There is a reference in the Jewish Chronicles regarding the confluence of the tribes of Israel to support David, a former shepherd, in his bid to assume the King’s throne. One of the tribes is described as “the men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32) An odd reference to be sure. Issachar did not even bring that many to the battle– “200 chiefs and all their relatives under their command.” other tribes brought tens of thousands.
But the men of Issachar had an skill not attributed to any other tribe. They understood the times…, and knew what needed to be done.
100 years ago British author G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) wrote a commentary on his times—
“Our world today needs a new kind of prophet. Not one like the prophets of old who told men that they were going to die; rather we need a prophet who will tell them that they are not dead yet.”
Chesterton understood his times. Though critical in much of his writings he was still quite poignant. He drove home the truth whether his audience wanted to hear it or not. He was not afraid to speak up, to go on the offense against his antagonists, to stand his ground. He understood his times: he knew what to do.
In our era, who are the prophets who understand these times and know what to do? Are they in government, religion, or the local pub? In a way it doesn’t matter where they are. They need to be heard. More so, it is important for us to heed their insights and ACT. For understanding the times is just part of equation.
Are you this kind of prophet? Or, are you one who understands? Then ACT? There is still time to make a difference; to warn people of impending disaster, to inspire them to great opportunity, to come alongside them and guide them. Are you this kind of person?
As I recall, most of the people on this planet are still alive. They are not dead yet: and neither are you. If you are like the men of Issachar and understand the times, and know what to do…, please, for the sake of all that is right, and holy, and decently human…, step forward, take a stand.
And… ACT! With an understanding of the times.
Have a nice week,