Messiah’s Lament

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness. —Psalm 17:15

This morning a dove landed on the railing outside. I heard her voice first and then I saw her, less than ten feet away, finding shelter in the weathered edges of my home.

A year ago, two maybe? The words came with soft urgency and deep love: Winter is past, the holy one said, and I wept in the dark. That spring the doves came and nestled outside my bedroom window with lullabies that went up like prayers—

My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!”—Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Winter. A season of scarcity and want. A season of silence and cold. A season of foraging for food, for warmth, for love.

The prophetic urgency of the past several months has felt unsustainable at times, if I’m honest. (Can I be?) I’m not a good occupier. (Working on this.) I’m whole-heart-in, don’t-look-back, face-to-the-sky, come-Lord-Jesus. Behind the intensity, though, is a river of tenderness that keeps the tears flowing: Come, thou long expected. The Spirit and the bride say Come.

There is much work to be done. I celebrate every newly born believer while also aching in that liminal paradox of—Lord, so many remain unsaved! But I can’t bear another moment not seeing Your face! How do we ever find peace with this? The same way we always do, and I circle back around to it seventy times seven times a day: trust. 

But I don’t want to miss a thing.

Trust anyway.

I didn’t feel so peaceful or trusting today, though. I scrubbed my dishpans with more vigor than I needed to, but I held a come to Jesus meeting with myself and my kitchen got real clean. So did my soul. After the polished neatness of September 23rd, with everyone hoping for a nice & predictable Rosh Hashanah rapture, the watchmen community at large feels a bit scrambly. New rapture dates, caveats, theories, timelines, and what my friend Rohit calls “gospel shops” pop up by the hour on YouTube. It’s enough to drown in. It’s enough to spend the rest of my lifetime in, and I’ve got to draw a line somewhere. How much energy and precious time can I devote to the newest and latest revelation?

It’s easy to catch what the kids call FOMO, even for middle-aged, matronly folks like me.

So I’m cleaning house these days, inside and out. I crave simplicity and the sweetness of longing. A return to what I know so I can trust, anyway, when I don’t know. From here I stretch out my arms like tree limbs to the sky, with wholesome curiosity and childlike faith. I’m kneeling in the dirt, smoothing out trampled footprints, and beginning again.

What do I really know?

Less than I knew yesterday, and [disappointingly] this seems to be a pattern.

But right now I want to share 3 simple and irrefutable back-to-basics prophetic truths that you can hold close as you go about your Father’s business.

1. We are in the last days.

It is undeniably a season of transition. At least one phase of birth is complete and the remnant is returning (Micah 5:3). The time of the Gentiles is being fulfilled (Rom. 11:25). The age of the dispensation of grace is drawing to a close.

The transition of an age reminds me of that time between day and night, twilight. And of dawn, the soft space between night and morning. We are in the twilight of a generation who has seen the budding of the fig tree spoken of by Jesus (Matt. 24:32-34). We are at the twilight (or dawn) of Jacob’s Trouble, or Daniel’s 70th week. We who believe are children of the Day. We are not of night nor of darkness, and this Day will not overtake us as a thief. (1 Thess. 5:3-5)

Interestingly, Jupiter, which recently completed a 42-week retrograde in the womb of Virgo, is in transition right now!

Jupiter’s conjunction with the sun—when it is more or less directly behind the sun from Earth—comes on October 26. That event will mark Jupiter’s transition out of the evening sky and into the morning sky.—EarthSky

You are all sons of light, sons of the Day…

Could it be that Jupiter’s path into the morning sky, into Day, might help fulfill Rev. 12:5?

“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”

“His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.” (Ps. 89:36-37)

“Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us.” (Luke 1:78)


Dayspring: G395, anatolé—rising of the sun; sunrise.

Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber… (Ps. 19:4-5)

We may not know exactly when Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout (1 Thess. 4:15-17), but we know these are the last days. (Luke 21:282 Tim. 3:1-51 Tim. 4:1-2Heb. 1:1-2) They are also beautiful days that the Lord hath made, and let us be glad and rejoice in them.Come on, everyone, rejoice! We woke up this morning to the gracious gift of a new day. What will you do with today? Find moments to live in. Reach out with tenderness. Look for the beauty. Bless the body. There is so much around to notice, to give thanks for, to love.

2. Jesus is coming SOON. We have promises in Scripture that point to Jesus and our Blessed Hope.

We can be encouraged by the powerful typologies in Scripture for our soon catching-away and God’s mercy for His people. He has not forgotten us, and He WILL come! Consider these examples:

Enoch, a type of Church; Noah, a type of Israel protected through judgment

Enoch pleased God and was taken by Him (Gen. 5:24Heb. 11:5) before the flood. His great-grandson Noah faithfully obeyed God, built an ark, and was kept safely through the water. (Heb. 11:7) The unrighteous perished.

Lot, a type of the Church; Sodom & Gomorrah, the unrighteous 

The angels could not do anything until Lot was taken out of Sodom & Gomorrah. They literally took them by the hand and led them out of the city when Lot & his family weren’t moving fast enough! (Gen. 19:12-2429) God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah with brimstone and fire. Lot’s wife looked behind and became a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19:262 Peter 2:6-9)

The Rapture vs. the 2nd Coming
The Rapture vs. the 2nd Coming. Click to enlarge.

Joseph (a type of Christ), his Hebrew brothers, and his Egyptian wife

Rejected by his brothers (Jews), Joseph rose to power outside of Israel and took a Gentile bride (Gen. 41:45) before the 7-year famine. From then on, his wife was “hidden”—she is not seen or mentioned after this, presumably safe & protected as royalty in the palace. It is the famine that brought Joseph’s brothers to him. They did not recognize him at first and when Joseph revealed himself, they were greatly troubled. (See also Zech. 12:10.) He said to them, “God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (Gen. 45) “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” (Gen. 50:20-21) Joseph kept his Jewish brothers through the famine.

Daniel, a type of Church; Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-Nego a type of Israel; Nebuchadnezzar a type of antichrist. (See Daniel 3)

Daniel, originally a Hebrew captive, became ruler of the whole province of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar made him chief of the governors and set him over all the wise men. However, this highly esteemed ruler was hidden, absent and unmentioned, in the day of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. (Dan. 2:48Dan. 3) Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-Nego refused to “take the mark” (so to speak; compare Rev. 13:14-15) by refusing to worship the image. (Dan. 3) Nebuchadnezzar cast them into the fire, which was made seven times hotter than before. They were saved and protected, kept through the fire by the One who is “like the Son of God.”

Flood, famine, and fire

Enoch, Lot, Daniel, and Joseph’s bride were kept from disaster, persecution and judgment. Noah’s family, Daniel’s friends, and Joseph’s brothers were all kept through it. We know that in this world we will have tribulation, but Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). We as the body of Christ are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:31-39), and we are not appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9) but to deliverance (2 Peter 2:9).

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Rev. 12:11)

We who believe and have placed our trust in the Messiah for salvation & righteousness have the assurance of His promise, which begins with loving comfort:

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:1-6)

…adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:10-14)

3. Israel is thriving.

In the new and surprising economic world order, Israel could gain a degree of wealth not seen since the days of King Solomon.—Brian Schrauger, Jerusalem Post

The rise and renewal of Israel is astonishing to watch. “Today, approaching its 70th anniversary since the state of Israel was created by a vote of the United Nations in November 1947, Israel has become a strong power in many areas. Its military is rated #8 in the world, its High Tech stands in the top 5 in the world and its water desalinization stands by some accounts #1. Its military is the strongest in the Middle East reinforced by 100 atomic bombs, 700 airplanes and strong intelligence services (Mossad, Shin Bet). The population of Israel has soared from 800,000 in 1948 to 8.4 million today.”—Dr. Jonathan Adelman, Huffington Post

This is the country of which the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah—

“Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband,
So have you dealt treacherously with Me,
O house of Israel,” says the Lord.
A voice was heard on the desolate heights,
Weeping and supplications of the children of Israel.
For they have perverted their way;
They have forgotten the Lord their God. (Jer. 3:20-21)

And through the prophet Ezekiel,

For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed. (Eze. 33:28-29)

In his book Innocents Abroad, author Mark Twain described his visit to Israel in 1867, saying that it was “…a desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse… a desolation… we never saw a human being on the whole route… hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” Of Jerusalem he wrote, “A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.”

