World News and Trends: Famine stalks the earth

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Famine stalks the earth

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In fact, hunger remains a disturbing fact of life on more than one of our planet's continents. Yet the general public often views such serious problems as even less important than the latest sports scores and soon-forgotten news in yesterday's newspapers.

Not enough people give much serious thought to the problems of global food supplies, their fast-increasing costs and meeting the challenges of our burgeoning population growth—that is, unless these difficulties affect them personally.

Yet the facts seem to indicate that we are indeed living in the shadow of a global famine. It's not here yet, but there are some ominous signs that its coming could be inevitable.

Time magazine reported: "In a new study the London-based charity Oxfam says ‘the international community is sleepwalking' toward humanitarian catastrophe, as rising food prices threaten to cause a whole range of demographic and social crises. The report, Growing a Better Future, says prices for basic staples may rise 120% to 180% of their current levels by 2030, partly as a result of climate change but also because of poor distribution and unfettered speculation in commodity markets" ("World Faces Epic Food Crisis," June 13, 2011).

The May-June edition of Foreign Policy devoted much of the entire issue to this hungry planet. The editor, Susan Glasser, stated that the cover article, "‘The New Geopolitics of Food,' describes a future of food defined by scarcity, where a world bursting with 9 billion people faces land grabs and political upheaval.'" She notes "the 219,000 additional people the world must feed each night at the global dinner table" and "the massive amounts of grain the United States and other countries are now turning into fuel [ethanol] to feed our energy addiction" ("Letter From the Editor"). She also points out that an increase of 70 percent in food production is projected to be required by 2050.

So-called experts are always suggesting solutions to world dilemmas. Governments try to solve them and end up making matters worse. Sadly, no one seems to ask what our Creator says about them. The Bible is usually the last port of call, if God's Word is consulted at all, as we seek in vain to understand and solve the massive challenges that confront us.

Jesus Christ clearly stated of the time shortly before His return, "There shall be famines" (Matthew 24:7 Matthew 24:7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
American King James Version×
). Yes, we have experienced them in various places for the last nearly 2,000 years. More than one hit Jerusalem before the first century came to an end.

Yet back in the Old Testament, both Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 (the blessings-and-curses chapters of Scripture) foretold that serious famines would visit the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel in modern times (see our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy).

Moreover, the third of the infamous "four horsemen of the Apocalypse" represents the granddaddy of all famines (Revelation 6:5-6 Revelation 6:5-6 [5] And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and see a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. [6] And I heard a voice in the middle of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see you hurt not the oil and the wine.
American King James Version×
). The last famine to afflict the earth will occur at the time of the end. We could well soon see its beginning stages, unless science very soon comes up with a modern "miracle" of increasing food like the Green Revolution of the latter half of the past century. Famine is an integral part of the picture for the end time, in which conditions will get so bad that were it not for Christ's intervention to stop events of those future days from running their course, all human life would perish from the earth (Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22 [21] For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×
).

Food supply issues are no problem for Jesus Christ. More than once He miraculously multiplied several loaves of bread and a few fish into an abundance of food sufficient to feed thousands, with generous leftovers. God miraculously fed the prophet Elijah during a serious famine in ancient Israel. It comes down to our moral behavior gone awry that constitutes the basic problem. When we seek God first in our lives, He will take care of our material needs (see Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×
).

To better understand the dilemmas mankind now faces and where we are ultimately headed, request or download our free booklet Are We Living in the Time of the End? (Sources: Time, Foreign Policy.)

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