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 (1 Chronicles 12:32).
Christian men must emulate Jesus as they lead at home, in Church and in the community. Yet we may look to other examples in the Bible to help us understand how to express Christ like leadership. The men of Issachar are one such example.
The passage from 1 Chronicles cited above describes the attitude of the leaders of Issachar during the effort to make David king over all Israel. From their example, Christian men learn that good leadership includes at least two features: An understanding of the times and the wisdom to proceed accordingly.
The first step in understanding the times is to have the mind of Christ. In other words, we must be men of Christ – born again by the power of the Holy Spirit – and seeking to be more like Jesus every day. In order to develop the mind of Christ within us, we need to study the Scriptures. We must be able to judge and interpret the past and the preset according to the standard of the Bible. This is impossible if we are not versed in its contents. Therefore, men of Christ must know the Bible if we hope to replicate the example of the men of Issachar.
Now, if a man hopes to understand the present time, he must first understand the past. Nothing happens in a vacuum. We have come to this place by a certain process and unless we know where we came from and how we arrived here it will be difficult to exercise godly leadership in the now. Why is that so? Well, you can’t beat something with nothing. We have arrived at this place because of the actions of past leaders that advanced an agenda contrary to God’s word. For instance, we have become a Nanny State not by natural process but because civil leadership (especially at the Federal level) pushed a worldview espousing centralized power as the highest expression of human achievement. Indeed, it is a worldview that removes God from the throne and replaces Him with corporate Man as expressed in the governing elite. If Christian men hope to provide the leadership needed to slay Leviathan, we must know its inner workings. Moreover, we need to know our nation’s founding philosophy in order to return to it.
Once we have studied the past we are better able to understand current events. Again, we have to to critique the times in which we live by the standard of Scripture. Yet, knowing that something is wrong is not enough. To truly understand current events is to know what is broken, why it is broken and how to fix it. It is not enough to say our nation is sliding down the slippery slope of socialism toward communism. We need to understand what fuels this humanistic engine in order to combat it. We must understand what a biblical alternative would look like, how to implement it and what steps we should take to get the ball rolling in the right direction. Good training for this is to discuss current events with your family and teach them how to use the Bible to evaluate the present state of affairs and come up with a God honoring solution.
Another aspect of knowing the times is to understand something about the future. I’m not talking about the second coming but about what God intends for this world in the mean time. According to the Bible, God is in the business of reconciling all things to Himself by Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:20). If we hope to lead as men of Christ, we know what that means.
Next article, Men Of Christ: Know What To Do.