Friday, April 16, 2010
Bizarre Bible Lessons Part 4- Respect your Elders.
Found in the 4th book of Kings (2:23-24)
Perhaps there is no better time in history to revisit this particular lesson and talk about respect, especially with regards to children respecting their elders. They seem to have no respect for anyone in positions of authority. Games, TV, and even songs refer to the strength of youth as being rebellious to authority. Gang violence, video games depicting and celebrating policemen being murdered, and TV constantly showing us how kids are better off doing as they feel and not as they are told. (DAMN IT, STEWIE, DO AS LOIS TELLS YOU!)
But is this the smart way to travel through life?
There is no better place to look for an answer to this than the Bible as our moral compass. There are many places that we could look for examples of how to discipline sassy young children.
Perhaps we could look to Jesus and his advice to the pharaohs, when he sounded off about in surprise when the king did not murder his children for their smart mouths.
BUT, that was only a side comment and nothing was done. Hardly anything to learn there.
How about when God himself orders sassy youths slain?
Nah, that is only ever read as brutal (and of course objectively moral) allegory.
The REAL story to teach children about respect lies with the History of Elijah.
Now this was dedicated prophet, I mean his very NAME meant "My lord is Jehovah" and his every day seemed to be filled with epic battles against Baal and his prophets, raising the dead, ending famine, calling down fireballs.
He was Batman, the littlest hobo, and an evangelist prophet all rolled up into one manly package. Like some sort of bad-ass Jewish Steve Irwin wandering the land telling people to stop believing in Baal by handing out all the holy killin's that he could muster.
He didn't even have to bring food or drink on his journeys because he had his own staff of butler angels who fed and tended to him.
He was so awesome that at one point he even made Baal’s prophets, through relentless mocking, stab themselves, then he called massive fireballs down from the sky killing the false prophets (as if making them stab themselves wasn't enough), brought a crazy rain storm in for dramatic effect AND cured the famine that the area had been experiencing….ALL AT ONCE!
So needless to say, Elijah was the world’s first real manly-man holy bad-ass.
This was the very definition of someone that you might want to respect, right?
"Not so", says a group of wandering youths. "He is like, totally bald, and we have stayed up for days discussing how we can insult this stupid, umm....baldy"
Elijah was traveling up to the city of Eliseus after being called to use his godly badassery to solve a bit of a water problem in this shining city.
The youths watched as he simply pulled some salt from his pouch of awesomeness and spread it on the waters, saying "STOP BEING DEAD" to the waters. The water considered its options, but then realized that it was Elijah and promptly stopped being dead, and promised to NEVER be dead again if Elijah would just stop putting salt into it. (He didn't really get the whole concept of fresh water, but ignorance can't stand in the way of 2 quarts of pure awesome, so our story continues)
The youths saw this and proclaimed "Pffft, we could have done THAT, he's not so tough." and followed him while he began his hobo-esque trip the the next town who needed help.
They caught up to him just as he was starting the short climb up a hill before the town, and rejoiced at knowing their chance had come. Elijah would now be victim to the sort of self-stabby mocking that is usually reserved for people who didn't agree with HIM.
The boys prodded their leader-youth to unleash the terrible insults they had been working on for so many days.
"GO AHEAD BALDY, GO CLIMB THAT HILL......um........BALDY!"
Now I know that you are saying, that isn't right.
You are saying that Elijah mocked people too, so why should we feel bad?
Elijahonly ever mocked for good reason...he didn't like the way they thought. These kids were only doing it because they didn't like how Elijah looked.
Elijah was a good and moral man, and knew that these children needed a lesson, AND since their parents weren't around, he figured that he could stand in their stead by offering some meager punishment as a lesson to these children to be more respectful.
"AGH!!" he yelled "My baldness is not your concern, sassy youths!"
"It is a good thing that there are no she-bears here, because then I would teach you lot a lesson you would never forget."
"BALDY, BALDY GO ON UP, CLIMB THAT HILL!"
Fortuitously, a couple of she-bears rounded the corner and saw Elijah being harassed and trying to cover his achilles head
"Did you want us mighty Elijah?" They asked "We overheard you talking about She bears"
"Thank Yahweh, can you please go teach those kids a lesson? You know....in God's holy name of course."
Now understand that the bears didn't really have this as part of their plans for the day, but this was ELIJAH, and there was no way that they wanted to end the day with a not so healthy self stabbing, so they did as he asked......
and mauled all 42 children to death screaming;
"WHO'S BALD NOW, LITTLE BITCHES?"
Elijah looked upon their remorseful bodies and was pleased.
"Who’s bald now indeed!" he muttered to himself
He thought back on the incident as he walked away...
"He he" he thought "Bears are funny"
Content that his lesson had been passed on, he continued on his trip to Mount Carmel where we can only assume that he learned the lesson that a well placed letter "A" can be all the difference between a fantastic treat filled trip and heart breaking and sugar deprived disappointment.
Moral of the story; Show respect to your elders and agree with everything that your holy men say or your fate will involve lots of self stabbing and mauling by she-bears.
(note-I know the moral sounds like indoctrination, but it totally isn't! It is self preservation.)