You and I exist in a time when Israel is no longer desolate. 

In fact, Travel + Leisure magazine added Jerusalem to its list of 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017. Yes, this Jerusalem…

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matt. 23:37-39

I call this Messiah’s lament. It is gut-wrenching and revealing. In it we feel the raw and weary agony of one who loves and longs to be received by His own. 

We also have a prophetic timestamp. You will not see me until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Oh, let Israel now say! Around forty years after Jesus spoke these words—40 is the number for trial and testing—Jerusalem & the temple were destroyed and the Jews scattered, captured, and killed. Until 1948, the Jewish people did not consistently dwell in Israel which became known for a long time as “no-man’s land.”

Desolation.

One day, like Joseph’s brothers, the eyes of Jerusalem will be opened and they will be troubled when they realize truth. In the book of Zechariah we read:

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. (Zech. 12:10)

“…Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

The Messiah quoted Psalm 118 when he offered these words. There is an interesting theory that Psalm 118could apply to the year 2018, which happens to be the 70th anniversary of the year Israel became a state.

Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
[…] The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. (Excerpts from Ps. 118)

This generation
Scripture tells us that a generation is between 70 and 80 years. (Psalm 90:10) The state of Israel was established in 1948, but a Gentile assembly voted for statehood on November 29, 1947. Doing the math, this makes 2017 a 70th anniversary.Psalm 117 holds an interesting message for the Gentiles. All of two verses, it reads—

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! (Ps. 117)

So this is where I return to the arena of trust. Do I know for sure that these Psalms hold prophetic meaning for 2017/18? I do not. Do I know for sure that all of the seemingly infinite reasons why 2017 is a great year for the harpazo are more than just impressive facts? Well, I do not believe in coincidence. Do I know what event comes next upon the global and eschatological stage? I suspect so, but I can’t say for sure.

But I do know to watch, to be faithful, to keep on loving and tending that which is given to me, to be humble as I ask the questions, observe current events, and pray without ceasing.

In the meantime, God’s figs will keep on ripening. 

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matt. 24:32-34)

“The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!”—Song of Solomon 2:13

When the leaves of the fig tree are tender, summer is near.

When the fig tree puts forth her green figs, the Beloved calls to His love (Song of Solomon 2:10-13) and the stars of heaven fall to earth (Rev. 6:13).

What happens when figs are fully ripe?

“Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.” Amos 8:1-2

An interesting fact about Amos. Before he was a prophet, he was a keeper of figs. 

“Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.” (Amos 7:14-15)

“Amos was a poet as well. Probably, because of the fig’s summer picking season, another name for figs found in the Bible is “summer fruit” or kaytz. This Hebrew word, kaytz, also means “summer” and shares the same root and sounds very similar to the Hebrew word for “the end” (ketz). Like all the biblical prophets, Amos often utilized poetry and alliteration for his prophetic delivery.”—Gary Alley, Jerusalem Cornerstone Foundation

Sycomore figs

{Says the Beloved…}
You who dwell in the gardens,
the companions listen for your voice—
Let me hear it!

{Says the Loved…}
Make haste, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle
Or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.
Song of Solomon 8:13-14


Make haste, my beloved.

Here is an encouraging message from a sweet sister in Christ who picked up on some interesting comments about Jupiter being caught up, and brought the EarthSky article to my attention: Rapture Soon?

As we offer a collective cry to the One we long for, how are you choosing to dwell in your life? How are you balancing the watching,the working, and the waiting?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matt. 25:40)

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev. 22:20) (Click to Source)

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