Have we become so accustomed to the chaos of our time that we cannot see the signs of the times?
Most people have never heard of Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron. No thrilling narratives are recorded about these four brothers or their children. However, the sons of Issachar and their descendants exhibited one character trait that is desperately needed by leaders in our generation. 1 Chronicles 12:32 tells us that all these men understood the signs of the times.
Take a look around you. What do you see? Violence, economic turmoil, political unrest, and spiritual confusion. Apostle Paul prophesied to the young preacher Timothy, “ In the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, disposers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). That sounds like a description of our day, doesn’t it? Have we really become so accustomed to the chaos of our time that we cannot see the signs of the times. Look around you.
Jesus rebuked the spiritual leaders of His generation for a lack of discernment. “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’ and in the morning, “ it will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.” Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:2,3). What would Jesus say to the spiritual leaders of our generation! What would He say to us? Do we understand the signs of the times?
The sons of Issachar not only understood the signs of the times. Chronicles records that these leaders knew what their people should do. It’s important to discern the signs of the times, but it’s equally important to know how to respond to the events happening around us. To quote Francis Schaefer, “How should we live?” The Prophet Isaiah would cry out, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6,7)
We need to experience revival and reformation, personally and corporately. We have little control of the events around us, but if we can choose how to live. We lead choose how to leadpeople to God in these troubled times. Chronicles records these words from the Lord to King Solomon: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and prsy and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). How should we then live? Humble ourselves, pray, seek the Lord, and turn from our wicked ways. God is telling us right here what we should do to change the chaos into order and calmness.
We must hear the Word of the Lord through King David “Call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psalm 59:15).
Discern the signs of the times. Now is the time for extraordinary asking. Now is the time to call on the Lord. Before it’s to late.