by Howard Green
Emily Ortega experienced the miracle of child birth and became a mom in the shelter of the Tacloban airport and that was just part of the miracle. She is one of the ‘lucky’ ones who survived the 195+ mph winds of Typhoon Haiyan. Two days before her child’s delivery, Emily was engulfed in the swirling angry waters of the sea that rushed in…swimming to a post and hanging on to keep from drowning. Emily’s new baby girl Beatriz is named after her mom who was swept away by the relentless waves and current. Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest storms on record and part of a growing number of extreme weather events reminding us of the nearness of Jesus’ return.
Over 6,300 people perished in Haiyan’s ferocious winds in 2013 and this was just one storm. Names like Andrew, Charlie, Katrina, and Sandy are forever etched in the minds of many coastal residents with sad memories of massive loss of life and property. Hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, flooding, severe droughts, and earthquake born tsunamis all have taken their toll. Extreme weather and natural disasters have always been with us but, like other last day events…these extreme weather birth pains are increasing in intensity and frequency. Here are just a few examples of recent extreme weather events:
On April 27, 2014…an outbreak of 84 separate tornados killed 35 people in Arkansas and Mississippi.
On March 2-3, 2012…an outbreak of 65 separate tornados killed 41 people in Indiana and Kentucky.
On May 21-26, 2011…an outbreak of 241 separate tornados killed 178 people. Joplin Missouri was hit especially hard.
On April 5-7, 2011…an outbreak of 355 separate tornados killed 324 people in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.
In 2012…Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast with 115 mph. winds and caused 68 billion dollars in property damage. There were 233 fatalities.
In 2005…Hurricane Katrina struck Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi with 175 mph. winds and caused 108 billion in damage. Over 1,800 people died during Katrina.
In 2008…Cyclone Nargis, an Indian Ocean storm struck Myanmar with 130 mph. winds and a massive storm surge killing over 136,000 people.
In 1970…the Great Bhola Cyclone struck Bangladesh with 115 mph. winds and a massive storm surge that flooded many areas and killed nearly 500,000 people. This was the deadliest tropical cyclone on record.
Other events of note:
Indian Ocean Tsunami- In 2004…an undersea earthquake (9.3 mag./3rd strongest on record) triggered a tsunami that struck Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India. The earthquake triggered subsequent quakes as far away as Alaska and caused the earth to vibrate 0.4 inches during it’s 10 minute duration. The Indian Ocean tsunami killed approximately 230,000 people.
In 2011…the East Africa drought and famine that followed caused as many as 250,000 people to die.
In 2011…the ‘California drought’ began and now almost four years later, it’s clear that there is no end in sight. Just this past Winter, there were mountain tops with barely a trace of snow when they would normally have a 5 ft snowpack to feed the water supply during the Spring thaw. It must be noted that California is the source of a large percentage of food grown in the US. A growing number of analysts are sounding the alarm regarding food shortages, water shortages, and the possible civil unrest to follow. Prolonged drought will most certainly affect food supplies and cause food shortages. Prices will spike as food production shrinks and demand rises.
While the severe droughts in Africa and famines that follow are not the part of the events of Revelation 6, they are sad reminders of the conditions to come during the 7 year period known as Daniel’s 70th week. Only the Lord knows the future. He knows if the drought in California will abate or if it is the beginning of a larger scenario beginning to play out. What if California’s drought worsens? What if there is massive crop failure, food supplies dwindle, water becomes scarce, people begin to panic, and civil unrest driven by fear results? California supplies vast amounts of produce, nuts, and dairy the US. depends on. If the drought continues to worsen….in all probability we will begin to see food shortages and food prices skyrocket.
Terry James of Rapture Ready is a good friend of mine & this ministry. He has written an article that I believe touches on the problem even greater than California’s drought: Sin. Click here to view Terry’s article.
Here is what the Word of God has to say about extreme weather events,droughts, and the famine to surely follow:
Luke 21:25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.”
Matthew 24:8 ….and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
Revelation 6:5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”
I know many other Bible-eschatology teachers and a growing number are addressing the growing concern about extreme weather, droughts, and famine. Solid Bible prophecy teachers base their commentary exclusively on what the scriptures say about the future and stay away from hype, sensationalism, and gross speculation (think Y2k and the end times teaching circus that followed by a few so called prophecy experts.) As I stated earlier….what we are seeing now with the severe drought in California and severe droughts and famines in Africa, are certainly not Revelation 6 happening now.
We are told to discern the times and seasons. These birth pangs are a reminder of what is to come on a global scale when drought and famine takes it’s deadly toll. The conditions in the world and closer to home….the drought in California could be the start of a much larger problem. The US. has had an over abundance of food for nearly a century. Farms have produced so much of an abundance, we have shipped tons of food surplus overseas to help impoverished countries.
I believe the evidence shows that food supplies are thinning as production is hampered by extreme weather, drought, and harsh economic conditions. There is a time approaching and it appears to be soon, when famine will be global, food prices will soar, and ultimately one man will control who eats and who doesn’t. The birth pains of extreme weather, drought, and famine that always follows are increasing with frequency and intensity. Stay sober minded and alert as you begin to see these conditions we covered worsen and increase. Understand that nothing happens outside of God’s plans and permission.
Regardless of what the days ahead of us bring….we know our hope and security rests solely on the Lord Jesus. If you belong to Him…you have nothing to fear. As the days grow darker and conditions worsen, it is natural to count on man, government, and riches for safety. A wise person will place their hope in the Lord.
Psalm 118:14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.