2. Drought and Famine
Drought and famine—lack of rain and lack of food—will stalk the earth on a massive scale never seen before. Yes, these things will become much, much worse.
When there is drought you also have wildfires—range fires and forest fires. After the fires have burned off the brush, there is always the danger of floods when it resumes raining because there is no vegetation in the burned area’s watershed to retain the precipitation. These catastrophes of drought, famine, fire and flood naturally tend to go together. In Matthew 24:7, Jesus predicted: “And there will be famines.” Worldwide famines will engender vicious competition and strife among nations over food. This will mean increased political and military danger, especially for the United States, Britain and the British-descended peoples, whose lands have typically been seen as the breadbasket of the world.
Those of us living in the advanced, developed world have thought these things would only occur in places like India, Bangladesh or Africa. How could famine happen to us? It is practically unthinkable to suggest that one dark day the supermarkets and restaurants would have to close due to lack of food! But famine, the pain of empty stomachs, will occur in the United States of America, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere among the English-speaking peoples of the world. Let us understand what God says and why.
Most people just do not understand that it is God Almighty who controls the weather and that He sometimes uses this power to punish nations that displease Him! King Solomon knew this. During the dedication of God’s temple in Jerusalem he acknowledged God’s power, “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they [the people] have sinned against You…” (1 Kings 8:35). Does God collectively punish a nation for mocking or ignoring His moral, ethical standards? You bet He does! “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30–31).
The book of Revelation confirms this coming famine. “When he had broken the third seal [shortly before the coming of Christ], I heard the third Living Being [an angelic personage] say, ‘Come!’ And I saw a black horse, with its rider holding a pair of balances in his hand. And a voice from among the four Living Beings said, ‘A loaf of bread for $20, or three pounds of barley flour, but there is no olive oil or wine’” (Revelation 6:5–6, The Living Bible).
Yet God is merciful and patient with individuals and nations that have a change of heart. Solomon also understood this point when he prayed, “…when they [the people] pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and give rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance” (1 Kings 8:35–36).
We need to recognize that God controls the weather! He punishes His own people when needed. If our nations would return to God with heartfelt repentance, and begin to keep His laws and live His way, then these plagues need not come. But how many of you believe this will really happen? How many of you believe that our nations will have a heartfelt repentance and get back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel? I think most of us know better. I wish they would, but I doubt that they will. Regrettably, our nations have some very hard lessons to learn about thumbing their noses at God.