Summary: Being the children of GOD that understand the times.
“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).
The men mentioned in 1 Chronicles 12:32 were part of the gathering that assembled to make David king of Israel. They were assigned the duty of prophetic discernment. Their mission was to be able to observe, listen and to ultimately ‘discern the times’, and to know what the will of God was for God’s people at any given period of time. These descendants of Issachar were bold men…brave men…uncompromising men…unwavering men.
When I was a young man I relied on the spiritual direction of spiritual men, role-model fathers who counseled me in the directions I should take, and the things I should do in my life. They were the ‘Issachar men’ in my life. Through their counsel, I was able to avoid so many of the pitfalls that require so great a price in the lives of our young men today.
Many of our young men today are part of a new generation of people who have broken all contact with God and have been molded instead by the entertainment media’s ungodly influence. The spirits of our young men are wallowing in the muck and mire of profanity, adultery, fornication, and pornography.
1 We have watched in horror as movies went from no cursing, to bleeping out cursing, to promoting vile profanity.
2 We have watched in horror as dancing went from the Twist, to the Bump, to the Grind, to anything goes.
3 We have watched in horror as pornography went from illegal, to age-appropriate, to free-web access.
4 We have watched in horror as dating couples went from kissing, to shacking up, to multiple partners and free sex.
In generations past, we looked up to men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela, but today our young men are looking up to Pee Diddy, Jay Z, Nate Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Q-Tip, and Slick Rick.
But all is not lost. There are still spiritual men in the world who offer a new direction and a new purpose for our vulnerable adolescents. They are the men who serve as good interpreters of life…the men who are being called on to understand and interpret our changing times. They are God’s Issachar Men.
1 God is calling for the Issachar’s of His church to stand up and be counted. The church is calling for men who will direct God’s people as leaders of His Kingdom.
2 God is calling for men who will minister powerfully with the intensity of God’s spirit and an enthusiasm generated by the excellence of their spiritual training.
3 God is calling for men who will be spiritual fathers, who will discern the times and to give right counsel to those who seek it.
And men…you can’t volunteer for that duty because the ranks of this army are made up of draftees only. The price a man must pay to walk in those ranks is considerable, and the men that occupy that role have not only talked the talk, but also walked the walk. They are the veterans of spiritual warfare, who, like Paul can say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Like Paul, they bear the marks on their souls. Paul informed the Galatians, “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17).