What in the world is going on? Bombings in Boston. The US $17 trillion in debt. An abortionist killing babies after they have been born alive…and the press hardly covers the story. And these are just a few of the items from recent headlines. Without God’s Word, and the hope He offers, I’d be in great despair. But there is hope…and there is powerful understanding we can gain from the stories of God and His people in the Bible.
I’ve often been intrigued by the passage in Chronicles about the sons of Issachar. They are listed in I Chronicles 12 among those that joined David in the battles he fought for the Lord. It says in verse 32 that these 200 leaders were,
“…men who understood the times,
with knowledge of what Israel should do….”
I have pondered those simple phrases. Men who understood the times. Men who knew what Israel should do.
Could this non-theologian expound on that for a moment? When it says the men of Issachar understood the times, I don’t think it meant they had all the knowledge of the known world. They may not have been experts in economics, in science, in education, in politics. However, I believe God gave them the ability to look across the landscape of their current events and discern what was happening.
As we look at today’s stories in the news, one thing is evident to me. We have less and less time to share the Gospel with our world. And, we have more and more need for Jesus, and the hope that only He can bring. It’s why we started MEDIAlliance International…to help those around the world who are taking the Gospel, by the use of today’s technologies, to many who have never heard the Good News. Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Russia, India. Christian broadcasters in these regions…standing strong in the face of great difficulty and even persecution…proclaiming the Good News in a bad-news world.
The other description of the men of Issachar was, “…they knew what Israel should do….” How did they know? Who guided them? How could they be so sure? I believe these were men who knew God’s Word. They knew the scripture of the day. They communicated with the Lord and received their understanding from Him.
In this day…in these times, my prayer for myself is that I will be more like the men of Issachar and less like those of today. More in love with God and His Word, to gain His understanding and His insight into what we, as followers of Christ, should do. And I pray that, understanding the times, I will be more diligent in sharing the only hope in this world…Jesus. May I pray that for you, too?