“And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel,” Amos 4:6-12.
We have all seen and heard the daily broadcasts by the news media, when commentators vie with each other as to who will sound the most dramatic and sensational in their reports of the extent of the natural disasters that are hitting many countries, not least the United Kingdom, especially the south of England and Wales.
There are reports from all over the world of drought, vanishing water supplies, uncontrollable forest fires, harvests lost through lack of water, fields of grain destroyed by fire, animals in distress because of thirst, likewise fish and other aquatic creatures suffering because of low river levels and a consequent drop in oxygen content.
What one country suffers from a lack, another country suffers from too much. Floods have brought death and destruction to parts of Australia and the United States
Following the Russian attacks upon Ukraine and the utterly iniquitous attempts to halt the exporting of grain, upon which many nations depend for food, there has been the threat of famine. That has been magnified by the losses in home harvests, due to the adverse weather conditions.
The explanations for it all have been many and varied. Climate change, resultant from the use of fossil fuels and man’s related abuse of the world’s resources have topped the list.
That man has been a ‘vandal’ since the fall of Adam is an unchallengeable fact. I have often read how that ‘uncivilised’ man was much more careful of his use of the riches of the earth. I found that hard to accept when considering the common practice of the ancient inhabitants of North America, in order to feed their tribes, would often drive buffaloes over the edge of cliffs, resulting in the slaughter of hundreds, if not thousands of the creatures, from which were then taken the few carcases required to feed the tribe. The rest was left to rot!
The millions of tons of plastic floating in the world’s seas and oceans testify to the fact that man has not changed, civilised or not! We are told by scientists that elements of that waste plastic and who knows what else have been ingested by the creatures of the seas and they ends up on the table, since fish is still a substantial part of our daily diet!
Not only the rivers and sea have been polluted by man’s greed and mindless vandalism of the environment, but the air above us and the soil beneath our feet have all been contaminated by man’s efforts to further feed his avarice and greed!
Amidst all the alarm and anxiety expressed by the media regarding the devastating events world-wide, there has been absolutely no mention whatever of the God who is in the heavens, and Who “hath done whatsoever he hath pleased,” Psalm 115:3.
Today, wicked man is dominant in all matters and his thoughts and notions are to the fore. As the Psalmist said:“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts,” Psalm 10:4.
It is for this reason that there is no mention of the hand of God bringing about the frightening events all around.
It is contrary to modern theology to see God as the author of such events. That is because the Bible’s revelation of God is utterly rejected. Instead, men have substituted their own notions as what it is that is going on in the world.
But as the Psalmist said: “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased,” Psalm 115:3. Nebuchaddnezzar, the great king of Babylon learned this truth and put his conclusions on record. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Daniel 4:34-35.
This is still the case and consequently we should ask the question, ‘WHY IS THE LORD DOING THESE THINGS?’
Again, the Bible alone has the answer.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it,” Isaiah 1:18-20.
The places in the Bible which plainly declare, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” Galatians 6:7, are too numerous to list. The world has been well warned that there is a penalty to be paid for defying God and rejecting His Word. That penalty is beginning to be endured by nations today!
Sadly, there is absolutely no evidence of man understanding that these events are of God as had the magicians in Egypt. “Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them,” Exodus 8:19.
Such defiance but ensures that worse will come as was the case in Pharaoh’s Egypt.
How bad will it get?
I believe that we are on the verge of the events depicted in Revelation 6, 8-11 and 16. There is recorded for us the dreadful consequences of man’s continued defiance of God. As God visited Egypt before He took His people out, so He is going to visit this earth before the return of Christ in glory and great power and His gathering His redeemed to Himself.
Egypt’s trouble began when “there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph,” Exodus 1:8. More importantly, he knew not Joseph’s God and turned his hand against all that Joseph stood for and which the previous Pharaoh had honoured.
That ‘change-over’ has been taking place over the last 100 years on a world-wide scale. ‘Christianity’ has witnessed a rising up amongst the professing Christian denominations, those who desired only to cast aside the Bible and mock and ridicule any who held firmly by it!
That is called apostasy!
Apostasy will be judged by God. Consider these verses. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition . . . And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming,” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8.
Thus God will deal with the final apostasy as He has ever dealt with man’s rebelliousness in ages past, and so He will act again in a fast-approaching day!
It may surprise many when I say that the drought and the fires and the floods are sent in mercy! God in mercy is warning that these are but small tokens of what will yet follow if man is unheeding of the warnings.
The news commentaries on the astonishing events taking place around us indicate that in blindness, man sees nothing of the vexation that his wickedness is causing in heaven and the storing up of wrath that is taking place.
Paul’s words to the Jews come to mind.
“And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” Romans 2:3-5.
Man’s indifference to God and His warnings will give way to a terrible harvest of judgment.
If you are not saved, then give heed to the Word of God and its warnings of ‘wrath to come’ (Matthew 3:7, 1 Thessalonians 1:19) and recognise your sin and repent of it and seek unto God for His mercy.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
August 12th 2022