There are some things in life that we avoid. Some kids avoid vegetables. Parents, like me, avoid Chuck E Cheese. There are some seniors who avoid new technology. And some Christians avoid reading the Old Testament. It seems “old” means irrelevant to us.
We avoid the Old Testament at our own peril. It has many lessons and principles that are vital for us today.
A Little Verse with a Lot to Say
Lately, I have been reminded of a small verse from the book of 1 Chronicles that has extreme relevance to us today. In 1 Chronicles 12, we are told about the people who joined David when he was on the run for his life from King Saul. There David was, in dire straits, living in the wilderness, and we get a list of the people who did not abandon him in his time of need. Instead, they were intent on making him King.
Most of the reading seems boring and filled with numbers, but then we encounter verse 32:
“…from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command…”
Do We Understand the Times?
There was a group of men from the tribe of Issachar who understood the times.
They understood that David was going to be King. They knew that Saul had lost his mind and wasn’t acting like he should.
Do you understand the times we are living in? We can watch the news and not understand the times. Or we can understand the times and be paralyzed with fear and indecision.
They understood and knew what they should do. That is the key. They took action, joined David and supported him.
What Do We Do Now?
During this time of Covid-19 may we be the type of people who understand the times. There is a global health crisis. Let’s be smart and respond with faith and not fear. Wash your hands, be cautious and loving to our neighbours. And let’s remember that through all of this that God is still in control! Understanding the times has a lot to do with us understanding that regardless of the crisis-be it leadership, pandemic, or a natural disaster like flooding in Fort Mac, that God is still powerful and in control.
Then let’s respond appropriately. If God is in control, we can be free to love, respond with generosity, and carry on the mission that Jesus gave to his followers for all time.
No matter what the circumstance our job as followers of Jesus is to share his message of love and hope to others. And that is what we continue to do as a church. In good times and bad times, we will tell others about the Real Hope, New Life and Lasting Purpose that can be found in Jesus alone.
That is a message that is timeless.
It will never get old.