Book Review: The Mystery of the Shemitah

Since I plan on publishing a treatise about the End Times in the future, I decided that studying some material from Rabbi Jonathan Cahn was essential, in order to stay on top of current works in the field of eschatological study. I took out The Mystery of the Shemitah and read thought through it carefully.

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Cahn, a Messianic Rabbi, leads a congregation in New Jersey and is the head of an organization called Hope of the World. In addition to writing The Mystery of the Shemitah, Cahn received international recognition after writing The Harbinger. More recently, Cahn has written The Book of Mysteries, and he will be releasing The Paradigm this fall.

Let me start off by saying that I really respect Mr. Cahn and his personal strength in standing to call America to her knees in repentance. This is a message that needs to be heard, I believe. Not just America, but Canada, and the whole world for that matter. We all need to constantly turn to the Lord for daily strength, guidance and direction.

Where I disagree with Cahn comes down to the finer details exposited in his book about the Shemitah. I think, as a general principle, God can work in seven-year cycles in terms of how he relates to His people. Cahn himself agrees that God is not bounded or limited to such cyclical patterns. But certainly God is the Lord of the impossible, and He can sovereignly act as He pleases. It is interesting to read the great details that Cahn goes to in studying the Shemitah concept, which essentially is a Biblical, Old Testament pattern that says God “wipes the slate clean” every seven years. Judgement is more likely to occur during the year of the Shemitah, according to Cahn, in the form of economic calamity, agricultural disaster and consequences occurring in other spheres of society.

Cahn conducts a thorough exegesis of the Shemitah concept, even drilling down to the percentage chance that a given collapse or negative outcome could occur within this cyclical pattern. While I am not disputing this per se, I know from my study of the New Testament (and Old) that in addition to being a God of justice, God is also a God of mercy and love. If we do humble ourselves and pray for our nation, God will heal our land (2 Chron. 7:14).

Another concept which I found fascinating in the book was the idea that man has historically erected towers as an act of defiance against Almighty God. Although I do not agree prima facie that building skyscrapers is an offence to God, it can be construed as such under certain circumstances. The Old Testament parallel, of course, is the construction of the great Tower of Babel, when humanity sought to defy God through erecting this formidable structure. In the end, God was not mocked and He foiled humanity’s plan by destroying this tower.

I am very grateful that our God, in Jesus, is loving and forgiving. He has forgiven me of all of my sins, for which I am eternally thankful, and do not deserve. I commend reading The Mystery of the Shemitah to you and suggest that you carefully study Mr. Cahn’s suggestions with an open Bible in hand.

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