Who is Tola? Why be like him? Why not, “I want to be like Abraham, or Daniel, or Joseph.” Why Tola? I do want to be like him. In fact, I want to be like Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron also.
What do these guys have in common? They were the sons of Issachar, four of them, found in 1 Chronicles 7:1. The clan of Issachar numbered in total 22,600 in the days of David. I want to be like them and you should also. Why? Well, for one thing, they were mighty warriors in their generation. The question is, “Does God need all his children to be that way spiritually in their own generation?” Of course.
But there is another answer to the question of why I want to be like Tola, Puah Jashub, and Shimron. Because 5 chapters later, in 12:32, we are told that the “men of Issachar had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”
There has never been a more critical and important, and even exciting time in our lives than now if one is a Christian. Every believer must know the times in which we find ourselves, and how we should live and behave in this generation. Francis Schaeffer’s famous question, “How Shall We Then Live?” is more pertinent today than 35 years ago when he proposed the challenge.
We must be more serious than ever about living for the kingdom— being courageous, living separated and holy lives, being faithful, diligent, prayerful, focused, kingdom-minded, joyful, obedient, and take to heart more than ever what the Old Testament prophet has told us about what God has already shown us–“He has shown thee, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you; to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Our God and Father can make us like Tola and his brothers, like the men of Issachar–to have understanding of our times, to know how to walk and please God, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
– Mack T.