|Part 1 of 3|
|In EstherÃ‚Â 1:13, we read of a kingdom whose wise men and advisers Ã¢â‚¬Å“knew the times.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â In 1 Chronicles12:32, however, the Bible tells of another kingdom whose wise men and advisers Ã¢â‚¬Å“hadÃ‚Â understanding of the times.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â One set Ã¢â‚¬Å“knewÃ‚Â the times,Ã¢â‚¬Â the otherÃ‚Â understoodÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“the times.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Any difference?Ã‚Â One set comprised secular or natural advisers, the others were spiritual in their operation; one set worked with their learned heads, the other set had much more, working from their inspired spirit.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Each of them was crucial to their kingdom in their own way.Ã‚Â We need both now.|
The Hebrew word translated Ã¢â‚¬Å“knewÃ¢â‚¬Â in EstherÃ‚Â 1:13Ã‚Â isÃ‚Â yada.Ã‚Â Among other things, according toÃ‚Â StrongÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Hebrew Dictionary,Ã‚Â it means, Ã¢â‚¬Å“to know (properly, to ascertain by seeing), acquaintance(-ted with), comprehend, familiar friend, famous, +be learned, skilful, understand, have (understanding).Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã‚Â The word translated Ã¢â‚¬Å“understandingÃ¢â‚¬Â in 1 ChroniclesÃ‚Â 12:32Ã‚Â isÃ‚Â biynahÃ‚Â combined withÃ‚Â yada.Ã‚Â According to the same Hebrew dictionary,Ã‚Â biynahÃ‚Â meansÃ‚Â knowledge, perfectly, understanding, wisdom.Ã‚Â The root word isÃ‚Â biyn, which means,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“to separate mentally (or distinguish), be cunning, discern, have intelligence, know, perceive, skill(-full).Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Ã‚Â This, then, is a fuller picture of that passage:
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understandingÃ‚Â [biynah; yada]Ã‚Â of the times, to knowÃ‚Â [yada]Ã‚Â what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandmentÃ‚Â (1 ChroniclesÃ‚Â 12:32).
The kingdom of Persia had men thatÃ‚Â knewÃ‚Â [yada] THE TIMES; Israel had men thatÃ‚Â understoodÃ‚Â [biynah – yada] THE TIMES,Ã‚Â knowingÃ‚Â [yada] what everyone else should do.Ã‚Â In their different ways, each category was interacting with Ã¢â‚¬Å“the times.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Every nation needs both kinds of men, no less now.
What the sons of Issachar understood byÃ‚Â discernmentÃ‚Â they analysed byÃ‚Â knowledgeÃ‚Â and advised accordingly forÃ‚Â action; what they knew in theirÃ‚Â heartsÃ‚Â they processed with theirÃ‚Â headsÃ‚Â to be implemented by readyÃ‚Â hands.Ã‚Â The ready hands waited on the understanding hearts for proper guidance Ã¢â‚¬â€œ like our days; Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã‚Â the timesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â
Times and Seasons
The Bibles speaks in the Old and New Testaments aboutÃ‚Â timesÃ‚Â andÃ‚Â seasons.Ã‚Â They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean the same thing, and we need know both. Ã‚Â It says in DanielÃ‚Â 2:21Ã‚Â that God changes Ã¢â‚¬Å“theÃ‚Â timesÃ‚Â and theseasonsÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“removeth kings, and setteth up kings,Ã¢â‚¬Â and that He not only givesÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“wisdomÃ‚Â unto the wiseÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â but alsoÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“knowledgeÃ‚Â to them that know understanding.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â The verse distinguishes betweenÃ‚Â timesandÃ‚Â seasons; it also distinguishes betweenÃ‚Â wisdom,Ã‚Â knowledge, andÃ‚Â understanding.Ã‚Â So much more to be said; for example, why would God giveÃ‚Â moreÃ‚Â wisdomÃ‚Â to one that isÃ‚Â alreadyÃ‚Â wise, who is calledThe Wise,Ã‚Â or giveÃ‚Â knowledgeÃ‚Â to a person that alreadyÃ‚Â knowsÃ‚Â understanding?Ã‚Â Could it be because He trusts that they will improve with Ã¢â‚¬ËœmoreÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ of what they already have and are managing successfully?Ã‚Â Is it a MatthewÃ‚Â 13:12Ã‚Â principle?Ã‚Â WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t He have given them that Ã¢â‚¬ËœmoreÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ if they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have that little, or had wasted what they had had? Well, we leave that for another day.
