“He saw that rest was good, And that the land was pleasant; He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, And became a band of slaves.”
Issachar faced another pair of enemies, more subtle than those of Zebulun. For Issachar, he entered into a place of rest from struggles and toils and began to enjoy the pleasantries of the land; and these twin delights utterly weakened his ability and resolve, such that when he had to bear a burden, his strength was gone. Two “strength-killers” are therefore the desire for rest and the desire to enjoy the pleasantries of the land. Those who succumb to this twin seduction will wake up as slaves.
There’s nothing wrong with resting when the need arises or enjoying the fruit of the land as creations of God. But the problem comes with the desire, the “seeing,” the focusing on these things. This is where bondage begins as the lust for this stuff becomes the crippling of our spiritual strength and spiritual discernment.
Enjoy the things of this world but remain strongly discerning in the midst of the enjoyment.
“Lord, protect my heart from desiring these subtle pleasantries that destroy strength. I know I need to be strong, and cannot be anything useful or productive if I embrace unnecessary rest and unreasonable enjoyments. Protect me, Lord. Protect me. Amen.”