I Chronicles 12 tells of David building his army. One group of men, the men of Issachar are singled out as ones who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.

They understood the times

In 2020, we were bombarded with information about the times in which we live. Though generations before us fought in World Wars and struggled through the Depression, the year of COVID-19 paled in comparison. Our suffering and sacrifices seem trivial when we look back on history.

Consider, in 2021 we can open our computers and instantly get updates on significant and insignificant happenings from anywhere in the world. Yet unlike our grandparents, how are we doing at understanding the times? Proverbs tells us, “with all thy getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7, KJV). Understanding the times is far more than information. It involves spiritual discernment.

It requires His Spirit and His word clearly speaking to us as we interpret the current economic, environmental, social, and spiritual events and feelings of the day. This requires a solid understanding of God and His Word and the wisdom to know His way forward through the myriad of ideas and activities around us. Isaiah clarifies, “The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:5-6, ESV).

They knew what Israel should do

We need to know what to do in these times to keep ourselves focused on Him and on His right path. Paul adds, “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.(Romans 13:11, NIV).

This year we expect to take some major strides in reshaping the way missions are done. In the midst of a changing world, let’s be seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness. Let’s be praying that we’d all and we’d each be full of His wisdom and understanding to know the times He has placed us in and His was for reaching out to those who are yet to be reached.



PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

  1. Blog Home
  2. /
  3. Patrick Lai
  4. /