The nation of Israel was in chaos. A polarized people split apart from their roots. Divisive under currents seemed to sabotage success on both sides. The sense of angst and uncertainty permeated every day life. It was impossible to dismiss. The reign of Saul began with much glory, so much promise. Hope for the nation was palpable as they crowned this handsome young King. Israel held much pride in their future under his leadership, but things did not go as planned. The nation floundered economically, militarily and the blessing of God was swiftly departing as the reign of SAUL’S HOUSE was destined to come to an end. “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.” the prophet Samuel declared to Saul. Saul refused his words, as he so many times refused the call to repentance.
It was a dark day. The enemies of Israel grew more powerful and this nation, previously known as God’s chosen ones crumbled from within. Fear and uncertainty loomed large, as the ominous threat of destruction was too great to ignore, but not for all. Two hundred men, sharing the heritage of the tribe of Issachar held a different perspective. Their spiritual understanding and prophetic insight was coalescing and as one voice they declared the wisdom of God to the nation, Crown David King! The battle raged on and Eli the priest received word, “your sons are dead.” In the twilight of his years, this patriarch of the temple fell over backwards and broke his neck. His daughter in law, now without husband, began labor prematurely and named her new born son Ichabod (God has departed) before she breathed her last breath. How could this be?
More news from the battlefield: King Saul and his son Jonathon are dead. The Philistines have stolen the most sacred, most holy, most powerful asset the nation of Israel possessed, the very Arc of the Covenant. The very PRESENCE of God. Bearing the shocking, natural representation to this little boys name, God HAD literally departed from Israel and was now in ENEMY hands. WHAT WOULD THIS MEAN?
How could a nation rooted rich in the prosperity and goodness of the blessings of the Lord come to this? Can there be hope in the midst of death and destruction? As the battle field that day, lay covered with fathers, sons and husbands, how could one feel any hope at all? Yet, the sons of Issachar declared what they had heard. Declared what they had seen. For in the very recesses of their spirits, they saw and heard their nation blessed by the hand of God. This tribe of wise men, who carried great influence, wealth and wisdom also bore the respect of the people and brought forth the direction and the very mind of God. They delivered in times past difficult, yet perfect counsel to the leaders of Israel. Weary of exhaustion, death and failure, the nation opened its heart to the wisdom of God once again.
“Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times with knowledge of what Israel should do……” the people, now after so much was lost, would finally would hear their words. Isaiah said, “knowledge and wisdom will be the stability of thy times…” and now as then, in our own country, nothing is needed more.
Make us Lord, as the sons of Issachar. A company of people who look not at the circumstance of our demise, but look upward to see and hear the wisdom and knowledge for such difficult and troubling of times. Make us a prophetic people, with the ability to transform the natural through the spiritual and become prophetic activists. Help us to change our cities, and our nation. Give our country a heart to hear your voice yet again, and one that is willing to repent and embrace your ways. SONS OF ISSACHAR arise in this season and declare the wisdom of God.