And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times,
to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred;
and all their brethren were at their commandment.”
—1 Chronicles 12:32 (KJV)
Driving to work one day, I got behind a car with a double dose of stickers. Among them were a cross, a star and the ever-popular icon for the saying, “not of this world.” I thought about that for a few minutes as I waited for a light to turn green. With all the extreme events in the world, from hurricanes to earthquakes, floods and shootings, to all the other tragedies, it was good to remember this is not my eternal home. Yet even as the thought came into my head, the Holy Spirit quickly reminded me that being “not of this world” is not an insulation from reality. I can’t wrap myself in a cocoon and I can’t hide my head in the sand, especially as a leader.
The children of Issachar had the same issue. They were one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from the fifth son of Leah and Jacob. Each of the tribes were struggling to know what God wanted of them. Should they follow King Saul, who was proving to be unfit, or fall in with the new guy, David, who was emerging as God’s chosen one? From this scripture we see they knew what to do. They were a people who uniquely understood the times and seasons, as well as their position under God and what He wanted them to do. So they followed David.
It would be great if we didn’t need to worry about the myriad issues plaguing our society today. Sadly, the enemy of our souls has not stopped his quest for success. Satan wants nothing more than to limit our leadership and create chaos in our ministry. Thus, we must continue to be cognizant of anything he puts in our path.
Strive to be like the children of Issachar. Seek God in developing discernment and wisdom to understand the times in which we live. Ask for insight to see clearly the way to best utilize giftedness in meeting the needs of those living in a fallen world. While it might be easier to ignore what is happening in real life, it is our responsibility to know what we ought to do for His Kingdom and glory.
“All Christians are but God’s stewards.
Everything we have is on loan from the Lord,
entrusted to use for a while in serving him.”