The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.(Jeremiah 30:1-9)
God has promised a bright future for his chosen people, the children of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, but first they must pass through a tremendous time of testing. So also must the whole world, the Muslim world, the decadent western world, the Hindu, Bhuddist and Communist world,all must come under Divine Judgment for their sins, particularly for the sin of rejecting the salvation God has offered through his Son Jesus the Messiah.
But the testing Israel undergoes is unique. What the nations must undergo is punishment. “The wicked shall be cast into hell and all nations that forget God”. There are two kinds of Gentile nations, the wicked, who have never been impacted directly by the gospel, and are thereby twisted in their laws, mores and in every other area. Secondly there are the nations who were once Judeo Christian, and greatly benefitted by the gospel, but have cast all of that off. Both are doomed.
But Israel’s trial, though severe, is remedial. Every pressure brought to bear upon Israel is designed to bring them to the point that they cry out to the Messiah who once came to them,”… lowly on an Ass, bringing salvation…”(Zechariah 9:9).
The prophet Jeremiah, looking past the looming captivity in Babylon, and the return 70 years later, predicted a greater return, not merely from Babylon, but from being scattered to the ends of the earth. After centuries of exile, a miracle,Israel shall return to the land .
For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.0 Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.(Jeremiah 31:7-10)
Israel is currently being restored, politically,economically, linguistically, geographically and physically. This is the banner miracle to the world, as of May,1948 the world has no excuse for disbelieving the Bible. What God promised in days of old, against all expectation and desire of the people, He performed. This is the distinguishing mark of the last days because all of the prophecies assume Israel back in the land.
But what will it take to restore Israel spiritually?
Jeremiah heard a “voice of trembling and fear” and saw a man travailing in pain as if He were a woman in labor. He saw people with pale faces, he saw that it was the Day of the Lord.The last days are often likened unto a woman going into labor, and the events of the last days are called “Sorrows”, literally “Birthpangs” by Jesus in Matthew 24.
Jeremiah, by the Spirit of the Lord called the brief, intense final season of the world as we know it, “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”. We are thereby reminded of the story of Jacob, as a prophecy of the last days.
Jacob had prospered in the world after leaving home, fleeing from his murderous twin Esau. Even when others tried to cheat him, God blessed him and he always seemed to come out on top of most arrangements. But when he left his uncle Laban’s land, to come back into the Holy Land(Sound familiar?), He heard Esau was coming after him with an army and a murderous intent.
Jacob underwent a preparation that involved personal separations. In his fear and agony through the long night, as he anticipated his twin brother’s murderous revenge, Jacob began dividing himself from everything he owned; his flocks, servants, wives and children, until finally He was reduced to himself.
There He was, by himself, when God came unto Him. At first He wrestled with God, then in the dark of the night, after God touched his hip (His strongest place), He simply clung to God until morning, refusing to let him go.This is where Jacob received a new name from God, ISRAEL, He who strives with God!!
Really, who is it that Israel has been striving with all of these centuries? She has been fighting God. But in the night, that we call the great tribulation, the “time of Jacob’s trouble”, God separates his people from everything, all friends, lovers, allies, and any other natural mainstay.
Esau surrounds her, for the Muslim world are the custodians of the hatred of Ishmail and Esau, and incites much of the rest of the world to turn on Israel. God is removing her natural strength, to bring her to see that He alone is her Rock and Saviour.
Notice that it is the time of “Jacob’s” trouble, and not “Israel’s ” trouble. Jacob is the man of his own cunning and devices, he doesn’t always recognize the grace of God. Currently Israel is Jacob, for the most part unspiritual, in the power of reason and human ability, technology and humanistic sensibilities. But soon, after the Long night the true Israel will be seen in the chosen people and the whole world will be resurrected!
God set Jacob free, turning him into Israel, and Jeremiah says that once again, God will use the long night of wrestling, to “Break the yoke” off of Israel,and restore the Holy nation to the Priesthood and the service of mercy in the name of God! OH Hasten it dear LORD.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! SHalom!