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The Issachar Factor

What is the Issachar Factor? When I looked through all the qualities of the sons of Issachar, I was reminded of their famous forefather, Abraham. The sons of Issachar had many attributes which were very similar to Abraham. Like Abraham, the sons of Issachar were a prophetic people. They were mighty men of valor. They were chosen to be friends of God. They understood the times and seasons they were living in. They were great givers. God gave them the Promised Land. And they were fruitful.

Have you wondered why God chose Abraham? The answer is found in Genesis 18:18-19: "Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what He has promised him." (NIV)

God chose Abraham simply because He knew that Abraham would instruct his children and his household in the righteous ways of the Lord. Abraham was not only a man of faith; he was also a faithful man. He obeyed and carried out the instructions of the Lord. And by being a living example, he taught his children to obey the Lord’s commandments, statutes and precepts. Even today, this Abrahamic attribute runs down the Hebraic race (Genesis 26:5): "Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."

God is interested in both Abraham and his generations after him. He is vitally concerned with what Abraham did to prepare the next generation to love and serve Him. He called Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He made His covenant not only with Abraham but also with Isaac and Jacob. The promises of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3) originally given to Abraham were renewed with his son Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5), and with his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28:12-15).

Abraham fulfilled God's plans as he faithfully directed his children and his household after him to keep the ways of the Lord by doing right and being righteous. And the Lord fulfilled His promises to Abraham and his descendants. This legacy that Abraham passed down to his children continues even now. God is not making a covenant with Abraham alone. He is making it with his descendants also.

In Deuteronomy 6:1-13, Moses told the Israelites before they were about to enter the Promised Land:

"Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you--' a land flowing with milk and honey.'

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant-- when you have eaten and are full-- then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name."

God desires to be their God, and also the God of their sons and grandsons and thereafter. His commandments are to be written upon their hearts. They are to impress them on their children. Talking about the Word of God everywhere whether sitting at home, walking along the road, lying down or getting up. That’s teaching and training by role models and life examples. That’s the best way to train their children in the ways of the Lord.

They spend quality time with one another. They have 24/7 relationships. Their relationships between one another are nurtured over meals, family devotions, praying and playing together, seeking and finding the Lord. This precious time together is unhurried. Walking through the neighborhood or along a quiet path, parents and their children can laugh, speak and listen, share and learn from one another. These times are holy and sacred. They are commanded by the Lord!

Their parents illustrate to their children by their life examples from day-by-day decisions and endeavors. That’s how they reveal the living Lord to their families. That’s give the greatest impact and impression to their loved ones from doing daily chores to making daily choices.

In Ephesians 6:4, Paul gave us this exhortation: "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."

It is the primary responsibility of the fathers to train and teach their children in the Lord, not just the mothers, the schools and the churches! However this important task has been totally left to the academic institutions and churches. By outsourcing their responsibilities completely, their children are not firmly rooted in love and in the ways of the Lord. Without the proper foundations, their children eventually abandon their faith and their God!

The wise counsel to all fathers is still Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

God desires us to live the covenant relationship with Him. He desires to renew the Abrahamic covenant with us! This covenant requires us to obey Him so that our children and grandchildren will know by our life examples how to live the abundant life that God has designed us to live! The Bible is the Textbook. Its writings are to be written on our hearts so that we can bear the true witness to our children and their children!

As sons of Issachar, we must pass on the Abrahamic covenant and its blessings to our next generation and beyond! This is our legacy to the world in need of Christ!

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