32 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;(I Chronicles 12:32)
Jesus spoke of those who understood the weather indicators, but who were oblivious to the times in which they lived (Matthew 16:2-4). It is not hard to understand the times; it simply takes an effort to read the Law of God, and a conviction that what God has said is true. God's covenant is with men and with nations. He has very clearly indicated that there are times and seasons that God has appointed for men to seek after Him. When there is general disobedience to God's Law, throughout the culture, then the culture is at the edge of judgement; potentially facing extinction.
We need sons of Issachar, who know the Law of God, who can recognise the judgements of God, and who can call the church to its proper function of proclaiming the Law of God, declaring the judgements of God, and calling the nations to repentance that they may return to the obedience of the Gospel.
Just last night I listened to a song that was publicly performed in a service conducted in one of America's mega-churches. The banter leading up to the song was full of crude jokes, and the song was totally inappropriate for a mixed crowd, and irreverent for a service. The church has immersed itself in the culture around it, and as a consequence has failed to recognise the times in which it finds itself. If the light has become darkness, and the salt has lost its saltiness, what hope is there of turning the general culture around? The nation follows the church.
Oh Lord, restore to us sons of Isaachar. Give them holy boldness to declare your Law, pronounce your judgements, and lead us back to the grace and forgiveness that is extended to those who repent and persue obedience to Your revealed will for all of life. Our only hope is in Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen!