June 30, 2008
The International Herald Tribune reports that more and more nations are beginning to hoard food supplies for their own populations (see link below). It cites that “India, Vietnam, China and 11 other nations have limited or banned exports…[of rice],” while “fifteen countries, including Pakistan and Bolivia have capped or halted wheat exports.” As Kamal Nath, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry stated: “Every country must first ensure its own food security.”
Many readers realize that food riots and food shortages have been reported in a variety of nations, and rapid inflationary increases in many food categories are already a global reality. This link cites Japan and Switzerland as food-importing nations which are growing concerned about these actions by traditional food-exporting nations.
The food shortages are made worse by Australian droughts, Argentine worker strikes, etc. The world’s food supply is now hanging on the ability of a few remaining nations to export food (the USA, Canada, Thailand, Brazil are cited in the link). However, earlier blogs have discussed Colony Collapse Disorder among honeybees, a mysterious phenomenon which is killing a significant percentage of commercial honeybee colonies in the USA and other nations. If this problem is not solved soon, the USA and other nations affected by this disorder will not have their usual food surpluses to export to other nations. Another problem is that the flooding in Midwest states and the severe drought in California are already reducing this years’ food crops in the USA. Even if nothing more bad happens (like a severe hurricane or earthquake), higher food prices are already “baked in the cake,” even in the USA.
If nations run out of food to export, the populations of hungry nations will eventually go to war if necessary to feed their people. The threat of food wars could lead to diplomatic blackmail, new treaties and alliances, etc. Energy-rich nations that need food may resort to bartering oil for food. Nations without energy or food would be in desperate straits.
The Bible prophesied that in the latter days of our age, food shortages would lead to food price increases (Revelation 6:5-8). Verse 8 indicates that many will die of hunger in the latter days as food runs short. In places like Darfur in the Sudan, this is already coming to pass. Western nations think that “it can never happen here,” but the exceptional blessings enjoyed by our nations can be withdrawn by God for our mounting national sins. Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:7 that famines (accompanied by earthquakes, pestilences and wars) would occur globally just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. These very events are increasingly showing up in today’s modern media headlines.
Those who do not believe in a Creator God will scoff and say “it is all a coincidence.” However, those of us who know there is a Creator God (and that he inspired the Bible) should not be surprised that these traumas are beginning to step on to the world stage. If the Bible is truly the word of a Creator God, this is exactly the kind of thing that should be expected, according to Bible prophecy. Jesus himself warned in Matthew 24:8 that the combination of global famines, wars, earthquakes and pestilences (diseases like AIDS, malaria, etc.) were only the “beginning of sorrows.” The really difficult times will come later. However, we can be thankful that the “great tribulation” prophesied in Matthew 24:21(which will be the final paroxysm of traumas which will threaten all life on earth) will be stopped by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (see verse 22). This is a time for believers to strengthen their faith and relationship with God and other believers. We are heading into a “perfect storm” of several global mega-trends and events which will culminate in the great tribulation (according to the Bible). World leaders also are warning about the confluence of global inflation, food shortages, energy shortages, monetary and possible monetary and financial collapses, etc.
Christians should heed Christ’s urging in Luke 21:36 that in the latter days, we should “Watch…and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”