“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” (Proverbs 28:10, NKJV)
Life can be and often is … full of surprises! We hear from someone out of the clear blue … we run into someone we haven’t seen in years … surprise!
At other times, we are caught completely off guard when someone we didn’t even know was sick … passes from life to death … perhaps a child leaving the Lord!
Sometimes, we can kind of see things coming at us and do our best to prepare for their arrival. At other times … it’s as if we had little or no clue!
Solomon advises us to do the best we can to be prepared for the unexpected … and even the expected! We understand this principle in the secular world when it comes to financials, to college education, to retirement … all of which require thought, preparation, planning, and yes, implementation!
It is no different in our spiritual lives. We know for instance that Solomon writes to us in no uncertain terms, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge …” (Proverbs 1:7, NKJV) If we want to be ready for whatever life serves up our way, then our hearts, minds, and lives must be prepared as much as they can be.
Always, the beginning place to determine thoughts, words, and actions is found in God’s Book, the Bible! If we want to be better prepared for life itself … for living righteously in this world … and living in such a way that by God’s good grace and mercy, coupled by striving to live holy lives … then we shall be able to hear those most coveted of words, “Well done, good and faithful servant … enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:21, NKJV)
The times we are now living in are turbulent, erratic, unsettling, confusing, and even disheartening! We look around us … we see it on TV … we hear it on the radio, we read it in print! What are God’s people supposed to do? How are we to successfully navigate through these disturbing waters?
Without trying to oversimplify, perhaps we can turn to what is considered by many Bible students to be a kind of obscure passage of Scripture that is almost buried in a list of an impressive army of God’s people at the time of David becoming the kind … not only of Judah … but of Israel … the nation!
“ … of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command.” (1 Chronicles 12:32, NKJV)
In the midst of great armies mustered from the various tribes, we read of these two hundred men who “understood the times” and of the need to act appropriately!
We also read in the Book of Esther 1:13 of another group of men who “… understood the times” because they were “versed in law and justice.”
We are living in what the inspired writer, Paul, penned, are “perilous times.” (2 Timothy 3:1). He also warned God’s people back so long ago “… not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled …” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, NKJV)
My friends, brothers, and sisters in Christ … God is urging and warning us even today through the pages of His inspired Book that has been preserved for our learning … to be much wiser in our perceptions of what is going on around us and even among us!
So much more could be said, but may each of us understand more clearly … that not only must we look to those who are wise in God’s Book and to the ways of the world … we must learn how to become wiser and more discerning ourselves!
We will not be able to give away to our children and our grandchildren that which we do not have ourselves! Godly wisdom is not the lifting of the dampened finger into the breeze in order to know which direction to go!
May there be “men of Issachar” in our times … both men and women, young people, older people … who will choose to rise up and proclaim what the will of Lord is in both “truth and love” … but without compromise!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”(Romans 12:1, 2, NKJV)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.