A word on Issachar

Illustrative image

I saw a young child standing on his toes, craning his neck to look over a fence and take in the entire view. There was great action and excitement on the other side of the fence and also much fear. It was enticing to view and he just couldn’t take his eyes off the spectacle.

But after awhile the action grew dim and the excitement turned to boredom. So the child wandered off in the opposite direction, head down, kicking stones in the road as he walked. He didn’t hear the mudslide behind him that was quietly beginning to fall. The rumbling grew louder but he’d already put his earbuds back in his ears so other sounds were drowned out by the loud music as he slowly walked away.

Then I saw that many have become like this child. The season of the virus has been exciting and full of incredible news. But we’re ready for something new, so we’ve wandered off, embracing our previous distractions while now keeping the required social distancing.

And I saw many people trying their best to return to normal life, so the wave slowed down for a short season, and later returned with a vengeance.

Now is the time to cry out for a spirit like the sons of Issachar, those who understand the times and know what Israel should do.

And then a thought came to ponder the meaning of the name of Issachar. Why is this particular tribe connected with the word on discernment in 1 Chronicles 12:32?

Why not Joseph, who once discerned the times and knew what Egypt should do? Why not one of the other tribes? Issachar יִשָּׂשׂכָר means he will recompense or bring a reward. The root is שכר – a wage or salary. When connected to the word house or apartment, it means to rent. This same root also means to intoxicate and suddenly the thought came of the coming mudslide.

May the L-rd give us all His discernment so that we would know what Israel should do and what we should do too…