These are the numbers of the men armed for battle who came to David at Hebron to turn Saul’s kingdom over to him, as the Lord had said: from Judah, carrying shield and spear—6,800 armed for battle; from Simeon, warriors ready for battle—7,100; from Levi—4,600, including Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, with 3,700 men, and Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 officers from his family; from Benjamin, Saul’s tribe—3,000, most of whom had remained loyal to Saul’s house until then; from Ephraim, brave warriors, famous in their own clans—20,800; from half the tribe of Manasseh, designated by name to come and make David king—18,000; from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;

– 1 Chronicles 12:23-32 (NIV)

Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

The writer of Chronicles makes a unique observation of the men of Issachar—they understood the times and knew what Israel should do. What an amazing skill! The world is constantly changing. Are we holding on to the “old ways of doing things” or are we taking the time to understand the ways that our communities are changing? This is the challenge of the church in the 21st Century—to not only understand the times, but also to know what to do.

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