The Time of Jacob's Trouble

"And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it." (Jeremiah 30:7)

A time of great distress and sadness is looming for Israel, the Jewish people. Undoubtedly, they have suffered repeatedly throughout the centuries at the hands of the Gentiles, including the more recent history when six million Jewish people were murdered in the holocaust during World War Two. Yet, there is still a period of time when their suffering will be at its worst. "Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it . . ." (Jeremiah 30:7)

One may protest that the Jewish people have already suffered enough -- agreed! The sad reality however is that the evil that has resulted in the suffering of Jewish people still exists and continues in a wide range of devious forms and manifestations. Whilst evil and sin are evident in every nation, and in dealings between nations, however, it is that hateful attitude towards the Jewish people which views them responsible, blaming them for the country's problems. This evil which has existed since ancient times is alive and thrives unchecked today. Jewish communities have suffered terribly whilst dispersed among the nations being made the scapegoat of aggressive, despotic leaders and regimes. The Jewish people continue to be a scapegoat today, but now it is for the international community and its woes, therefore, the only thing that has changed is the potential for Israel's suffering -- it has the momentum to reach international depths. "The time of Jacob's trouble . . ." is not only possible, but very much a reality. Today's environment is laying the framework for a future period of great tribulation for Israel.

The Messiah taught and warned specifically that His brethren, the people of Israel, would experience a time of great suffering before His return to reign.

"Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel the Prophet, standing in the Holy Place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.

"But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." (Matthew 24:15-22)

The Messiah points to the signs given by the Prophet Daniel, recorded in chapter nine of his book, as being the single event which will catapult the Jewish people into that time of immense suffering -- "great tribulation". A term which corresponds to "the time of Jacob's trouble", spoken of by the Prophet Jeremiah.

Daniel's prophecy is significant also since it was in answer to his prayer for the redemption of the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

" . . . in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood by the books of the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes . . .

"And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a Name, as it is this day -- we have sinned, we have done wickedly!

"O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us.

"Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord's sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your Name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.

"O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your Name!" (Daniel 9:2-3; 15-19)

Daniel had read from the scroll of Jeremiah and understood that the seventy years decreed for Jerusalem's desolation and the people's dispersion were nearing completion. He was praying for the restoration of the city of Jerusalem and the return of the people of Israel. The messenger Gabriel came and revealed to Daniel the prophetic calendar. This was God's plan which He had determined and decreed which would bring about the final redemption -- when Jerusalem's righteousness will shine as brightness and the people of Israel will be the head of the nations.

"Seventy sevens (of years) have been determined, for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy . . ." (Daniel 9:24)

It will be during the final seven years of this seventy sevens of years (the prophetic calendar of 490 years) that the city of Jerusalem and the people of Israel will enter "the time of Jacob's trouble". At this time a world leader will arise -- he is the false messiah -- confirming a covenant with Israel for seven years. By devious means he will cause "the abomination of desolation" which the Messiah said will signal the period of "great tribulation, such has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matthew 24:21)

Jeremiah the Prophet speaks of this time, in the same terms. "Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it." (Jeremiah 30:7)

Both the Messiah and Jeremiah agree confirming that the final redemption will be at the conclusion of this period of "the time of Jacob's trouble". At the end of that time, the Messiah will return as King and redeem His people, Israel. He will judge the nations, and establish His throne of righteousness in the holy city, Jerusalem.

We live in significant days. May God open the hearts of many that they may know Him and His Anointed, even Yeshua the Messiah whom He has sent.

Mark Warren