Thursday, June 22, 2017

Block 71: Issachar

Click HERE: Go to to download the draft pattern for this block.

 “...knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
On his deathbed, Jacob described his ninth son (fifth by Leah) as a donkey.  Most men would be embarrassed by this description, but Issachar was proud of the comparison.  In the Bible, the donkey was considered a special animal, often distinguished for their ability to work hard under extreme conditions.  Note that donkeys were present in many of the greatest events of the Bible:  Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaiah,  Joseph’s brothers’ pilgrimage to request food, Moses’s trip back to Egypt to set the Israelites free, Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem, and most importantly, Jesus’s final ride into Jerusalem.  Like the donkeys, Issachar and his tribe were known for their quiet, consistent willingness to work hard and carry a heavy burden.  Just as the donkey carried the son of God on his back, Issachar and his sons chose to carry the word of God.  They studied the word, protected it and understood it.  They kept track of the sun and moon cycles and announced God’s appointed times.
Issachar’s tribe were described in 1 Chronicles as men who “understood the times and knew what to do”  (1 Chronicles 12:32). They understood that God wanted worshippers who would be true, faithful and passionate.  They understood that God wanted a king who would follow His command, and not take matters into his own hands.  Issachar’s tribe demonstrated amazing political insight.  They switched their allegiance from King Saul to David, helped him rise to the throne, then served in his Army.  Like a donkey, the tribe of Issachar persevered on the rough road and quietly carried the burden of following God’s will.
Today, God is asking us to be like the sons of Issachar.  He asks us everyday to be true worshippers and follow God’s will rather than do our own thing.  Like the sons of Issachar, we should rely on the word of God, study the Bible, in an effort to understand the times and make decisions about how we and our family should live and worship in these times.  Let us start with this simple prayer: Lord, help us to understand the times and know what to do.

I created a tent block to represent Issachar, whose tribes lived in tents and studied the scriptures in their tents.

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