The "Lament" of Israel

By Pastor F. M. Riley        

May 19, 2016

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
For the hurt of the daughter of my people, am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.
Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"
Jeremiah 8:20-22

Introduction

In this text is a prophecy which most "prophecy teachers" overlook or ignore, yet it is an important prophecy in determining the timing of end-time events. In this study I want to examine it carefully for our readers.....

Definition

Every serious Bible student should look up the words in the Hebrew text from which our English words "lament" or "lamentation" are translated. There are several different words in the Hebrew from which these two English words were translated, but the basic Hebrew word is "sapad." This Hebrew word literally means, "to beat the breast; to grieve; to mourn; to sorrow; to weep; to wail; to make a wailing." See Strong's No. 5594, and the same number in Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, page 592.

In other words, this is an expression of deep sorrow. When the Lord God inspired Jeremiah to write this prophetic utterance in 8:20, it obviously spoke of a future time when the Jewish people, especially in and around Jerusalem [the daughter of my people] will be in deep sorrow, because some event of deliverance or salvation will have occurred, and sadly, the Jewish people will not be included in that event. Now what event could that possibly be???

The Time Element

This mournful lament of Israel is likely being stated, during or on one of the fall holy days of Israel, because in this passage the Israelis are looking back at a harvest season of Israel that has just passed.

Historically the barley was the first ripe grain in Israel in the Spring of the year. The barley harvest actually began at Passover and was concluded by Pentecost. On the morrow after the Sabbath following Passover, the priest was required to bring a sheaf of the first ripe barley into the Temple and wave it before the Lord. Read it for yourself in Leviticus 23:9-14. This offering of the firstfruits of the barley harvest sets forth a wonderful type of the resurrection of Christ and the firstfruit saints which arose with Him. See Matthew 27:50-53 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.

The barley harvest extended from Passover to Pentecost. At Pentecost the barley harvest was concluded and the wheat harvest began. The wheat harvest then extended through the summer and was usually concluded during the month of Av, correlating with our July or August. Then the grape harvest followed the wheat harvest, extending right up to Tishri, the 7th month in the Jewish year. If the grape harvest was bountiful, sometimes the people of Israel still had grapes to gather in the 7th month.

The fall holy days in the 7th month of Tishri formally brought the harvest seasons of Israel to a close. During these fall holy days the Torah observant people of Israel thanked and praised the Lord God for a bountiful harvest, and asked His blessings upon their harvest season for the coming year.

Keep these harvest seasons of Israel in mind as you read Jeremiah 8:20. It should be obvious to our readers that this lament of the people of Israel prophetically, is being uttered by them, very likely during the holy days in the fall of the year. And what are they really lamenting? The failure of the salvation of Israel and their people.

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved," 8:20.

Which Harvest?

Keep in mind that the Jews themselves introduce the spiritual element into this lament, when they mournfully proclaim, ".....we are not saved." The religious [Torah observant] Jewish people have been looking for their long awaited Messiah to come and "save them" for many centuries. And now in this prophetic utterance, it is obvious that they realize that the spiritual harvest they were expecting is over and they "are not saved." Do our readers grasp the significance of this? The Torah observant people of Israel are in deep mourning because they realize that as God's "chosen people" they have missed "the harvest."

A Terrible Parallel

Dear readers, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, in speaking of the time of the end, clearly stated in Luke 17:26, "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man."

Folks, it doesn't take much intelligence to believe that when the torrential rains came in "the days of Noah," [the pre-flood people had never seen rain; Genesis 2:5-6] the very people who had once scoffed at Noah's warning messages [Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5], then absolutely terrified, began to knock or beat on the door of the Ark, crying out and pleading for Noah to open the door and let them in. But Noah could not do that! It was the Lord God Himself who had shut the door to the Ark, Genesis 7:16, and no man could open it until the flood was over. The judgment of the flood was a type of the coming judgment of the Tribulation period.

Likewise, when the resurrection and rapture of New Covenant believers occurs, the door of Heaven will be shut, and will not be opened again until the terrible Tribulation period has run its course. Read the words of the Lord Himself in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, noticing especially Matthew 25:10-11. Then compare this with Luke 13:23-27.

