“And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” 2 Kings 2:23-24 (KJV)
Elisha, like Elijah whom had just been caught up to God in a whirlwind (2:11) was a prophet to the northern kingdom. Israel was an idolatrous people. They hated God, and the “old ways”. They had been led in this way by godless leadership. Because of this the children grew up mocking God, God’s word, and God’s messengers [prophets].
It is believed that the “children” mentioned in the text were most likely in their teen years. They were old enough to be apart from their parents, and any form of guardianship to be where they were. We also need to realize there were probably at least 50 of them. Today (2015), we would call them a “Gang”, and evidently an unruly one; so for anyone to start blaming God, His prophet or whatever you like would be foolish.
These people were mocking God, God’s prophet and His word. They were an immediate threat to the prophet. To blame God, or Elisha for this tragedy is indeed foolish. The blame lies with the children/youth, their parents and the culture in which they lived.
In the New Testament it is written;
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galations 6:7
There is judgment for mocking God, His word, and His messengers.