When David was recruiting his army, he chose “the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do . . .”

I believe that Christian women need to have an “understanding of the times” if we are going to be useful when the opportunity comes for leadership in service to the Lord.

It is important to remember that Abigail knew who David was. Her husband, Nabal, was clueless. Abigail knew that David had been anointed to be the next King of Israel. How did she know that? Because, obviously, she was paying attention to the times and what was happening with Israel. She also knew that it was unwise to ignore what David had done in keeping Nabal’s herds safe while they were in the wilderness. Her foolish husband had repaid David’s kindness with scorn and mockery.

Because Abigail understood the times, she was called on by one of the young men in Nabal’s service to lead her household into action to save every male in Nabal’s family, even though Abigail herself was childless. Because of Abigail’s wisdom and leadership, no blood was shed that day!

And what about Jael? She understood who Sisera was and that he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel. She even recognized him when he showed up at her door. How did she know those things? Probably because she, too, was paying attention to the times!

Jael invited Sisera in, gave him refreshment, and covered him with a blanket. Then she “took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. (Judges 4:21) Jael could serve God and Israel in this situation because she had an understanding of the times.

Rahab is another woman who “understood the times.” In Joshua, Chapter 2, the two spies sent out by Joshua came to the “house of a harlot, named Rahab, and lodged there.” The King of Jericho sent to her telling her to bring the men out. Rahab was wise and understanding enough to know that God’s people would eventually conquer and destroy her city. She hid the spies and “negotiated” with them to save her entire family when the battle came.

Do you realize that Martha also “understood the times?” Martha was a lot more than just a worry wart! After Lazarus died, Jesus came to the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

Listen to what Martha said to Jesus when He arrived:

Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, he will give You.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?

And she said to Him,

Yes Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God who is come into the world.” (John 11:21-27)

Martha understood the times and was blessed by our Lord for it!

In order for us to be ready for the opportunities that God may present to us to lead, we must be women like Abigail, Jael, Rahab and Martha. We must be women who have an understanding of the times!

Sheila Butt
+ posts

Sheila Butt was born in Rockford, IL, and attended East Tennessee State University. She graduated with a B.S. Degree in English with a minor in History. She has also studied Greek and Hermeneutics at David Lipscomb University. She is married to Stan Butt Sr., a minister, and the Executive Director for the Tennessee Dairy Association. She and Stan have three sons and nine grandchildren. Her two oldest granddaughters, Emma and Grace Anne are students at Freed-Hardeman University.

Sheila graduated from the women’s program at Bear Valley Bible Institute and has taught Ladies’ Days and in Lectureships for the past 25 years. She has been on numerous mission trips to many of the Caribbean islands, Honduras, Panama, and Alaska. She taught in the Horizons Program for many years and received the Kay Battles Service Award from that program. Sheila has written two books for ladies and teen girls and co-authored another with several women entitled “We Bow Down.” Sheila was the recipient of the “Golden Pen Award” from Publishing Designs for her work on those publications. She has written articles for Christian Woman and been featured in Christian Woman for her service as a Tennessee State Legislator.

Sheila Butt was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2010 serving the 64th District and served in four General Assemblies.   She served as a Co-Chairman for the Congressional Prayer Caucus of Tennessee.

Sheila was the 2016 recipient of the Agriculture Legislator of the year by the TN Cattlemen’s Association. She is the recipient of the “Iron Lady Award” by the 9.12 Nashville Project in 2015.  She is the recipient of the 2013 Legislator of the Year Award by the South-Central Tennessee Development District. In November of 2013, Sheila received the “Elected Women of Excellence” award by the National Foundation for Women Legislators for her “dedicated service, leadership and passion for Tennessee and her country.”

She is known nationwide for her integrity and an articulate message of standing for “faith, family and freedom.”

Since deciding not to run for a 5th term in 2018, Sheila began a Women’s Ministry called “Sisters, Servants, Soldiers” and much good is being done in the Kingdom of God as this ministry enables women to teach, mobilize, motivate, and provides opportunities for women to serve The Lord with their talents to His glory!

Currently, Sheila also serves as the Mayor of one of the fastest growing counties in the State of Tennessee.