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The Issachar Anointing

"And of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command."
- 1 Chronicles 12:32 NAS

Throughout the history of ancient Israel, the tribe of Issachar is portrayed as a family that was destined to prosper both physically and spiritually. The ancient Rabbis taught that the sons of Issachar were not only "mighty men of valor" (1 Chron. 7:1-5), but hey were also called to serve the other tribes in the areas of finance and the ministry of God's Torah.

Financial Servanthood

Issachar's allotment of the Promised Land primarily consisted of the valley of Jezreel. This was the richest farm land in all Israel, which also had access to the Mediterranean Sea. Consequently, the sons of Issachar "drew out the abundance of the sea and the hidden treasures of the sand" (Deut. 33:18-19).

In their abundance, God called them to provided food to the whole of Israel as an "indentured servant" to their brethren among the other tribes (Gen. 19:14-15). The sons of Issachar would be similar to those living in the "bread basket" of America who provide food to the U.S. and the world.

Spiritual Servanthood

Issachar's spiritual prosperity was also evident among Israel. They were one of six tribes to stand on Mount Gerizim as part of the sacred blessing ceremony (Deut. 27:12). According to the Targum, they "excelled in the words of the law, and were endued with wisdom, and were obedient to their command." Their knowledge of God's word caused them to become the primary cultivators of Israel's spiritual treasures, and their counsel and interpretations of Scripture were received as athoritative.

Understanding the Times

According to the Targum, the sons of Issachar were also biblical astronomers and astrologers who kept track of the times and the seasons:

"and the sons of Issachar, who had understanding to know the times, and were skilled in fixing the beginnings of years, the commencement of months, and the intercalation of months and years; skillful in the changes of the moon, and in fixing the lunar solemnities to their proper times; skillful also in the doctrine of the solar periods; astrologers in signs and stars, that they might show Israel what to do." (Adam Clarke's Commentary, Biblesoft Electronic Database).

Their knowledge of the Torah and their understanding of the times made them keepers of the biblical calendar. Consequently, they were the ones who made known the appointed times and seasons of when Israel should observe the feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23). Since the Lord's Feasts reveal God's plan and timing of His redemption in Messiah, I believe it is clear that the sons of Issachar had an anointing which gave them a unique insight into God's timing of things past, present and future.

For example, during Israel's first civil war, when God was transferring the kingdom of Israel from Saul's rulership over to David, eleven of the twelve tribes were divided amongst themselves as to whom they would serve. Only the sons of Issachar, were united to the point that "all their kinsman" joined to fight with David (1 Chron. 12:23-32).

The sons of Issachar were able to totally commit themselves to David, because they understood that it was the time for God to fulfill His prophetic word given by Samuel 17 years earlier (1 Sam. 15:28). The Lord granted them an anointing to understand the prophetic timing for when He would tear the kingdom of Israel away from rebellious Saul and give it over to his servant David (1 Sam. 15:22-28).

With this anointing to understanding the times, they instinctively knew what to do, and they moved with God to establish David's kingdom. In a sense, they were forerunners of a renewed kingdom that was built on obedience to God instead of rebellion and sin. This brought them honor and prosperity according to earlier prophecies given by both Jacob and Moses (Gen. 49:14-15; Deut. 33:18-19).

The End-Time Sons of Issachar

As we approach the end of the age and the difficult times associated with it, the New Covenant church must become more and more like the sons of Issachar in its ability to understand the times and know what to do. We must learn how to draw on God's prophetic word to guide us through the chaos of the last days in preparation for His return (2 Pet. 1:19).

This suggests the need for a regular and on going Torah-based study of end-time Bible prophecy. The responsible study of Bible prophecy, under a balanced prophetic mantle, produces mature believers who are able to discern the times and respond to them in a Biblical fashion.

Therefore, we pray and believe that the Issachar anointing would be released upon the body of Messiah worldwide that His people might understand the times and know what to do. Amen!

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The Issachar Economic Model