Understand The Times
28 April 2017
Reading: 2 Samuel 3; 1 Chronicles 12; Matthew 15
From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take. (1 Chronicles 12:32 NLT)
This little verse is part of a section describing the season after King Saul’s death when the people of Israel began to join David’s rapidly strengthening kingdom and leave Saul’s gradually weakening kingdom. The allegiance of the people listed in these chapters helped bring about the unification of all Israel under David’s rule.
The times had changed. Saul was dead, along with his son, the crown prince Jonathan. The nation was divided, and this division weakened Israel and Judah in the face of the Philistine and Canaanite threat. There had been a time for loyalty to Saul, but now it was time to join David, and to strengthen and unify the nation under his God-appointed leadership. These men from the tribe of Issachar were among those leaders who understood the “signs of the times” and acted wisely.
I know that in each person’s life, and in each calling for ministry and service, there are times and seasons, and the times and seasons keep on changing. On a macro scale, seasonal change may be brought about by new economic, social, and cultural realities. On a micro scale, change may be related to a birth, a death, an illness, growing up and growing older, or even a geographical move. Relationships change, interests develop, skills are acquired, passions are stirred.
Jesus said that just as new buds on the trees indicate the end of winter and the approach of spring and as the changing face of the sky indicates a change in the weather, we can be sensitive and responsive to the changing times and seasons of our lives.
I will be alert, flexible, and wise to understand the signs of the times. I purpose to act in harmony with the seasons of God’s purpose for me and the church.
Father, I pray that I will live out all my days with sensitivity, flexibility, and an understanding of your times and seasons. Let me know the best course to take and have the courage to act on that knowledge. Amen.