Today two things came across my radar…
First up was my study this morning from Jeremiah 31.
and Second was learning, via third party, that a dear friend had shared his news of expecting a child with one of his friends. This friend’s response was to send back, via text the word’s of Yeshua, “But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!”
In the religious culture in which I was raised, Eschatological Theology (end time theology) was a COMMON refrain and this type of “don’t have children cause the end of time is almost upon us” refrain is fairly common also.
I’m thankful for the education I received, and that so much of Scripture is familiar to me, especially those hard to understand books of Daniel & Revelation.
However, I’m learning that maybe the theology was off a bit. For instance – the warnings of Yeshua in Mark 13 & Matthew, quoted above, are in a larger context of the “Abomination of Desolation” which was clearly understood at that time as the desecration of Jerusalem and the Temple by Pagan rites and rituals, or a setting up as god to be worshipped, by an anti-messiah within the temple. The Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel, found it’s first fulfillment in the desecration of the Temple and the slaughter of many Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes recorded in Maccabees of the Apocrypha. Antiochus set up a pagan god in the Temple, offered a pig on the altar, thereby completely making it unlcean. He forbade the use of Yehovah’s name, Forbade Sabbath Observance, Feast Observance, and hung from the city walls, all mothers with their slain circumcised boys. Many Jews escaped Jerusalem, where all of this destruction and mayhem started, and, in fact, that’s why Joseph & Mary whose families were originally from Bethlehem were living in Nazareth, or Nat-zaret amongst the Gentiles well north of Jerusalem. Their families had FLED Jerusalem a few generations earlier.
In like manner, the Jews fled the Romans when Titus laid seige on the city of Jerusalem, and Herod’s Temple was destroyed by Titus in 70 AD. I’m guessing that any of Yeshua’s disciples would have seen the Roman invasion and destruction of the Temple as fulfillment of Yeshua’s words.
Now, most prophecies in Scripture have more than one fulfillment. So, I think it’s reasonable to believe that the Abomination of Desolation will again come. However, what that will look like this time around is up to some debate, especially given the lack of a Temple in Jerusalem. I’ve never gotten a real firm grasp on WHAT my childhood denomination defined it as. I think the closest was a World Wide Government Mandated Religion, specifically laws pertaining to the worship of God on Sunday and the mandate to work on Sabbath.
However, I’m not certain that’s completely accurate. The first two fulfillments were geographically specific to the Temple & Jerusalem. I will be honest to say I think, given Yeshua’s words in Mark 13 – “then let them who live in Judea flee to the mountains,” that the last fulfillment will also be geographically specific, an Anti-Christ setting up rule from Jerusalem, and dictating certain behaviors – likely enforcing laws very similar to Antiochus’ mandates.
When that happens and those true followers of Messiah see it happening, they would be wise to flee Judea and head for the hills, and it’s in this context that Yeshua says, “But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!”
Frankly, even if here, in America, True Followers of Yeshua, by necessity have to flee their homes to safety within the mountains, to avoid religious persecution, I wouldn’t want to be with child; tho many mothers have been thru extreme or unusual conditions with children in tow!!
However, I found today, this incredible verse of something that ALSO happens in the “end of time”. I’d venture to say it happens AFTER the Anti-Christ.
As Christians, we have always called ourselves “spiritual Israel” but we’ve not as often applied the prophecies REGARDING Israel to ourselves. Keep in mind that in the Prophetic books of Scripture; Judah & Israel are two distinct people groups – one making up the Southern Kingdom who went into captivity for 70 years and returned to the land of Judea, and the other making the Northern Kingdom who where scattered amongst the nations following capture by the Assyrians. Most people we know today as Israelis are actually from JUDAH the Southern Kingdom and are Jews (from the tribe of Judah) by blood.
I truly believe we , who follow the Messiah, are Israel. As in, the 10 northern tribes of Israel, scattered among the nations after Yehovah gave us a writ of Divorcement because we kept following after our other lovers. (See Jim Staley’s Identity Crisis for more on that – follow link provided). We are made up of those who are the seed of Abraham by blood and, or, simply BY FAITH, HEIRS to the promise, according to Paul’s words in Galations 3:29.
The prophecies to Israel pertain to us, they are OUR prophecies!! THEY HAVE NOT YET BEEN FULFILLED!!!
In the books of the Prophets four terms are used interchangeably to mean the same group of people – Israel, Jacob, Joseph & Ephraim. That can be seen in the following verses, which give me GREAT hope that tho mothers with children, or who are in labor will have a VERY hard time of it when they have to flee Judea for the hills; They will also be protected, sheltered and Loved Tenderly in the final gathering of the Messiah’s Bride!!!
So, Mommas and Daddies Take heart, children are a heritage from Yehovah – Yehovah is Father to Israel!!! 😀
For here is what Yehovah says:
“Sing with joy for Ya‘akov! (Jacob)
shout for the chief of the nations!
Proclaim your praise, and say:
Yehovah! You have saved your people,
the remnant of Isra’el!’
7 (8) Look! I am bringing them from the land in the north,
gathering them from the far ends of the earth;
among them are the blind and lame,
women with children, women in labor,
all together, a vast throng
8 (9) They will come weeping and praying
as I bring them back.
I will lead them by streams of water
on smooth paths, so that they won’t stumble.
For I am a Father to Isra’el,
and Efrayim (Ephraim) is my firstborn son.”
9 (10) Nations, hear the word of Yehovah!
Proclaim it in the coastlands far away. Say:
“He who scattered Isra’el is gathering him,
guarding him like a shepherd his flock.”
10 (11) For Yehovah has ransomed Ya‘akov,
redeemed him from hands too strong for him.”
So, so beautifully reassuring!!
(Can I just say that good art depicting what these verses portray is WOEFULLY Lacking! … must remedy this issue sometime soon.. )
You can find my concept drawing of what Good Art for this verse MIGHT look like here: