If you have read this author’s book, The Harbinger, and was fascinated with the connections he has made of historical events, then you will also be captivated by The Mystery of the Shemitah.“The Harbinger contains fourteen (14) major revelations or mysteries. One of these revelations is that of the Shemitah.” In it, Jonathan Cahn touches on the impact of the Shemitah, what it is, and why it is important, in only one chapter. This book, then, expands on that chapter and fully reveals why The Shemitah is relevant for Christians of today.
The Shemitah is a term that encompasses a cluster of events. For example, Advent is the 25-day period before Christmas on which Christians contemplate and commemorate all the events leading up to the birth of Jesus. Lent is the 40-day period of soul searching that precedes the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Some Christians call the events immediately before Jesus’ death The Passion of Christ. Likewise, The Shemitah involves the observation of the Sabbath day: God’s command, delivered through Moses, for its observance and His warning of consequences if the observation should be neglected. It involves cause and effect. The author explains this concept and its relevance for today. But above all, the author expresses his concern that readers not be distracted by the details from The Shemitah’s original message–a call to repentance. He expects an upcoming calamity for the United States, but only if our nation does not repent and turn from doing evil. This is the author’s way of standing on the walls and sounding the alarm (see Ezekiel 33:7).
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn explains the concept of The Shemitah in an organized, concise manner. He has parsed his book into 7 parts and an epilogue. In Part I, he explains the 3,000 years-old background to the Shemitah’s origin. Part II introduces five keys to help explain precisely what The Shemitah is and its implications. This includes historical events that demonstrate how the Shemitah was manifested in the past and how it is manifested in the present. In Part III, he continues to demonstrate how the phenomenon works through cataclysms. He explains the precision of the modern stock market crashes and how each one intercepts the Shemitah right down to the day. The precise timing of these events may surprise you.
Part IV focuses specifically on the years after the event on 9/11. The mysterious phenomenon of the Shemitah still holds to the ancient pattern. Part V informs us how towers are significant to the Shemitah both in the past and the present. Part VI studies the relationship between the rise and fall of nations and empires, while examining the period of time between 1916 and 1945. Some very curious patterns all over the world are the focus of the author’s attention. Finally, Part VII discusses future ramifications of the mystery of the Shemitah. If the patterns mentioned all throughout the book hold, his explanations what readers should expect to see in the future will help us prepare ourselves. One note: Rabbi Cahn emphatically warns us against setting dates for future events. God is a god of order and regularity. He created these templates and patterns for our benefit. He is also a God of mercy. Many Shemitahs have come and gone without any significant tie to world events or cataclysms. He does sometimes stay His hand while He waits for us to respond to Him.
Like The Harbinger, this book has been written with the ordinary person in mind. It is not a theological thesis or debate. It is simply an observation of events that are fairly easy to find anywhere. We could pull these events off the internet, from history books, encyclopedias, the newspapers and periodicals, in libraries. None of the information has been hidden. Anyone can argue about the patterns if they like. I’m sure many do already. Observing patterns, in my opinion, is a matter of perception; perception is often a by-product of our worldview. I choose to leave arguments behind and accept Jonathan Cahn’s viewpoint at face value. What I see after reading both The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah is God’s “writing on the wall.” He loves us enough to provide warnings that there are consequences to our thoughts and actions both as individuals and as a nation.
As I was reading this book I realized it would be very easy to get caught up in the details of the book and bypass the main messages. I also realized that each of the sections could also be a book in its own right. The author has purposely given us a general overview, hitting on the important points rather than a thorough critique. Besides warning us, what other message could there be in this book? I think it’s a decisive statement that God views us as His children, His beloved sons and daughters. “Like any good parent, then, God rears his offspring for virtue and fosters character in his sons through suffering.”–Zack Eswine. The times ahead may be tough, but we have assurance that God loves us intensely.
God does not spoil His children by giving them everything they want. He parents them using the tools on hand…usually calamities, disasters, hardships, persecution, vilification, marginalization and so on, to develop our character. All the while, people all around us, ones who seem to be enjoying their sins, go uncorrected. We can either scream foul or allow ourselves the privilege of being chiseled from rock to diamond. “My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts. Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them, shall we not submit ourselves to the Father of spirits and receive life? For they disciplined us for a little while, as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share in his holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.” (from Hebrews 12:5-10, NET Bible)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this commentary from Charisma House Book Group through their blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”