February 04                                         Day 35

How Then Shall We Live?

Devotions on Living a Deeper Christian Life

“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do.” – 1 Chronicles 12:32


The Men of Issachar

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In 1 Chronicles (12:32), we read about a group of “Mighty Men” from the tribe of Issachar, who “understood the times” they were living in. This verse can serve as a reminder for us to be in a position where we are gaining an understanding of the times that WE are living in.

Issachar was the ninth son of Jacob and the fifth son of Leah (Gen 30:14-18). His name is a verbal form of “Sakar,” meaning, “hire, or wages.” The name implies that the tribe would “hire” itself out to bear the burdens of the others. (Gen 49:14-15). Leaders such as Deborah and Barak belonged to the tribe of Issachar.

If you were to meet the mighty men of Issachar in their day, they would living out the fulfillment of their name. They were truly men who bore the burdens of others. Their standard position in the desert march was with the tribe of Judah on the East side of the Tabernacle. If one could peer down on the twelve tribes from overhead, they would be found encamped in the form of a cross.

The tribe of Issachar was men that prospered in the wilderness. At Sinai, the tribe numbered 54,400 men of war over twenty years of age (Num 1:29). At the end of the wanderings, their numbers had grown to 64,300 (Num 26: 23-24). When they ceased their travel, they dwelt in a fertile territory (Josh 19-23), and were allotted the territory between the eastern Jezreel Valley and the Jordan Valley. They are also mentioned in Revelation 7:7, where it is explained that 12,000 of their tribe would be sealed. These mighty men understood the times and seasons and their position under God, and were known to share their wisdom with others.

Jesus held the people of His day responsible for knowing the times of His coming. He will also hold the people alive at His return responsible for understanding the times of His second coming.

Today, we find ourselves living in very uncertain times. We hear of wars, and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, the rise of nation against nation as written in Mark 13, Luke 21 and Matthew 24. We are told when we see these things we will be living in the “Beginning of Sorrows” (Mat 24:8) and will the signs will increase with intensity like the birth pangs of a child that the imminent return of Christ is near.

So who are the “Men of Issachar” for this generation? We need might men who can give insight and understanding into the times that we are living in for this generation.

The Bible tells us that, “No one knows the day or the hour.” History is full of examples of foolish nations that ignored signs of coming destruction and continued to live in their own lusts and selfish ways. Always strive to understand the times in which you live.


Words to Think About…



The coming of Jesus Christ and the end of the age occupies some 1,845 Scriptural verses.” – John Wesley White

Many times when I go to bed at night I think to myself that before I awaken Christ may come.” – Billy Graham


George Matheson grew discouraged over his small crowd on a winter’s evening in Innellan, Scotland. He had worked hard on his sermon, but the sparse numbers and empty chairs nearly defeated him. He nonetheless did his best; not knowing that in the congregation was a visitor from the large St. Bernard’s Church in Edenborough, which was seeking a pastor. “Make every occasion a great occasion,” said Matheson, who was to spend the rest of his career at St. Bernard’s. “You can never tell when somebody may be taking measure for a larger place.