2 Kings 2:15-18 (NLT)
15 When the group of prophets from Jericho saw from a distance what happened, they exclaimed, “Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16 “Sir,” they said, “just say the word and fifty of our strongest men will search the wilderness for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has left him on some mountain or in some valley.” “No,” Elisha said, “don’t send them.” 17 But they kept urging him until they shamed him into agreeing, and he finally said, “All right, send them.” So fifty men searched for three days but did not find Elijah. 18 Elisha was still at Jericho when they returned. “Didn’t I tell you not to go?” he asked.
Elisha was following in the footsteps of Elijah to become a great prophet. Both men knew God was about to take Elijah away. So Elijah asked Elisha what he wanted before he was to go with God. Elisha replied, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor.” Suddenly Elijah was taken away by a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire. It swept between the two men and carried Elijah by a whirlwind into heaven. And while everyone saw what happened, the prophets from Jericho came to Elisha and asked if they should search for Elijah, but he kept telling them no there was no need. Finally Elisha gave into their persistence and 50 men searched for 3 days but could find no trace of Elijah. They finally returned and Elisha said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”
Elisha was accepted as the new leader of the prophets. As he departed with Elijah, Elijah folded his cloak, struck the river and the river separated and allowed them to walk across on dry ground. When Elisha returned alone he had Elijah’s cloak, he folded it as Elijah had done, struck the river and it separated just as it had done before. The other prophets witnessed these events which led them to believe Elisha had been blessed with Elijah’s spirit. Rven though they had witnessed the events that had taken place they wanted to search for Elijah. Elisha kept telling them “no”, because he knew Elijah was with God. They continued to ask over and over. Shame finally caused Elisha to give into their requests. Slight doubts probably came into Elisha’s mind making him wonder; what if they did find Elijah; then he would be at fault for not letting them go. Yet the men returned 3 days later and Elisha who had been shamed into letting them go rebukes them saying, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?” Shame works for good, but can also work for evil as well. Shame is good when it helps us to realize our sins and it motivates us to do right. But if we let shame generate fear in our life; then shame starts taking us in new directions of sin. Elisha’s shame was a result of fear that maybe he was wrong. Maybe he didn’t see the miracle God had performed. Maybe he was inadequate and these other men knew what they were talking about when they said they should go search. Shame became Elisha’s enemy and then Elisha felt as though he had to justify himself when the men returned. James said, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this: that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing. Be patient even with yourself, understanding the choices you make in life and not giving in wrongly due to shame.