The Jewish people who are dedicated to Torah observance [Judaism] are well acquainted with what is taught by Christian believers about the Pre-tribulation resurrection and rapture, even if they do not presently believe it. But when it occurs, the religious Israelites will recognize immediately that the Pre-tribulation rapture, long held as Biblical truth by serious Christian believers, has actually taken place. The Pre-tribulation resurrection and rapture will be one of the greatest witnesses to presently unbelieving Israel and their people that could ever be set before them.

Then just like the pre-flood scoffers, the presently unbelieving Jewish people will then cry out, "Lord, Lord, open unto us," Luke 13:25; Matthew 25:11. But it will be too late! The Lord Himself will have shut the door of Heaven, and, just as it was with the Ark, no man will be able to open it. Both the unbelieving Israelites and Gentile peoples left behind will find themselves in the terrible Tribulation period with no way out, other than by death or martyrdom.

May this truth stir true believers today to witness to their lost loved ones, friends, and neighbors with the greatest urgency you have ever had. Time is swiftly running out, and all the unsaved will be left behind when the rapture occurs. May the Lord God grant to us the greatest sense of urgency to win the lost to Christ that we have ever experienced.

Back to "what harvest"

When the Israelite people who are left behind then begin to lament, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved," it is obvious that the "harvest" they are speaking about is the "harvest" of all true New Covenant believers at the Pre-tribulation Rapture. How can I be so sure?

Because the inspired Apostle Paul, in writing about the resurrection and rapture of New Covenant believers, clearly refers to it using the terms of a "harvest." Read it for yourself in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 and 15:35-46. In these Scriptures the inspired apostle refers to the bodies of New Covenant believers as "bare grain," and as "wheat, or of some other grain." Actually, it is barley which typifies Gentile believers, while the wheat typifies Jewish believers, Matthew 13:38. It is Israel and the Jewish people that are promised to inherit the "kingdom."

Therefore when the Israelite people are in deep mourning and lamentation because "the harvest is past.....and we are not saved," there is little doubt they are referring to the Pre-tribulation resurrection and rapture, with the heart felt realization that they have missed it! And.....

What are they facing?

Here read carefully the deep sorrow of Jeremiah over his people in 8:21-22. It is obvious that Jeremiah realizes that his people, prophetically speaking, are in the terrible Tribulation period, and are facing seven years of great trial, heart ache, and trouble.

Notice that Jeremiah explicitly states in 8:21, "I am black..." This does not mean that Jeremiah was a black man. Rather, when the Seals begin to be opened right after the beginning of the Tribulation, under the opening of the third Seal, we see a rider on a black horse come forth. He has scales in his hands which he uses to measure out food. This is an indication of the swiftly approaching collapse of the world food supply. Folks, a few people in various governments are already trying to warn mankind of a swiftly approaching world food crisis, but who is listening? Not many!

But such a crisis is coming, and it will become world wide under the third Seal as recorded in Revelation 6:5-6. Millions of people will literally starve to death because of a lack of food, 6:8. Now how many of our readers have ever had the gruesome experience of seeing someone starve to death?

I have! And what did I learn? I learned that in the process of starvation all of the hundreds or thousands of small blood vessels in the human body break down and release the blood they normally carry into the body, and this in turn, regardless of one's race or color, causes the body to turn BLACK, yes, coal black. Now do our readers understand the significance of Jeremiah saying, "I am black," as the Lord God gave him a prophetic vision of his people during the coming Tribulation period. In his statement Jeremiah, in deep sorrow, was clearly identifying himself with his people, and as he also said, he was hurting with the hurt of his people. Why, oh why, do people ignore and reject the great truths of God's Word to their own hurt?

These text verses for this study, make it very clear that the Israelite people are in deep lamentation and sorrow because they have missed the rapture "harvest," and are facing the terrible plagues, persecutions, and sufferings of the approaching Tribulation winter.

But it is not all for and about Israel

Rather, all Scripture is for the knowledge and spiritual welfare of every person who will truly come to faith in Christ, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Dear readers, did you notice that in 8:20 the Israelite people lament that "the harvest" is past. The term is singular, not plural. They are referring to one particular harvest, which is obviously tied in with the salvation or redemption of the Jewish people, restoring them to their position as "the special people of God," and they had missed it. The "harvest" they are referring to is then the harvest of New Covenant believers at the time of the resurrection and rapture. And what time will that be?

I have repeatedly pointed out in this study that the barley harvest is the first harvest in the Jewish year, and that the barley typifies the Gentiles. The first ripe barley is gathered at Passover as typified by Christ Himself and the first fruit saints which came out of their graves after His resurrection. But the barley harvest is also completed by Pentecost.

