Daily Devotional

1 Chronicles 12:32a

Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…

Before the death of King Saul, David was at a place called Ziklag for 16 months. While he was there, many came to support him instead of Saul to be king of Israel. 1 Chronicles 12 is essentially a list of those who threw their support behind David. In the midst of this list we read of the men of Issachar “who had understanding of the times” and because of this knew it was time to choose David over Saul.

For several months now life has been very different for all of us. Many are struggling in different ways, and in the midst of such a struggle it’s natural to long for things to get back to “normal.” Many have had decreased work or lost jobs entirely during this time, and normal would be a pleasant reprieve. Though in many ways “normal” is a good thing, perhaps we should pause for a moment and try to have some “understanding of the times” and ask ourselves what things should not go back to normal?

Throughout Scripture and throughout history, we see God moving His people not back to something, but rather towards something new. One of the best examples of this is in Exodus. After being led out of Egypt through a series of miraculous plagues, the Israelites end up at the Red Sea. The Israelites are blocked in by an impassable sea before them and Pharaoh’s army approaching behind them. Their immediate response is to think things weren’t really that bad back in Egypt; they want to go back to what was “normal.” God didn’t take them back to Egypt, He instead took them THROUGH the Red Sea, THROUGH the wilderness, and on to the Promised Land.

What are some changes we’ve made during this time that God would have us continue? What are some changes we need to make when given the opportunity to return to normal? I have a friend who put it this way; instead of looking at all of this as a pause, maybe we should try looking at it as a reset. What could God be doing? What could God be trying to show us or tell us through all this? Instead of instantly returning to all of our old norms let’s lean in, listen for His heart, and with the wisdom He provides seek out a new normal.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.