“The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four. The sons of Tola: Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their fathers’ houses, mighty warriors of their generations, their number in the days of David being 22,600. The son of Uzzi: Izrahiah. And the sons of Izrahiah: Michael, Obadiah, Joel, and Isshiah, all five of them were chief men. Along with them, by their generations, according to their fathers’ houses, were units of the army for war, 36,000, for they had many wives and sons. Their kinsmen belonging to all the clans of Issachar were in all 87,000 mighty warriors, enrolled by genealogy. The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, and Jediael, three. The sons of Bela: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth, and Iri, five, heads of fathers’ houses, mighty warriors. And their enrollment by genealogies was 22,034…”
“And Ephraim went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son. And he called his name Beriah… His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah. Rephah was his son, Resheph his son, Telah his son, Tahan his son, Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, Nun his son, Joshua his son.” 1 Chronicles 7:1-7,23-27
God, Author of history and providential in the affairs of men and nations, raises up His people for His times to do His will. Moses was called to lead Israel out of Egypt, Joshua to conquer the promised land, Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, Esther to influence King Ahasueras “for such a time as this.” Peter and Paul were pioneers and pillars in the early church. God determines our times and boundaries and the number of our days, and assigns each of us a work to do that is part of His kingdom plan. (Exodus 3:7-10; Deuteronomy 31:23; Nehemiah 1:4-2:18; Esther 4:13-14; Ephesians 2:10)
We would not be where we are today, in our world history, our nations, our careers, communities, and churches, if not for those who have gone before us. Planets spin in their orbits, kings and kingdoms rise and fall, and the Lord God in exquisite sovereignty rules them all. He does not exist to serve us, but we to serve Him and His purposes in the time allotted to us. (Acts 17:24-28)
Are we familiar enough with the scriptures to trace God’s providential hand through history, and to recognize how He equips His soldiers? The mighty warriors God raised up did not act in isolation. They needed parents to raise them, trainers to equip and instruct them, colleagues to develop and implement strategy, skilled craftsmen to make armaments and weapons for war. Each had his vital role and place.
How are we training ourselves in spiritual vision and an eternal perspective? Does entanglement in our own narrow or provincial living prevent us from seeing God’s bigger kingdom plan? How willing are we to expend ourselves for a movement broader than our own world of personal business, friends, and home? What are we doing to strengthen our needed skills for our generation?
Father, direct my mind and feet into the work You’ve prepared for me. Give me a whole and brave heart to do Your will for my generation, to run Your intended course with vigor, determination, and joy, to the furthering of Your purposes and the praise of Your glory. (Acts 13:22,36; 20:24)