Two months from now the biblical Shemitah year will have played out and only then will we know whether it has left any significant event in its wake.

In the past, this seven-year cycle has brought collapsing stock markets, tumbling currencies and the shaking of nations and empires.

This period of early autumn was the most crucial time on the biblical calendar for the ancient Israelites, with the end of the seven-year cycle described in Deuteronomy as the Shemitah or Sabbath year. All farmland was to be left in a state of rest and the people were to focus on God and His will for their nation and their lives.

This year on Sept. 13, the Shemitah reaches its peak on the last day on the Hebrew calendar, Elul 29, known as the “day of nullification.” All debt and credit were to be wiped away on this day as described by author Jonathan Cahn in his New York-Times bestseller, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” published in September 2014.

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But the Shemitah can be a game-changer not only for economies and stock markets but also in geopolitics.

Are America’s days as world leader numbered?

There is no arguing the fact that the United States of America has been the most powerful “empire” on earth since the end of World War II. Its corporations have been the engine that drives the global economy and its politicians have set the tone for the world order. It’s no coincidence the United Nations is based in New York City, the seat of global financial power.

But even as the nation’s economy flounders and it has gone from the world’s largest creditor to the world’s largest debtor, American culture has also drifted farther and farther from God. Some believe it has drifted beyond the point of return, into full-blown rebellion, with the June 26 landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage being only the latest symptom of a nation that has come unhinged from its foundational belief system.  Obergefell v. Hodges was the biggest shock to Judeo-Christian moral sensibilities since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Both decisions came down in Shemitah years.

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In the oft-quoted words of American political philosopher F.P. Dunne, “the Supreme Court follows the election returns.” If that’s true, such monumental shifts in the court’s rulings should not be viewed in a bubble. The five justices who decided to radically alter the legal definition of marriage could not have ruled that way unless they felt the majority of Americans were ready to accept their decision, if not totally agree with it. Thus far it does not appear that they miscalculated. The overwhelming majority of county clerks are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and those who have refused are being replaced by more obedient bureaucrats.

The 20th century’s greatest Christian thinkers, men like Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Francis Schaeffer, believed that a civilization could not continue indefinitely apart from the will of God. Soviet communism fell, Nazi Germany fell, the British Empire disintegrated. And many scholars see the whole of Western civilization as in decline now that it has rejected the very Christianity that made it great. It has succumbed to the pressures that have warred against it from the beginning.

Shemitah shakes empires

One of the chapters in Cahn’s book “The Rise and Fall of Nations” shows how the ancient Shemitah mystery is linked to massive changes of world history – world wars, the rise and fall of nations and empires.

Global problems in our day seem to be spinning out of control. Lawlessness is on the rise. The current order in the Middle East, in place since the end of World War I, has been turned on its head.

Written by LEO HOHMANN
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