“Take you wise men of understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you” (Deuteronomy 1:13).
Leadership comes to the wise and prudent and to those of understanding of the times, and the ways of God.
Understanding (Heb. biyn): ability to attend to, consider, discern, perceive, eloquently express, instruct, and teach wisdom
Understanding is neuter in nature and is given to any who will submit themselves to Wisdom imparted to the spirit by the Spirit of God. Understanding distinguishes itself based on the attentiveness given by the heart to the issues at hand. Joseph gave himself intently while yet in prison to the things of God and by the inspiration of the Almighty was elevated by Pharaoh to his high position, and who spoke to Joseph, “forasmuch as God has shown you all this; there is none so understanding and wise as you are” (Genesis 41:39).
Moses appointed “men of understanding” to be the leaders in Israel (cf. Deuteronomy 1:13).
In the days of Ezra after the return of the exiles from Babylon there was a great need for wisdom and leadership in Israel. Then Ezra “sent for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, men of understanding” (Ezra 8:16).
Job said, “There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty gives him understanding” (Job 32:9).
The Psalmist declared, “Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts; so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works” (Psalms 119:27).
Solomon gave us the Book of Proverbs which begins: “The Proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel. To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding” (Proverbs 1:1-2).
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “these four God gave knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17).
The Prophet Hosea declared: “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent and he shall know them? For the ways of the LORD are right, and the Just shall walk in them; but transgressors shall fall therein” (Hosea 14:9).
The Apostle Paul exhorts us, “Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be as children, but in understanding be men” (I Corinthians 14:20).
God is raising up in our day “men (and women) of understanding” to know and discern the times in which we live, even as the “Children of Issachar, who were men of understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. . .” (I Chronicles 12:32). God will give us Joseph’s and Daniel’s, Ezra’s and Job’s, who through suffering, imprisonment, exile, cancellation and persecution shall not be silenced, but speak forth and lead with great understanding, discernment, wisdom, discretion, prudence; and with vision and foresight shall speak the word of the Lord to the people by the power of the Spirit of God. Then we shall know the way we are to go in the darkest of times, under the most oppressive governments of men; then we shall walk in the light of the Word, in the Truth and recover and restore the way of Righteousness in the earth.
Yes, “in understanding be men,” be bold, be strong, be courageous, and whether leading or following men of understanding, be faithful and true to the One Who understands all things and knows the end from the beginning, the Almighty.