1 Chronicles 12:32   … men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do – 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command; …
The Chronicler, in these chapters, is listing all the men of the different tribes of Israel who were aligning themselves with David, to serve him and defend him as their King.  The political intrigues and machinations of the times were very confusing as David was, more often than not, fighting, not just for the kingship for which Samuel had already anointed him in accordance with the LORD’s instruction, but for his very life.

What David needed most was good, faithful, loyal, brave and competent supporters if he was going to survive and succeed, and these important qualities are mentioned in relation to others who became part of his team (see 22, 24, 30, 33, etc).  But here, the significant contribution of the men from the tribe of Issachar is that they “understood the times and knew what Israel should do” – the implication being that they would be attuned to the LORD’s mind and will in the midst of a world that had totally replaced the LORD’s voice with human wisdom.

David needed men with the same heart/mind as he had – a heart/mind which the dying Stephen described in this way: “After removing Saul, [God] made David their king.  He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13:22).

What a great need there is today for authentic, robust spiritual discernment – for disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true king whom David foreshadowed – a discernment tuned and guided constantly, on a daily basis, by God’s written Word!  More than anything, we need people who ‘understand the times’ and who ‘know what God’s people should do’.

Are we praying earnestly to this end?  Would we be found among them?
– Bruce Christian