Read 2 Kings 2:23-25
There are consequences for everything we do, and there are consequences for everything we say. We may think our actions or words are meaningless and harmless, but the Scriptures demonstrate that we should take great care with our words and deeds.
After Elisha takes on the mantle of God’s leading prophet, he faces a group of young men who irreverently mock him. “Then he went from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came up from the city and mocked him, and said to him, ‘Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!’” (2 Kings 2:23).
These are not little boys, but a group of dangerous ruffians who could have done great harm to the prophet physically had he not be protected by the Almighty. “So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths” (2 Kings 2:24).
A seemingly harmless taunt, but there were consequences to be faced. There was likely more to the incident than a simple taunt, but even if not, such disrespect should not have been shown toward a man of God. In Deuteronomy 27, Moses declares a series of curses that were to be pronounced upon different types of disobedient individuals.
If it was simply a verbal taunt that caused Elisha to pronounce a curse upon these young men, it should be remembered that there is great power in our words. James wrote of the power of the tongue and how we should exercise great wisdom in our communication. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 2:6).
Jesus Himself said, “But I say to you that for every idle word man may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
We will face consequences not only for our evil deeds, but for our idle words, malicious taunts, dirty jokes, and filthy communications.