Faithlife Sermons

Understanding of the times - To know what to do

Notes & Transcripts

                    Understanding of the times - To know what to do

                                                          1 Ch 12:23,32,38                         1/13/08 a.m.           

We as individuals and as a nation are facing times of biblical proportions and decisions of monumental importance.


In today’s society I find a great need of knowing what the true destinations & goals of our society and its leaders are due to their extreme deception. (really what’s going on)

I also find a great need of knowing Gods’ Word and how to apply it to the world in which we live.

It is imperative that we as Christians understand the times in which we live and know what to do.


Should this nation honor God and pursue His blessings as a nation?

Ps. 33:122     Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,


Job 12:2323      He makes nations great, and destroys them;

                                                            He enlarges nations, and guides them.


Should it be the desire of a nation to have a God fearing leader?


2 Ch 28:1919 For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of  Israel, for he had  encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord.

Should the law of the land be regarded as the supreme authority or The Word of God?


Ac 5:2929 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said:                                                                         “We ought to obey God rather than men.

Should we as a nation support Israel?


Zec 2:8  For thus says the Lord of hosts: ..; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.


Should we as a nation pursue world government since the word of God says it’s coming anyway?


Re 17:3-6   


6 I saw  the woman, drunk  with the blood of the saints and with the blood of  the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.


Should we depend on God or the state provide for all our needs?

Php 4:19   9 And my God  shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.


2 Th 3:1010 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

Should speaking out against the sin of homosexuality & abortion be a crime?

2 Ti 4:22 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince,  rebuke,  exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

Should we as a nation make legal what God calls an abomination and perversion?


 Mt 15:33 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?


Should we as a nation promote, protect, and fund the killing of the unborn and terminally ill?

 Nu 35:33-3433 So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood  defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except  by the blood of him who shed it. 34 Therefore  do not defile the land which you inhabit, (murder not war)

Should we live according to Gods’ moral law or is there no such thing as moral law?


Pr 14:3434     Righteousness exalts a  nation,

                                                      But sin is a 8reproach to any people.


Truly, it is imperative that we as Christians understand the times in which we live and know what to do.


We are facing the choosing of a new leader and with that new leader will come his or her foundation of values which will be the foundation of his or her actions.

The word of God has a lot to say about this subject and in the coming weeks I hope to share with you all I can from Gods’ Word on this subject.


I am not promoting a political party or a political person but I am promoting, endorsing and proclaiming what the word of God says concerning seeking the Lord in this decision, the different kinds of leaders (Godly/Ungodly) and the effects they have on a nation, the responsibilities of a leader and a nation, the morality of a nation and the resulting effects on that nation, use of military, and etc.


We as Christians are to be like the men of Issachar were;


The stage; 

            David was king of Judah in Hebron.

Saul’s son Ish-besheth, king of the rest of Israel, had been assassinated

The custom was to make his son or a relative king in his place.

It was imperative to place David as king on the throne quickly, uniting Israel.

The Lord had chosen & anointed David as King by Samuel.


1 Ch 12:23,32,38 23 Now these were the numbers of the divisions that were equipped for war, and  came to David at  Hebron to  turn over the kingdom of Saul to him,  according to the word of the Lord:

V32   of the sons of Issachar  who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command


V3838 All these men of war, who could keep ranks, came to Hebron with a loyal heart, to make David king over all Israel;

All the tribes of Israel came to make David king

Verses 23-40

We have here an account of those who were active in perfecting the settlement of David upon the throne, after the death of Ishbosheth. We read (ch. 11:1, and before 2 Sa. 5:1) that all the tribes of Israel came, either themselves or by their representatives, to Hebron, to make David king; now here we have an account of the quota which every tribe brought in ready armed to the war, in case there should be any opposition, v. 23.[1]

The Levites themselves, and the priests (called here the Aaronites), appeared very hearty in this cause, and were ready, if there were occasion, to fight for David, as well as pray for him, because they knew he was called of God to the government, v. 26–28.[2]

The men of Issachar were the fewest af all, only 200, and yet as serviceable to David’s interest as those that brought in the greatest numbers, these few being in effect the whole tribe. For, 1. They were men of great skill above any of their neighbours, men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. [3]

The tribe of Issachar was especially known for wise men.

In fact, tradition holds that representatives from Issachar tended to be the wisest members of Israel’s Sanhedrin, the nation’s highest ruling body in the days of Jesus (see “Stephen’s Trial and Murder” at Acts 6:12).[4]

They understood the political times; they understood public affairs, the temper of the nation, and the tendencies of the present events.

