Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jacob’s Prediction About Issachar - Genesis 49:14-15


“Issachar is a strong donkey, Lying down between the sheepfolds.  When he saw that a resting place was good And that the land was pleasant, He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, And became a slave at forced labor.”

Issachar was Jacob’s ninth son, the fifth son from Leah, his first wife.   He was named “man of hire” as Leah felt God was paying her ‘wages’ for allowing her handmaiden Zilpah to bear her husband children (sons number seven and eight, Gad and Asher).  What Jacob prophesies for Issachar is somewhat perplexing.

There is clearly implication that while Issachar was strong, he was also lazy, and that this perceived attribute would be carried over to the entire tribe.  His ‘strength’ was also a prophecy about his numbers and the size of the tribe that would result.  But his laziness indicated they would indeed be overtaken by the enemy and end up being slaves.  Jacob talks of the people of Issachar’s tribe settling down into agricultural work as they sought peace and quiet above all.  They were willing to take on burdens anyone placed on them, just like an ass or donkey.

Matthew Henry says they willingly accepted the burdens of both toiling the ground and paying rents and taxes. They chose laboring at home in the fields rather than being men of war, be it on land or sea.  Issachar and his tribe found solace in their love for the land and the quieter life.

It is difficult to ascertain with certainty how Jacob felt about Issachar.  There was something to be said about a “quiet life” but somehow I believe Israel saw more was needed if the Israelites were to persevere in the days ahead.

That same issue today challenges many a Christian.  “Do I stay quiet and out of the mainstream of what the Church and God’s people are facing or do I get involved?”  It is so easy to opt for the former.  No action is needed.  The latter requires prayer, thought, wisdom, and action.   But by choosing the former, we may well end up like the tribe of Issachar would end up, servants and slaves to the regimes that overtake, overburden, and overtax us.  As I write this, I am reminded of how the current American government imposed its agenda against the Catholic Church recently on the issue of contraceptives.  But the Catholic Church stood up to the challenge based on its beliefs.  The outrage was so loud and so clear, that the administration did an about-face.  Alternatively, it would have meant that the government’s wishes and desires trumped a people’s freedom of religion and beliefs.

The message for us is clear.  Are we prepared to take action when action is necessary?  Or, as an alternative, will we allow the enemy to erode our Christian values and beliefs to the point that we and our children and grandchildren become slaves?   The decision, I believe, is a ‘no-brainer’.  The execution of the decision is what takes discipline.  Ephesians 6:10 from the New Testament comes to mind, “
Finally, let the Lord make you strong.  Depend on his mighty power.’ (NIRV)



[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.


 

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

No comments:

Post a Comment