The Harbinger: Great Summer Reading
I realize I’m dating myself, but I remember when this time of year brought widespread recommendations in various media about good “summer reads.” Namely, enjoyable books that one could take to the beach or other vacation outings.
However, to put The Harbinger in the good-read-for-summer category strikes me as a bit of an insult. The book is too good, too significant and too thought-provoking to pass it off as pleasure reading.
Over the past 35 years, numerous books on end-times prophecy have come and gone, most of them relegated to the dustbin of history. Many wound up there because of their fatal flaw of setting a date or season for the Second Coming of Christ.
One reason I remember The Harbinger so well is it released right after New Year’s Day of 2012, the same week the book I co-authored, Winning the Food Fight, hit the shelves. The Harbinger has sold more than a million copies, while our book remains in the single digits—that is, thousands.
As a longtime regular contributor to Charisma, I was aware of Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s book, which garnered an unusual amount of attention and quickly hit the New York Times’ bestseller list. (To be honest, I wondered how Food Fight could attract that level of interest.)
However, life being as busy as it is, I never quite got around to reading The Harbinger or watching the related DVD that later emerged and sold 90,000 copies its first week.
After I finally read it recently, I quickly appreciated that—with the exception of your favorite TV celebrity’s workout or diet book—books sell a million copies because they’re good.
The thing that stands out about The Harbinger is its uniqueness. The author doesn’t get involved in speculation about the future. Instead, he prophetically interprets events that have already happened.
His warning: unless we return to our foundations, America is destined for Israel’s fate 2,700 years ago, when Assyrian invaders overran the Middle Eastern nation.
The first harbinger is the one most familiar to people everywhere—the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Cahn calls that a sign that God was removing His hedge of protection from the U.S., which left us vulnerable to our enemies.
As part of his approach, Cahn points out that George Washington and his first cabinet took their oath of office and dedicated the nation in prayer in New York, on the same spot where the attacks occurred.
The reason for his comparison of Israel and the United States stems from their distinction as the only two nations in history to be dedicated specifically to God’s glory.
There are eight more harbingers Cahn reviews in his book, which are related in captivating story form through a journalist and a mysterious figure known as The Prophet. For those who haven’t yet read the novel, I don’t want to get into any additional details.
Suffice it to say that the book was good enough that, after checking it out from the public library, we bought our own copy in case we wanted to read it again. And, for reference, since the next thing we did was order copies of the companion study guide to use for our morning devotional time. I recently ordered a copy of the non-fiction follow-up, The Shemitah.
Skeptics will mock or scorn The Harbinger’s warnings. However, in light of the violence, chaos and unrest across our nation, I think serious people will do themselves a favor by reading and reflecting on it.