It is the periphrasis of statesmen that they know the times, Esth. 1. 13. Those of that tribe were greatly intent on public affairs, had good intelligence from abroad and made a good use of it. They knew what Israel ought to do: from their observation and experience they learned both their own and others’ duty and interest.

In this critical juncture they knew Israel ought to make David king. It was not only expedient, but necessary; the present posture of affairs called for it.

The men of Issachar dealt mostly in country business, and did not much intermeddle in public affairs, which gave them an opportunity of observing others and conversing with themselves. A stander-by sees sometimes more than a gamester. [5]


They had the perception to know that it was both the duty and political interest of Israel to advance David to the throne

32 understanding of the times. That is, as the following words indicate, intelligent men, who understood the signs of the times, well versed in political affairs, and knew what was proper to be done in all the exigencies of human life; and who now perceived that it was both the duty and political interest of Israel to advance David to the throne. Ge 49:14 Es 1:13 Isa 22:12-14 33:6 Mic 6:9 Mt 16:3 Lu 12:56,57 to know. Pr 14:8 Eph 5:17 all their. Pr 24:5 Ec 7:19 9:18[6]

They were men that had understanding of the times”:

 Who understood what was going on and being done, and needful to be done.

The men of Issachar were not only knowledgeable of God’s Word, they were knowledgeable of God’s world.


They understood the trends of the age so that they knew how to apply God’s Word to life.

They did not have their heads in the sand.


Jesus condemned some Pharisees and Sadducees for their lack of such insight into their age.

Mt 16:1-3    “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”


They lacked a good understanding of what was going on in Gods’ word as well as what was going on in God world.


"Ye hypocrites, (because they)

pretend to be wise,

but really are not,

who pretend to expect the Messiah and his kingdom’’

 how is it that you do not discern this time,

that you do not discern that now is the time,

according to the indications given in the Old-Testament prophecies,

for the Messiah to appear,

and that, according to the marks given of him, I am he?


Jesus also condemned the multitudes;


Lk 12:54-5754 Then He also said to the multitudes,  “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 And when you see the  south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern  this time?

57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?


They couldn’t see what was happening around them and their opinions of what was going on and needed to be done were not correct; in agreement with the word of God.


To judge what is right is to form an opinion according to Gods’ word.

1judge \ˈjəj\ vb

judged; judg•ing [ME juggen, fr. AF juger, fr. L judicare, fr. judic-, judex judge, fr. jus right, law + dicere to decide, say — more at just, diction] vt 13c

1           to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises [7]


The premise of the test is God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The premises of testing are the reproofs, instructions, commands, principles, precepts, truths, and judgments found in the Word of God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We need to know these things because;

Is 33:6   Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,

                        And the strength of salvation;

                        The fear of the Lord is His treasure.

I find that as a nation and sadly as Christians we are guided a majority of the time by everything but the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God.

I find that as people we are guided by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life rather than the Word of God.


I find that as a nation we are guided by economics, foreign policy, and the whims of our society rather God.

The Lord addresses this through the prophet Jeremiah

Je 8:4-12      4 “Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

     “Will they fall and not rise?

     Will one turn away and not return?

5     Why has this people  slidden back,

     Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?

      They hold fast to deceit,

      They refuse to return.

6     I listened and heard,

     But they do not speak aright.

     No man repented of his wickedness,

     Saying, ‘What have I done?’

     Everyone turned to his own course,

     As the horse rushes into the battle.

This nation that claims to be Christian has and is continually turning from God, forbidding Him entrance into our lives and forcing Him out by the very laws of our land that we make according to our desires.

7     “Even the stork in the heavens

     Knows her appointed times;

     And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow

     Observe the time of their coming.

     But  My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.

8     “How can you say, ‘We are wise,

      And the law of the Lord is with us’?

     Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.


We as Christians today have no idea that we are denying God by our very words and actions and bringing upon ourselves the very judgment of God Himself, yet we think we are wise because we call ourselves Christians.


9      The wise men are ashamed,

     They are dismayed and taken.

     Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord;

     So  what wisdom do they have?


The proof of our lack of wisdom can be seen in our leaders (from parents to pastors to presidents) that are shamed by their very words and actions;


They are trapped, caught, and revealed by their rejection of Gods’ word yet still claim to be wise.


10     Therefore  I will give their wives to others,

     And their fields to those who will inherit them;

     Because from the least even to the greatest

     Everyone is given to  covetousness;

     From the prophet even to the priest

     Everyone deals falsely.

11     For they have  healed the hurt of the daughter of My people 2slightly,

     Saying,  ‘Peace, peace!’

     When there is no peace.

