“Of the sons of Issachar, who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command.” (1 Chronicles 12:32)
If the description of the Gadites was small, the Issachar boys’ is miniscule! The above verse (and 7:5, “mighty men of valor”) is all that is said about them. Though the information is limited, the skill and contribution they brought to David was immeasurable. What price do military leaders put on good Intel!? This was probably one of the most strategic pieces of the puzzle of David’s flawless crusades. Ask any commander how important good, relevant, timely information is to his decision making process. These sons of Issachar were worth their weight in gold! They were mentally conditioned. What exactly does that look like?
Two statements are key: 1) “understanding of the times,” and 2) “knowing what Israel ought to do.” This blog will focus on the first one. In order to understand the times there must be a frame of reference, a base line of fundamental standards. One cannot truly understand current conditions without having a grasp of historical circumstances and events to overlay across present trends. When a person is mentally conditioned he has an ability to see future successes in the here and now because of the natural cause and effect relationship with obedience and submission to Almighty God that has been proven throughout history.In the case of Israel, the sons of Issachar had to know the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the subsequent leadership of Moses through the wilderness wanderings, and the successful venture of Joshua’s direction into the Promised Land. The collapse during the time of the Judges leading into the disappointment of the Kingship gave a clear picture to these alert young men that certain actions and attitudes came with drastic consequences! They had the ability to reasonably and logically conclude that disobedience toward God and His principles would lead to negative outcomes for the entire nation. They saw that following Saul was only going to continue the downward spiral of defeat and national despair. David was not only a better option, he was the only wise choice. The sons of Issachar saw future events by understanding the former process of obedience and by refusing to embrace that failed continuance of “doing what was right in their own eyes,” the choice of Saul and the mantra of the time of the Judges.
This is a cry for men to stop coasting in neutral and put it into overdrive! We need, like never before, godly men that have a grasp of what God wants us to do here and now and to make that knowledge vocal. Oh sons of Issachar, come out and be heard! Israel had these mental giants, the times call for them again.