Updated on July 6, 2018.
In 1 Chronicles 12, the men are listed who went to battle with King David. In this list are men who led as many as 40,000 men into battle.
And, in that group, were a band of men from the ancestry of Jacob.
32 from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
The history of this band also includes one of my personal heroes, the great prophet, judge, and leader of Israel, Deborah. You can read about her in Judges 4 and 5. One of the gifts God gave Deborah was the ability to use her intellect and courage to lead Israel even when they were faced by forces that appeared insurmountable. They knew what they needed to do and they did it.
Dr. James Emery White wrote about the men of Issachar in 2015 in this blog post. I highly recommend it.
The thing that differentiated the men of Issachar was that they not only knew the times and what the situation was, they knew the power of God to overcome any obstacle. They also knew the times were dangerous and, like Deborah, they knew what to do! So we, who know the power of God, and the battle being waged for life, from conception to natural death, clearly recognize that there are some things that we must do. Like the men of Issachar, we need to be active in some specific ways:
We must reinforce the truth that the spiritual battle for the lives of God’s children is a battle we can engage in every day on our knees and on our feet. Prayer, Scripture, the gospel and ministries of mercy are powerful weapons in this battle. You will not hear this on the news – it is not their business. It’s our business. We know that without God’s engagement the lives of people at every age and stage are at risk. We know that God is more powerful than the forces of darkness. There really is no better strategy for us than to do what He means for us to do – love Him, make Him the center of our life. Love the people the way He has taught us – feed them, help them, share the gospel, help some more.
What will happen if we do not do these things?
If someone does not care, no homeless person will receive help from organizations like the Salvation Army or from our churches. Should our church do more? Maybe by supporting a homeless ministry and sharing the gospel there?
No prisoner will meet Jesus through a Bible study and learn how to live free, even though incarcerated, if there were not organizations like Prison Fellowship International. Their lives mean something! Should our churches expand our view of life to include those children who have an incarcerated parent? What could we do for their family?
If people were not praying, and giving, and standing for them every day…
No person facing an unexpected pregnancy would find accurate health information, practical help, the gospel, or the love of an authentic person, at a church or a pregnancy center. (This link is from the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs and has sub-links to major pregnancy center networks.) The lives of every mother, father, and baby mean so much! Our churches can make the difference in whether a pregnancy center can serve our
community — or not.
No veteran’s family would have a church to back them up when mom or dad is deployed. Every military family needs us to care about their lives! Do they have friends in our churches to care for them? Do they know the Lord, Jesus?
No suicidal teen, whose loneliness is so deep that only death seems rational, would find a free Christian counseling center or HOPE LINE waiting for their call. Our churches need to help staff places of peace for teens who need counseling. Can’t we build counseling centers where desperate teens go?
Without someone who cares, no sick, aged, disabled person would receive Biblical hospice care from caregivers who use a Biblical approach to support those who are dying or grieving the loss of a loved one.
Are we fighting the fight for the soul and life of every older person? Do we share the gospel in the nursing home, hospital, and senior center?
We hope to inspire folks to get involved in support of the lives of God’s children in their town. There are so many ways to serve that every Christ-follower, equipped with the gifts God gave him or her can be engaged somewhere for the lives of the people around them! The people of the God of the Bible stand for good and life! We care about protecting the unborn child of God because He loves them and us.
I pray many will join us, get involved, share the gospel, encourage their family and friends in the fight for God’s image bearers at every age and stage of life. Love and serve God among His creation. Pray. Share the Gospel. Work. Love. Prop up the good!