According to Jesus in Acts 1:7, there are certain times [chronos -Ã‚Â Grk] and seasons [kairos -Ã‚Â Grk] thatÃ¢â‚¬Å“the Father hath put in his own power.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â There is nothing we can do about knowing those; we cannot know them (Revelation 10:4; Daniel 12:9; 2 Corinthians 12:4); nevertheless some times and seasons are knowable, and should be so pursued.Ã‚Â Paul takes that for granted in 1 Thessalonians 5:1 when he states, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ye have no need that I write unto youÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ about times and seasons that they should know.
The wordÃ‚Â chronoÃ‚Â in Greek is generally interpreted as meaningÃ‚Â a space of time, an interval, a duration.Ã‚Â The sense comes out in the following scriptures where the word is used, although translated into different English expressions:
And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devilsÃ‚Â long TIMEÃ‚Â [chronos], and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.Ã‚Â (LukeÃ‚Â 8:27).
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?Ã‚Â as long asÃ‚Â [chronos]Ã‚Â they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast(MarkÃ‚Â 2:19).
And he asked his father,Ã‚Â How longÃ‚Â is itÃ‚Â AGOÃ‚Â [chronos]Ã‚Â since this came unto him? And he said, Of a childÃ‚Â (MarkÃ‚Â 9:21).
Now Elisabeth’sÃ‚Â fullÃ‚Â TIMEÃ‚Â [chronos]Ã‚Â came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a sonÃ‚Â (LukeÃ‚Â 1:57).
Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far countryÃ‚Â for a longÃ‚Â TIMEÃ‚Â [chronos] (Luke 20:9).
WhereasÃ‚Â chronosÃ‚Â designates a duration or a period,Ã‚Â kairosÃ‚Â means an opportune moment, an occasion, a set time, or proper time.Ã‚Â Comparatively, this is not a long stretch of calendar-time or countable time; it is a short time, a due season, a moment of opportunity, a convenient time.Ã‚Â Again, a few scriptures where the word occurs in scriptures will further clarify the meaning.
For an angel went down atÃ‚Â AÃ‚Â certain SEASONÃ‚Â [kairos]Ã‚Â into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he hadÃ‚Â (John 5:4).
And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I haveÃ‚Â AÃ‚Â convenient SEASONÃ‚Â [kairos], I will call for theeÃ‚Â (Acts 24:25).
AtÃ‚Â that TIMEÃ‚Â [kairos]Ã‚Â Jesus went on the sabbath dayÃ‚Â [specific day]Ã‚Â through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eatÃ‚Â (Matthew 12:1).
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in theÃ‚Â [specific]Ã‚Â TIMEÃ‚Â [kairos]Ã‚Â of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barnÃ‚Â (MatthewÃ‚Â 13:30).
EveryÃ‚Â chronosÃ‚Â comes with myriads ofÃ‚Â kairosesÃ‚Â for individuals, families, churches, organizations, and nations.Ã‚Â Summer and winter may beÃ‚Â chronos; the rainy and dry seasons may beÃ‚Â chronos,Ã‚Â but a specific day during that period when an opportunity may be seized will beÃ‚Â kairos.Ã‚Â To missÃ‚Â kairosÃ‚Â is to miss harvest, and the fruits of would-have-been opportunities thereafter rot away, because harvest time is past (JeremiahÃ‚Â 8:20).Ã‚Â A school year could beÃ‚Â chronos; a semester or school term could beÃ‚Â chronos, but the day for an exam within thatÃ‚Â chronosÃ‚Â would beÃ‚Â kairos.Ã‚Â To miss thatÃ‚Â kairosÃ‚Â is to repeat a course, or fail out of school entirely.Ã‚Â The year 2018 isÃ‚Â chronos, but not the rare opportunities within the year.Ã‚Â Being in hospital from January to March will beÃ‚Â chronos, but to miss the best time when a surgery could have been performed or to miss the specific date of maternity delivery will beÃ‚Â kairosÃ‚Â lost.Ã‚Â This applies no less to the destiny of nations as it does to individuals.Ã‚Â Jesus lamented one suchÃ‚Â kairosÃ‚Â forever lost by the city of Jerusalem, and the calamities that were therefor to follow; severe national calamities that could have been escaped ifÃ‚Â kairosÃ‚Â had been seized.
41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at leastÃ‚Â in THIS thy day,Ã‚Â the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest notÃ‚Â the timeÃ‚Â [kairos]Ã‚Â of thy visitationÃ‚Â (Luke 19:41-44).
How does that affect Nigeria?