(5) "For thus says the LORD:
'We have heard a voice of trembling,
Of fear, and not of peace.
(6) Ask now, and see,
Whether a man is ever in labor with child?
So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins
Like a woman in labor,
And all faces turned pale?
(7) Alas! For that day is great,
So that none is like it;
And it is the time of Jacob's trouble,
But he shall be saved out of it.
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Jeremiah 30:5-7 alerts us to consider that the time of the end will be unique and horrific to experience, but it concludes with a comforting hope that we can persevere through it.
Though broad, this declaration forces us to realize that in all of man's history, no other time can fully compare to "the time of Jacob's trouble" and the universal and intense fear it will cause. In His Olivet Prophecy (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21), Jesus provides greater detail concerning specific events of that same period, leaving no doubt that His second coming will be preceded by frightening and tumultuous events.
On a general worldwide basis, many wars, earthquakes, famines, and disease epidemics will occur with increasing frequency as events approach their climax at His return. These will be accompanied by heart-breaking, fear-driven betrayals of one Christian by another and by outright hateful persecutions of Christians from the world. It will be an intensified, larger-scale repetition of what happened before the Noachian Flood. God's pledge to deliver Jacob from it promises that He will oversee events just as He did with Noah, his family, and the animals in the ark (Genesis 8:1).
Noah is surely the Bible's most outstanding example of persevering through a long and dreadful experience. The Flood was also unique, universal, and devastating to the earth and everyone caught in it except for those on the ark. Not only did Noah have to persevere through the Flood itself, but also through 120 years of events during his preparations for its arrival. We need to be fully aware that Noah's salvation was ultimately God's doing, but we should also thoroughly and thoughtfully consider that Noah was fully involved with God in carrying out all that God told him to do for that 120-year period (Genesis 6:22; 7:5).
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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