids, and under the inspiration of God, he pronounced a curse.
Two bears came out of the woods and attacked the young people. Forty-two of them lost their lives (2 King 2:23, 24).Those kids must have been accustomed to bullying strangers or queer-looking people, on the street for a long time.
Had Elisha allowed the mockery to continue, he, a teacher, a prophet of God would always be the center of ridicule from those disrespectful kids each time he passed by the street; and his mission to teach people about God and the gospel of Jesus Christ may not be taken seriously.
For fifty years Elisha passed in and out of the city of Bethel and other places; and everyone respected him.