for a more detailed answer on the mauling and I agree with the interpretation: http://www.gotquestions.org/Elisha-baldhead.html
What those young men (not little children) did was not a petty offense. Again, the Israelites were entirely dependent upon God's prophets to know what He required of them. Prophets literally spoke the exact words God gave them to speak.
Your other point about judging someone based upon what's inside is confirmed in 1 Samuel 16:7, "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'"
The requirements for office of priest were very precise and exclusive. Everything about their offices and work was symbolic of the offices and work of the Messiah to come. As much as perfection could be expected of a human, it was expected of them.
As for the morality I teach my children, we live in the New Testament period when those symbols/shadows/types of things to come have been fulfilled and explained in Jesus Christ. I don't live my life by Moses and the Prophets but according to the Messiah, Jesus.
Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father
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