Week 2, Day 2
Understanding the Times to Understand our Mission
By: David Harris
1 Chronicles 12:32
Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.
The book of Chronicles essentially lays out the history of the kings of Israel - men whose role was to serve and lead God’s people. In chapter 11 David has been just been anointed king at Hebron and is in the early stages of his reign. Around him are the Mighty Men; Davids toughest warriors who were/are renown for their legendary tales of battle. This men knew David and he knew them. They had been in battle together and they had served him faithfully. As he is taking command over all of Israel, David understands that he will need an army that he can rely on to help him lead Israel. Part of this was to gather men who “Understood the times”. The specific understanding they had is unclear but safe to say these men understood the culture (people, place, things) and how to properly engage their environment in light of the time and more importantly, in light of the will of God.
For me, context is everything. It helps me properly assess the situations of life on a macro and micro level. I think we all do this as we try to understand the environment around us. To understand something is to perceive the intended meaning of (words, a language, or speaker) or infer something from information received (often used as a polite formula in conversation). As followers of Christ, we have been instructed to go out and tell everyone the good news and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. How exactly can we do this without any context of the situation we live in. I’m not sure we can. This is not to say we need to change the message of the Gospel- by no means! Or that we need a some new guideline on what it means to love your neighbor (we shouldn't) but without desire to understand the environment in which we are going, are we really being loving to those we want to reach?
Our mission is as Christians is to tell others the good news of Jesus and love our neighbors as we love our self. In a very polarizing world, what are some ways you can use your understanding of the times to reach the lost?