Since the barley harvest begins at Passover and is completed at Pentecost, and since the barley is typical of the Gentiles, then isn't it obvious that this Scripture text also sets forth the timing of the Pre-tribulation resurrection and rapture?

Our Lord plainly states in His inspired Word that His church; His Gentile Bride, is not "in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief," 2 Thessalonians 5:4. In other words, this lament of Israel was placed in Jeremiah 8:20-22 not only for the benefit of the Israelite people, but also to aid in revealing to true Gentile believers the timing of the Pre-tribulation resurrection and rapture.

The Lord will begin again with Israel right where He left off with them

First, the rapture will occur in the Spring of the year. Read the Song of Solomon 2:8-13. It is obvious that a rapture is being called for and described in these Scriptures, and it is just as obvious that the timing being described in this passage is the Spring of the year.

Second, the rapture will occur in 2016, this year just preceding Israel's Jubilee Year in 2017. Jerusalem was returned to Israel in 1967. 1967 plus 50 years equals 2017.

It is also obvious that this present year of 2016 is also just one year before Israel fulfills her 70 years as a modern nation. The British Mandate ended in 1947 and the holy land was handed over to the United Nations. The UN voted that year to partition the holy land into two parts, one for the Jewish people and the other for the Arabs. The foundation for modern Israel was then laid in 1947, with the nation itself actually being established in 1948. 1947 plus 70 years equals 2017. Now is it just "coincidence" that these time periods work out this way? Be careful how you answer. The Lord God is listening! Now compare this with the prophecy of Israel's re-establishment given by Moses in Psalm 90:10. Isn't God's inspired Word awesome in its accuracy over centuries of time?

The Israelite people begin to praise and bless the Lord in Psalm 116, which correlates with 2016. It is now documented news that Orthodox Jewish Rabbis came to the Messianic [Christian] Rabbis in Jerusalem asking for permission to study with them, confessing that they believed they had been wrong about the Lord Jesus and now want to learn from these Christian Messianic Rabbis the whole truth about the Lord Jesus Christ. Glory to God! The "wise virgins" are awakening this very year in view of our Lord's coming and the rapture. Read it for yourself in Matthew 25:1-13.

Third, the rapture will occur in connection with Pentecost. This Holy Day is when the legal [God given] authority to represent Almighty God on earth among men was taken from rebellious, unbelieving Israel, and given to the Gentile Bride of Christ; the Lord's Church. Therefore at Pentecost this year, 2016, the situation will be reversed. The Pre-tribulation rapture of the Lord's Church and all New Covenant believers will occur, and the legal [God given] authority to represent Almighty God among men on this earth will be transferred back to the nation and people of Israel. And Elijah and John will appear in the streets of Jerusalem to receive and confirm it, Revelation 11:1-4. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Glory to God!

Conclusion

Folks, I have prayed and worked to make this study as plain to our readers as possible. This study could not be more timely in view of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy now occurring with every passing day. I hope I have made it clear in this study that the day for God's true believers to be looking forward to is the Day of Pentecost.

Sadly, I have received four or five different dates for Pentecost this year. Folks, look to God's Word. Any reader willing to go by God's Word can go to Leviticus 23:15-16 and the inspired Word will explicitly tell you how to determine the true "date" of Pentecost. By following the inspired instructions, it is glaringly obvious that the true date for Pentecost this present year of 2016 is

June 12, 2016.

Are you ready for the Lord to come and take His people "home" to glory? Do you have the assurance of the Holy Spirit indwelling you, making you to KNOW that you are ready? As I write there are only 26 more days to Pentecost. Are you ready to meet the Lord Jesus, the ONE who died for you at Calvary, paid your sin debt, and bought your redemption with His own precious blood? Your answer may very well determine whether you will be taken in the rapture or left behind to face the terrible Tribulation.

The inspired Word admonishes those who "profess" to be God's people to "make your calling and election sure," 2 Peter 1:10. Are you listening to the Word?

Dear readers, you have my message. I do hope every reader will meet me in glory this coming Pentecost. May our gracious Lord God add His blessings to this message.

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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others.

This ministry is supported solely by the freewill offerings of those readers who feel "led of the Lord" to help us send forth the great truths of God's wonderful Word.

Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be contacted by email at fmr7sngn@centurylink.net

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