In 1 Chronicles 12:32, the Bible says, “Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.” In difficult days, we need those with the spirit of the sons of Issachar.
They understood the times. They understood that faithfulness to God is essential. They understood the culture in which they existed. They understood the socio-political realities of their time. They understood the impact of what was going on culturally on the faith of the people. They understood that change is necessary. Not everyone understands the times and not everyone among those who do not understand the times knows that they don’t understand the times. Additionally, there are some people in the church who don’t care about the times.
Those who do not understand the times may not see that faithfulness to God is essential. They may not understand that change is necessary. So the role of leaders is to help people understand the times. When you realize that not everyone understands the times and that not everyone cares about the times, it reduces your level of frustration.
The sons of Issachar didn’t just understand the times, they had knowledge of what Israel should do. Based on the times, they knew how to respond. It is possible to understand the times and not know what to do. But the sons of Issachar didn’t just have accurate analysis, they knew the appropriate actions based on their analysis. Understanding should lead to action. Too many times we remain stuck in the paralysis of analysis. If the people of God are to be effective, we need both awareness and decisiveness.
Interestingly, not everyone in Israel understood the times. But those who did not understand trusted the judgment of those who did. Not everyone has the ability to do the analysis, but we all have the ability to take action. Now is a critical time in the history of the world for God’s people to understand the times and know what to do. Now is a crucial time for all of God’s people to take action that is appropriate for the times in which we live. Now is the time to act based on the knowledge of the will of God. In times like these the people of God must stand as warriors in God’s army and fight for the cause of Christ.