Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Understanding the Times

Meditation for the week of May 30, 2010

1Chronicles 12:23 Now these were the numbers of the divisions that were equipped for war, and came to David at Hebron to turn over the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD:
1Chronicles 12:32 of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command.

Wouldn’t it be nice, if a person were President of the United States,  to have men in your government who were not only men of war who knew how to defend the country but who had understanding of the times to know what the country should do?  David had two hundred men from Issachar like that.  Today, people turn to horoscopes and fortune tellers to tell them what to do.  But David had men available to him who had the wisdom of God in them.  They knew what Israel ought to do. 

This weekend we are remembering our loved ones who have died as well as soldiers who have died in battle.  I wonder how many of those who have died in battle would say that they followed men who understood the times and knew what to do.  Down through the years, those who have died in battle have been honored as they ought to be, but most of them died playing following the leader.  They did what they were told to do.  In the United States some died in the Civil War, some in WWI, some in WWII, some in the Korean Conflict, some in the Vietnam War, some in the first Gulf War, some in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and many in miscellaneous operations around the world in addition to the wars and conflicts just mentioned.  Obviously, we have never had men who could bring lasting peace to this world through war.  So did these leaders really understand the times and know what to do?  No leader including King David has been able to bring about lasting peace although his son Solomon came close.  Our leaders today need to have men available who understand the times and who can tell them what to do.  Likely, President Obama would like to have men who could tell him how to bring the current wars to a conclusion without losing more lives than the conflicts themselves have lost.  He just might like to have men who know how to cap runaway oil wells and who know how to clean up the mess left behind when a well goes rogue.  He just might like to have men who could tell him how to handle the present budget mess and how to get a handle on medical costs while providing treatment to everyone who needs it.

Knowing that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), if I were President I would try to find men like the men of Issachar to give me guidance.  I wold try to make every decision based on the rightness or wrongness of the decision without considering the possible problem of being reelected.  I would keep in mind that even though representative democratic rule is the best men can offer, this system of government assumes that the majority is right.  But Biblically the majority is usually wrong so I would try to remember that satisfying the majority will probably not be ethical or right.  I would try to not base my decisions on my understanding of prophecy.  We don’t need to bring prophecy to pass, God can do that fine without our help.  I would try to make every decision based on the ethical guidelines of the Bible instead which are summed up in the command to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Obviously, we have had some really good leaders in this country, but I am quite certain that none of them have ever made all of  their decisions as I am suggesting.  The only One who ever will do this is the Lord Himself when He comes to reign over the world.  And yes, the One who died has been raised from the dead and is even now preparing to come again.  His coming will be a blessing for true believers since they will be saved from the wrath that is coming on an unbelieving world (1 Thessalonians 1:10).  But the Lord will first judge and purify the world of unbelievers before setting up a kingdom that is truly righteous.  During that period of time which will last one thousand years, there will be peace.  The world’s resources will not be wasted on armies and wars (Isaiah 2:4).

My prayer is that our governmental leaders might know that we who are Christians pray for and respect them.  Let us give honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:7).  And if our leaders are not saved, maybe they will realize that for their own personal well-being as well as for the well-being of the county, they need to be saved.  Then God can guide them in understanding the times and in knowing what to do.

As we remember those who have sacrificed their lives for their country this Memorial Day weekend, those of us who believe in and fear the Lord should also do battle with the forces of darkness.  But let us do it the Biblical way by preaching the Gospel and by praying fervently for and by honoring our leaders.

Bruce Collins

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