THEREFORE  God will judge us.


They sell us superficial solutions and tell us all will be well and we accept their lies because that is what we want to hear.


When any one that will look can see we are continuing down a path that leads away from God not to Him.


Apart from God there is no prosperity or peace!!!!!

12     Were they  ashamed when they had committed abomination?

     No! They were not at all ashamed,

     Nor did they know how to blush.

     Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;

     In the time of their punishment

     They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.

Even when our words and actions as individuals and as a nation are revealed by Gods’ Word to be abdominal there is no shame, no repentance, but rather defiance and arrogance.


Je 6:16-21

16 Thus says the Lord:

     “Stand in the ways and see,

     And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,

     And walk in it;

     Then you will find  rest for your souls.

     But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.


When the true path of peace and rest for our souls is read in the word of God it is flatly rejected.


17     Also, I set  watchmen over you, saying,

      ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’

     But they said,We will not listen.’

18     Therefore hear, you nations,

     And know, O congregation, what is among them.

When told and shown by the ministers of God from the word of God the true path of peace and rest for our souls the people nor the nation will listen or accept it.

 19      Hear, O earth!

     Behold, I will certainly bring  calamity on this people—

      The fruit of their thoughts,

     Because they have not heeded My words

     Nor My law, but rejected it.



ca•lam•i•ty \kə-ˈla-mə-tē\ n

pl -ties [ME calamytey, fr. L calamitat-, calamitas; perh. akin to L clades destruction] 15c

1           a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss

2           a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering 〈calamities of nature〉 〈an economic calamity

Merriam-Webster, Inc: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Eleventh ed. Springfield, Mass. : Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003


The rejection of Gods’ word by man or nations brings deep distress, major misfortune, disastrous events, great loss, and suffering upon that person or nation.


20     For what purpose to Me

     Comes frankincense  from Sheba,

     And sweet cane from a far country?

      Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,

     Nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.”


The sacrifices/gifts from a disobedient and unrepentant heart of a person or nation are unacceptable to God.


21 Therefore thus says the Lord:

     “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people,

     And the fathers and the sons together shall fall on them.

     The neighbor and his friend shall perish.”

When the instruction of Gods’ word is stubbornly refused and rejected He will allow the things that cause us to stumble and bring about our destruction.  ( as the case of a debased mind; it cannot distinguish between right and wrong or good and bad because God has given it over to these things)

 Pr 2:1-15

My son, if you receive my words, And  treasure my commands within you,

2     So that you incline your ear to wisdom,

     And apply your heart to understanding;

3     Yes, if you cry out for discernment,

     And lift up your voice for understanding,

4     If you seek her as silver,

     And search for her as for hidden treasures;

5     Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,

     And find the knowledge of God.

6     For the Lord gives wisdom;

     From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

7     He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

      He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;

8     He guards the paths of justice,

     And preserves the way of His saints.

9     Then you will understand righteousness and justice,

     Equity and every good path.

10     When wisdom enters your heart,

     And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,

11     Discretion will preserve you;

     Understanding will keep you,

12     To deliver you from the way of evil,

     From the man who speaks perverse things,

13     From those who leave the paths of uprightness

     To walk in the ways of darkness;

14      Who rejoice in doing evil,

     And delight in the perversity of the wicked;

15      Whose ways are crooked,

     And who are devious in their paths;

Jas 1:5-8    5 If any of you lacks wisdom,  let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and  it will be given to him. 6  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Will you ask God for an understanding of the times in order that you may know what to do?


8 shame or disgrace

[1]Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (1 Ch 12:23). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[2]Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (1 Ch 12:23). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[3]Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (1 Ch 12:23). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[4]Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (1 Ch 12:32). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5]Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (1 Ch 12:23). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[6]The treasury of scripture knowledge : Five hundred thousand scripture references and parallel passages. 1995. Introduction by R.A. Torrey. (1 Ch 12:32). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.


\ə\ abut \ə\ kitten, F table \ər\ further \a\ ash \ā\ ace \ä\ mop, mar

\au̇\ out \ch\ chin \e\ bet \ē\ easy \g\ go \i\ hit \ī\ ice \j\ job

\ŋ\ sing \ō\ go \ȯ\ law \ȯi\ boy \th\ thin \ṯẖ\ the \ü\ loot \u̇\ foot

\y\ yet \zh\ vision, beige \ḵ, n, œ, ue, y\ see Guide to Pronunciation

vb verb

ME Middle English

fr from

AF Anglo-French

L Latin

c century

[7]Merriam-Webster, Inc: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Eleventh ed. Springfield, Mass. : Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003

2 Superficially

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