TOPIC: WHEN MAN’S HISTORY DOESN’T HELP
TEXT: Joshua 19:17-23
17. And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.
18. And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,
19. And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath,
20. And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,
21. And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez;
22. And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan; sixteen cities with their villages.
23. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.
KEY VERSE: “This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.” – (Joshua 19:23)
The descendants of Issachar, Jacob’s fifth son, were reputed to possess the rare gift of “understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). The Israelites counted on Issachar to interpret the signs of the times to guide them in obeying the Lord. By the time Joshua was allotting lands to the twelve tribes of Israel, the children of Issachar were gifted more blessings in their allotted territories with rich history.
Issachar’s lot harboured notable places of history. One was Jezreel, in which Ahab had his palace. Another was Shunem, the scene of great miracles by Prophet Elisha. Then, there was the River Kishon. It was on its banks Deborah and Barak defeated Sisera, the enemy of Israel. This lot also produced the mountains of Gilboa, where Saul and Jonathan were slain.
But, alas, these colourful antecedents did not translate into rich spiritual prowess for the latter generations of the tribe of Issachar. Their borders got them close to the cultures and teachings of the heathen whose strange philosophies are alien to the laws of Jehovah. The tribe of Issachar prospered materially, but got lost spiritually.
The tragedy of man today, like Issachar centuries ago, is that he is easily moved by that which would make him to be recognised by man’s history books and not God’s book of life. Heaven will recognise only those who aspire to make history in God’s records through meekness in His service, not those who seek personal glory here on earth.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It is God’s narrative that counts, not man’s.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 26-28