“From Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32 NIV)
Do you ever feel that way? I admit to you that sometimes I don’t have the mental energy to take in what is happening around us.
However, in a recent solo group conversation, Jim Mancuso, convenor of ACL’s Solo Librarians Interest Group mentioned that we should consider being more like the sons of Issachar. But who were they?
In a verse tucked away in an often-overlooked list, we find this small group from the tribe who originated from Issachar, one of Jacob and Leah’s sons.
At this point in history, armed militia from the tribes of Israel were coming to David in droves to offer their military skills in order to make David king of Israel. In I Chronicles 12, we find this impressive list of thousands, most described as “warriors” or “mighty men of valor”or those who could “draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war.” Yes, who wouldn’t want these sword-wielding brutes on their side!
And yet, from the tribe of Issachar, we find mentioned (verse 32) only 200 men with their relatives at their command, “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.”
Ah, David’s Intelligence Officers! The Hebrew word for understood here deals with being well-informed, discerning, cunning. They were David’s military strategists.
They were the ones in the war room – or war cave! – who analyzed and disseminated data. Perhaps their relatives were used for recon, providing mission-sensitive reports about what was going on in and around Israel. These men had the ability to see how the intel influenced their strategies and had the skills to help David devise combat operations. They knew what Israel should do.
Without this group, critical information could have been missed or misinterpreted, placing those God-fearing brutes in danger and the army in defeat.
Oh, is that what can happen when we bury our heads in the sand?
Fellow Christians, we don’t know the future, but we know these things:
- There are battles waging against our homes, our schools, our communities, and our churches.
- God wants to use us – He tells us to be prepared (I Peter 1; Ephesians 6).
- He wins! Our refuge is in Him, the ultimate victor!
Librarians are in the perfect position to be like the sons of Issachar. We need to understand the LORD, our Commander’s plan. Let’s dig through His perfect intel, the Bible, to correctly discern what we should do. Let’s understand the times to best apply God’s unchanging Word in our ever-changing society. Let’s help our students, churches, and communities not just to survive, but to thrive in a fallen world that threatens our Christian values and way of life.
Let’s know and understand the LORD, our Commanding Officer, so we, too, can volunteer our skills to win His battles!
Let’s not bury our heads in the sand!
Renee is the Librarian at Faith Bible College in Norfolk, VA. She has been an ACL member for 8 years.