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Understanding the Times!

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

THE SONS OF ISSACHER: Wisdom in Troubled Times

“…of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred:…” (1 Chronicles 12:32 NKJV)

There had been 7 ½ years of troubled turmoil for Israel, including civil war, due to royal succession struggles and Philistine domination. King Saul’s death along with some of his sons and his army had not only proved to be a military defeat, but also a devastating spiritual defeat as his and his sons’ bodies were taken to be hung on the walls of Beit Sean. Saul’s armor was taken to the temple of Ashtoreth, goddess of sex and war (1 Sam. 31:10), and his head placed in the temple of the vegetation god, Dagon (1 Chronicles 10:10). The existence of both temples has been attested by archaeological findings in the ruins of the city that we visit on our trips to Israel.

What were the people of God to do in such a time of spiritual and national turmoil? With most of the male descendants of Saul dead and those seven plus years of trouble, the elders (11:1) and the military (12:23) are now gathering at Hebron to make David their king. In this list of tribal names and numbers our verse stands out concerning “…the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…”

Our North American culture is changing extremely rapidly. This can be very disconcerting and discouraging to all of us! However, let’s look at what we can learn from “…the sons of Issachar…”

While we don’t have much description of what “…the sons of Issachar…” understood and how they came to understand it, we can surmise some things:

  • They would have to study “…the times…” in order to understand them. We can’t afford to ignore what is around us as we are to, with God’s help, impact the people of our culture for Christ. What is the most effective way to accomplish this?

  • This led to wisdom on their part as to who the next king was to be and how it was their opportunity to defend both the king and the nation.

While we struggle with the rapid secular changes around us, we can cling to the promise of James 1:5 that God will abundantly supply His wisdom to us when we ask. He will lead us in the way He would have us to go!

I remind all of us, “…let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Gal. 6:9 NKJV)

  • Dr. Joe Olachea, Director: DisciplePath

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