May 4th, 2002
The comments made in the Sabbath Message perhaps require some explanation.
The insult used of or given to Elisha was "Go up Baldy."
From all that we can gather this insult was an ancient term that can be likened to two types of derision today and these are: "Go Up" which might be likened to "Go on with you" and the second tem of "Baldy" refers to lies.
The tradition was that if you told lies your hair would fall out. So what these youths were actually saying was "Go on with you liar." They were not children they were youths. Rather like the poem "The Man from Ironbark" we can imagine "their eyes were dull, their heads were flat they had no brains at all." Elisha thus cursed them not because they were insulting him but because they were casting aspersions on the inspired word of God as prophecy. Thus the intervention of God was seen as the direct establishment of a prophet in the eyes of the populace.
In like manner Elijah was threatened by the soldiers sent by Ahaziah the king who had sent soldiers to enquire of Baal Zeebub the God of Ekron. The Angel of Yahovah sent Elijah to intervene and inform Ahaziah that because he had enquired of Baal Zeebub the God of Ekron and not of the God of Israel he would die.
The first contingent of fifty soldiers were sent under an officer who said to Elijah Thou "man of God." the king has said come down. This was meant as a command and a disparaging comment. They were probably Baal worshippers within the kings guards or like service. We are not told. However, they were taught due respect for God's servants.
The first officer and fifty were killed by fire from heaven and so were the second officer and his fifty.
The retort was simply this: If I am a prophet of God then fire will descend form heaven and kill you and your fifty. It did that, not once but twice. The third contingent approached him with respect and the officer begged him not to kill them but to accompany them to the king which he then did at the instruction of the Angel of the Lord.
The message in these instances is simple. You had better treat God's servants with respect and you had better watch what you say to them.
This lesson still holds true today. Whoever holds the lamp of God is God's servant and you had better be respectful. If they do not speak according to the law and the testimony you can ignore them (Isa. 8:20). But if they do speak so and what they say comes to pass you had better fear those prophets.
They are judged on what they do and what comes out of their mouth but that does not mean you can insult them with impunity.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
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