Water scarcity is a serious matter. A recent National Public Radio (NPR) article said:
“The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada [mountain range] are now the lowest in recorded history—just 6 percent of the long-term average. That shatters the previous low record on this date of 25 percent, set in 1977 and again last year” (Nathan Rott, “Scary Times for California Farmers as Snowpack Hits Record Lows,” April 1, 2015) . As a result, California is imposing its first-ever mandatory water restrictions.
Farmers are really struggling. When there’s no rain or snowmelt, the only water available for drinking is from wells. Yet water below ground is diminishing every day. Farmers typically would rely on government water and use groundwater to supplement their needs. But last year there was no government water, and it looks like this year will be the same situation.
While droughts can be common natural occurrences, they might indicate something else. We should consider that God warned ancient Israel that He would send droughts as a national judgment and a warning of further judgment to come if the people refused to repent: “The skies above will be as unyielding as bronze, and the earth will be as hard as iron. The Lord will change the rain that falls on your land into powder, and dust will pour down from the sky until you are destroyed” (Deuteronomy 28:23-24 Deuteronomy 28:23-24 23 And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the earth that is under you shall be iron.
24 The LORD shall make the rain of your land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down on you, until you be destroyed.
American King James Version×, New Living Translation; compare Jeremiah 12:4 Jeremiah 12:4How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.
American King James Version×; Jeremiah 14:1-10 Jeremiah 14:1-10 1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth. 2 Judah mourns, and the gates thereof languish; they are black to the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up. 3 And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. 4 Because the ground is beat down, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads. 5 Yes, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass. 6 And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass. 7 O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do you it for your name’s sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. 8 O the hope of Israel, the savior thereof in time of trouble, why should you be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turns aside to tarry for a night? 9 Why should you be as a man astonished, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet you, O LORD, are in the middle of us, and we are called by your name; leave us not. 10 Thus said the LORD to this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.
American King James Version×). One severe drought is not necessarily such a judgment. But devastating patterns of drought should be considered in this light—especially with the rampant immorality and rejection of God we see today.
Even if particular droughts are not directly from God, people still need His help and blessing in the midst of them and all troubles. And for that we should be seeking Him in faith and living according to His will (see Matthew 7:7-11 Matthew 7:7-11 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you:
8 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
American King James Version×; Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version×; 1 John 3:22 1 John 3:22And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
American King James Version×). (Sources: National Public Radio, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.)