Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Sons of Issachar

“ .. the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do ..” 1 Chron.12:32

When all the tribes of Israel gathered at Hebron, they were made up of tens and hundreds of thousands of fighting men : 1 Chron.12:23-38. One tribe in particular was however not described by their numbers or their fighting skills. Instead they were singled out as having understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do. The sons of Issachar understood that God was bringing an end to Saul’s rule and knew that it was time to turn Saul’s kingdom over to David, and make David king.

Saul is a type or symbol of top-down leadership. David is a type and foreshadow of Jesus' servant leadership. I believe that God is bringing Saul's type of leadership to an end, and raising up Davids to prepare the way for the full realization of His Lordship and Kingdom in this world.

How is He doing that?

An army no matter how equipped and powerful, cannot function and do what it needs to do without getting the battle plans and hearing the instructions of its Commander in Chief. In every generation, God has “Issachars” to whom He gives understanding of what His plans are and what His people are called to do.

The question in point is, in the advance of His kingdom today, how is God transitioning from Sauls to Davids? What are the sons of Issachar seeing? What needs to be done? How is it to be carried out? What are we to be?

There is a lesson we can learn from the position that God placed the tribes of Israel as they camped and moved out. The sons of Issachar were not to lead in battle. That was the role and position that God gave to the tribe of Judah. Issachar was to follow behind Judah (Num.2:3-5, 10:14-15, Judges 5:15) giving Judah the support they needed. When Jacob pronounced the blessing, he prophetically saw the role of Issachar as that of a burden bearer : Gen.49:14-15.

Issachars are therefore servant leaders. They shun visibility and attention. They desire only to serve others so as to see others fulfill their role and calling. That is their delight.

Here is a call to all the Sons of Issachar : what are you hearing from the Lord?


  1. If you gather the sons of Isaachar in one place, there's no telling what could be accomplished..

  2. yeah perhaps .. but it'll have to be at His directive. Meanwhile, we might be better listening and serving wherever He has placed us.

  3. Issachar...
    "Jacob likens him to the patient ass or donkey, bearing two such heavy burdens that he couches down beneath them. The fact that this is not a common animal, but a "strong" one, indicates the strength of Issachar's character. Then the patriarch reveals the secret of Issachar's self sacrificing life by giving the motive that actuated him in carrying the double burdens: Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that the rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant to tribute. Genesis 49:14,15

    Many lose the blessing by murmuring and complaining when they are required to carry double burdens. But Issachar was sustained by the thought of the pleasant land in store and the rest by and by. The same hope will sustain burden-bearers at the present day. "
    From the book The Cross and it's Shadow By Stephen Haskell