A double edged sword cuts both ways. And God’s Word is just such a sword. Elisha shows us that in his first day on the job and boy did he start things off with a bang. He parted the Jordan, miraculously cleansed water supply and brought down a bearible (sorry for the pun :)) judgment on some disrespectful youths. Quite the first day!
It shows us the power of God’s Word both to bless and to judge. They both come from the same place. And both were good and just. It’s the same with the gospel. The gospel itself is a two edged sword. It’s main purpose is to save. That’s God’s desire. He wants everyone to believe it. He wants to bring the forgiveness of sins and eternal life to every heart. But when the gospel is rejected, it serves a secondary, terrible purpose. Jesus said “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12:48).
As Elisha’s miracle showed God’s great power to heal and bless, so the bear-judgment shows the results of scorning that word. On the last day, the judgment against those who spurn the gospel will be far worse than a bear-mauling. May we, by God’s grace in Word and Spirit be brought ever to treasure His Word of forgiveness, to honor and observe His Word lest His Word of peace turn for us into a word of condemnation.