Since its publication in January, 2012, friend after friend has been urging me to read The Harbinger, and it’s still setting records on numerous best-seller lists. I finally got my hands on a copy (there was a substantial waiting list at the library)—and read it in one sitting. Yes, it’s one of those books you cannot put down.
Although related as a fictional story, that’s really just window dressing. Author Jonathan Cahn takes a passage from Isaiah—focusing on Isaiah 9:10—and interprets it in light of the events of the past ten years. He relates Isaiah’s warning to Israel to America: the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, statements made by prominent politicians (including President Obama), and the subsequent economic meltdown. The details are astonishing.
Normally, I tend to be a skeptic. I dismiss books like this as a contrived association of unrelated facts, the result of mere happenstance. However in this case, Cahn makes an extremely convincing argument, leading to a somber conclusion: these events are intended to warn Americans that God has removed his “hedge of protection” and the country is heading toward judgment. There are just too many details to be coincidences.
As a messianic rabbi, Cahn is familiar with these Scriptures, and his clear explanations are easily understood even by those unfamiliar with the Bible or Jewish history. In fact, that was my only complaint—in an effort to reach a general audience, he’s often wordy and redundant. The book could have been much shorter.
A number of articles (see “The Harbinger—A Matter of Critical Discernment” and “The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction?” for two examples) have been written disputing the legitimacy of Cahn’s Biblical exegesis and theology. A common complaint regards his taking a verse intended to speak to Israel and applying it to the United States. I had wondered the same thing, and started digging into Scripture to see if I might learn something. After all, I’m not a theologian, and I haven’t been to Bible school or seminary. I shared some of my conclusions in my March 19 post on “Context.”
You might assume that, now that you’ve read my summary, you no longer need to read the book. I had assumed the same thing—until I read the book for myself. There is no way to share all the information contained in this slim volume in one blog post. Reading the book is the only way you’ll be challenged with the full impact of this warning that I believe is from God.
While his message is depressing, Cahn doesn’t leave his reader to despair. As the book concludes, he takes things to a more personal level, explaining how to repent, gain forgiveness, and begin a relationship with God.
Then he quotes 2 Chronicles 7:14—
… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
The book ends with this call to repentance, to the nation, to the American church. There is still time.
You might assume, now that you’ve read my summary, that you no longer need to read the entire book. I had assumed the same thing—until I read it for myself. There is no way to share all the information contained in this slim volume in one blog post. I urge you to read this urgent message to America.