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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Knockout and the Mouths of Babes

You would be hard pressed to find a more tender hearted man of God in all the Holy Bible than the Prophet Elisha—His ministry was marked by a persistent message of God’s love and the kindness of our Savior. Nevertheless, there is a passage recorded about Elisha that skeptics delight in and incites those who would place their own morality above the morality and wisdom of God.

It seems not long after the passing of Elisha’s Master Elijah —Elisha heads for Bethel. He was confronted on the way by a group of young men, the Bible says they shouted at Elisha: “Go on up, you baldhead!” they taunted. “Go on up, you baldhead!”

Elisha then does something out of character, he turns and curses the youth in the name of the Lord and two bears come out of the forest and maul forty-two of the youths. The Bible doesn’t say whether they were killed, but it does say they were mauled.

It’s worth noting this had to be a very large gathering of young men if the bears managed to get forty-two of them. This may seem harsh to those who do not understand the context and the culture of the near East at this time in history.

You see, young men had the responsibility of contributing to their families’ welfare and survival—they didn’t have idle time enough to hang out in huge packs on roads between towns doing nothing other than taunting travellers. These youths were on their own and likely assaulting and robbing travellers —The East did not take kindly to idlers and took robbery very seriously, much more so than we do today.

That they were a gang not unlike the ones we see contemporaneously is likely but not a statement that could be dogmatically made based only on the text. It is highly likely however, given an understanding of the cultural manners and customs of the time and place, particularly when you consider they were on the road.

That being said, this was more of a spiritual attack on Elisha and therefore God than a physical one. This is apprehended when one considers the taunt employed by the young men: “Go on up, you baldhead!”

As noted earlier, this took place right after the passing of the Prophet Elijah—Baldheads were not the custom of Israelis, it was an act of morning to shave one’s head. The Bible says Elisha was so distraught at losing his Master he rent his clothing, another custom of the day. When the boys said “Go on up…” They were referring directly to the passing of Elijah. The Bible records Elijah being taken up into heaven by a chariot sent by God before Elisha’s eyes.

This was a case of rebellious youth so depraved they mocked Elisha whom everyone knew to be a Prophet and God by inferring the incident was not true.
The Holy Bible admonishes people to be mindful of the company they keep and the incident recorded in II Kings concerning the fate of this gang of youths is an abject lesson of the wisdom of heeding it.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Today we see gangs of young men no less callous than those of Elisha’s day. Yet we treat them much more gently, then wonder why these gangs persist. The “Knockout Game” newly discovered by the mainstream media, is a reminder of the effects on society disaffected, unengaged youth can bring.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

These young black men preoccupied with causing misery and pain are the result of our men failing to instill Godly values in the fruit of our loins. We scatter our seed to the winds without a care as to how that seed is cultivated and then look for others to blame when what is produced is so sickeningly bitter.

I read an article chronicling a knockout attack on a Jewish boy of twelve and the subsequent arrest of a thirteen-year-old boy for the assault. I was struck by the words of wisdom the victim offered regarding his attackers: “I think this could have all been prevented,” the boy said. “The boys and teens would know that there’s always a God watching them, and they wouldn’t only be afraid of the police,”

Indeed. The mouth of a babe can bring forth wisdom instead of taunts when he receives the proper instruction. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 The article states the Jewish boy attends Yeshiva where he is given spiritual learning along with his temporal education.

You can be sure the Jewish student knows the story of the gang God dealt with on behalf of Elisha. The triumph of Satan through his agents on the left has been to remove as much of God from the American culture as possible, most notably from the public schools. The victim’s father says in the article the young men celebrated when they hit his son, gleefully shouting: “We got him.” The knockout game is a cold victory for secularism.

“I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism.” “By withholding the knowledge of [the Scriptures] from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds.” – Benjamin Rush, Letter written (1790’s) in Defense of the Bible in all schools in America

The Founders understood then what those who make the sacrifice to send their children to Yeshiva, or Christian schools understand today, even those Founders considered “Deists” and secularists knew the importance of religion in a child’s education.

History will also afford frequent Opportunities of showing the Necessity of a Publick Religion, from its usefulness to the Publick; the Advantage of a Religious Character among private Persons; the Mischiefs of Superstition, &c. and the Excellency of the CHRISTIAN RELIGION above all others antient or modern – Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania Philadelphia, 1749

Morality unattached to a source you are beholden to greater than yourself, is just opinion and subject to change with fashion and circumstances.

The leftist, secularist would argue that religion in school is not allowed by the Constitution and if it were, the effects would be negligible—To that I would say; Fear of the Lord is indeed the beginning of wisdom. Look at the difference between the thinking of a little Yeshiva trained boy in Crown Heights, New York expressed above and that of these roving bands of lost Black youths expressed in their vile behavior.

Examining their respective trajectories it is entirely possible the Jewish boy may grow up to be a lawyer defending his one time assailant in their later lives. Faith in a Holy and just God guides us and brings hope even in the face of hardship. Without that faith and fear, why not knock some random stranger out?

Digital Publius