Lions and bears?
1 Kings 13
On the back of reading the lion incident in 1 Kings 13, I decided to concentrate my bible reading with the boys on the lion stories in the bible. Today, I did a story sack for the story about the disobedient prophet who was attacked by a lion as punishment (1 Kings 13). I’m trying to make our bible times with the boys livelier with props! Anyway, next Sunday, Steven and I are going to do a story sack together on Samson and a lion found in Judges 14. I also had the inspired idea to ask Nathan to write a story about Benaiah who killed a lion in a slippery pit on a snowy day in 2 Samuel 23:20. Both boys wrote stories around this one liner in Scripture, so cool and creative!
1Kings 16- 2 Kings 2
Funnily enough, another lion appears in my readings today. In 1 Kings 20:35-36, a prophet was instructed by God to ask this man to strike him with his sword, but this man refused. So, the prophet said:
“Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, a lion shall kill you as soon as you leave me”
And this is exactly what happened, the poor chap was attacked and killed by a lion as he left. To be fair, the prophet needed to look like a wounded soldier to deliver his message from God, so we see again how disobedience to God can result in death by lion. I am starting to feel grateful that we don’t have lions roaming free in this country, but I guess that’s not really a problem for God!
In the chapter I’ve read over the last few days (been playing catch up on my reading plan, but back on track now!) there has been stuff written about various rulers of Israel, usually bad! And then in chapter 17 Elijah pops up and I read about his ministry, including the story of Elijah and the miraculous supply of flour and oil for the widow and her son, the miracle of Elijah praying for the boy to come back to life and then the infamous story of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel; the show down!
In Kings 19, Elisha enters and follows Elijah. It’s so cool how he shows his commitment by killing his oxen which he used to plough the fields and shared the feast and off he went. And in 2 Kings 2:11, its Elijah’s time to die and what a way to go:
‘.. Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.’
Elisha’s ministry story starts in 2 Kings 2 and the story that struck me today was the last one in this chapter, when Elisha was being mocked. A gang of young men made fun of Elisha because of his bald head and he placed a curse on them. This gang were showing severe disrespect for Elisha’s message, not just the way he looked and were therefore being disrespectful of God’s power. Elisha’s curse and subsequent bear attack soon put a stop to that!
‘As he was walking along the road, a gang of young men from the city began mocking and making fun of him (Elisha) because of his bald head. He turned around and cursed them in the name of the Lord; and two female bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of them. (2 Kings 2:23-24)
From lions to bears; God is serious about us being obedient to Him and respectful of His message. The bear story is a reminder that those in leadership in our churches need to be heard with respect and encouraged in their ministry.