Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
August 18, 1999
Last Updated :
March 20, 2011
More News Reports On Droughts, Famines And Droughts In The Bible, True Cause Of War And Other Calamities, God's Hand Of Judgment, Doubting God's Righteous Judgments, Deliverance Of The Righteous, Our Dependence Upon The Word, Exposed By The Word, The Lord Turns Away, Spiritual Famines Then And Now
Drought In USA
Drought In Australia
Let us begin by sharing some additional news reports regarding the many droughts which have recently, and which continue to plague, different parts of the world, such as in Africa, the United States of America and the Middle East:
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U.S. Drought Worsens
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The drought in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states is at a crisis point in some areas. Water restrictions have been imposed, fish are dying and crops are baking in the fields. Even Halloween is threatened.
From Virginia to New England and westward to the Ohio Valley, drought conditions that, in some areas, began years ago have led to restrictions on water use, increased the danger of fire and turned farmland into agriculture disaster areas.
Maryland received a foot less rain than normal from July 1998 through June 1999, the driest one-year period for the state since 1965-66.
Some 400 miles to the west, farmers in Ohio are feeling the same pain. "The beans aren't even knee-high yet, and they should be waist-high," lamented Ron Rockhold.
Fish are dying as water levels in lakes and streams dip dangerously low.
In Pennsylvania and Virginia, millions of fish are dying in arid riverbeds and from excessive heat, which depletes oxygen levels in water. In a tributary of Virginia's Pocomoke River alone, about 1 million fish were found dead last week.
The drought also has taken its toll on large cities such as New York, where rainfall totals are 18 percent below normal. In Central Park, like much of the region, the bushes have wilted and the grass has turned to straw.
Drought alerts and warnings have been in place in New York state for the past two weeks, along with Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.
Michael Wyllie, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Brookhaven, New York, said the drought on Long Island is one step below "extreme."
In addition to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, there are also drought conditions in other portions of the United States:
* The water levels of all five Great Lakes are below normal and Lakes Michigan and Huron are 17 inches below last year's high.
* Rainfall for the past 30 days has been 50 percent below normal from northern Nevada eastward into Idaho and northern Utah westward into northern California.
* Alaska, which has had several months of below normal rainfall, is on increased alert for fires.
* Hawaii has been suffering subnormal rainfalls since the beginning of the year.
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'Normal' Rain Won't End Drought
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The drought that's now the worst on record for farmers in four Northeastern states -- and one of the worst elsewhere in the country -- could continue through the winter and lead to higher food prices, U.S. officials said Friday.
"Throughout much of this country we have seen the worst drought since the Dust Bowl days (of the 1930s)," said Clinton.
"In Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Rhode Island, this is the worst drought for farmers ever recorded," the president said, revealing information compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Four other states -- Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and West Virginia -- have experienced their second-driest growing season, NOAA said.
In addition, April through July of this year ranks as the second driest such period on record for the Northeast as a whole. (The driest was in 1965.)
"Such a natural calamity can have devastating consequences, not only for farmers, but for small businesses and communities that depend upon a thriving agricultural sector," Clinton said.
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Researchers: Texas Drought Toll At Least $2.1 Billion
DALLAS (CNN) -- The devastating drought that has parched Texas will leave a legacy of at least $2.1 billion in estimated losses -- the largest agricultural hit since a seven-year dry spell during the 1950s, state researchers said Wednesday.
Cotton has suffered the most, with more than $700 million in lost crops, officials said. Only 3.3 million acres of upland cotton are expected to be harvested this year -- 40 percent less than in 1997.
Droughts typically lead to higher produce prices, due to a shortage of crops, but not this year.
With cattle prices down, farmers cope with the worst drought in 40 years.
The cotton crop is being called one of the "worst . . . ever" in Texas.
"There have been other years when several weather-related factors contributed to losses, but this year only one -- the unrelenting, searing heat -- demolished the crop," said Carl Anderson, an economist at the extension service.
The drought has put more than 14,000 Texans out of work -- from migrant workers to farmers -- and job losses continue to climb.
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Searing Drought Forcing Farmers Into Extinction
CARTER COUNTY, Oklahoma (CNN) -- Thousands of farmers are on the brink of bankruptcy as months of searing heat combined with no rain has left watering holes dried up, fields baked and crops roasted.
Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman is scheduled to tour farm areas in Oklahoma and Texas Tuesday as they continue to suffer one of the worst droughts in recent memory.
In southern Oklahoma, where the earth is cracked from waves of blistering heat, ranchers are having a hard time remembering the last time it rained. Correspondent Charles Zewe reports from these hard-hit areas.
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U.S. Drought Aid For 6 States
WASHINGTON -- The federal government will provide emergency drought assistance to farmers in six Mid-Atlantic states, President Clinton announced Monday.
In West Virginia, alone, farmers are expected to have drought losses surpassing $80 million. The state's agriculture secretary says he expects 10 percent of the West Virginia's 21,000 farmers to go out of business this year because of the drought.
Gov. Cecil Underwood has already declared an agriculture emergency for the state.
About 30 percent of the state's rural wells are dry and aquifers are being rapidly depleted, said Gus Douglass, West Virginia's agriculture secretary.
"We would need about 15 inches of rain to make up for the loss, but the damage is already done. We could easily lose a couple thousand farmers this year," Douglass said.
The drought started last fall, and officials are predicting it will become one of the worst in state history.
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Bringer Of Bounty And Famine, El Niño Keeps Experts Guessing
(CNN) -- The village of Pringluan nestles in the eroded hills along the southern coast of Central Java, one of a necklace of islands left without water as Indonesia's worst drought in 50 years takes hold. For villagers it brings back horrific memories of the last great drought in 1962, when they survived on boiled barks and rats. They say all they can do now is pray for rain. Across Indonesia, more than 250 people have died of famine or cholera blamed on lack of clean water.
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If we examine the Holy Bible closely, we discover that, like the previous news reports, it too is literally filled with occurrences of droughts and famines in the ancient lands of the Middle East. Consider the following examples:
"And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land."
Genesis 12:10, KJV
"And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar."
Genesis 26:1, KJV
"And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt."
Genesis 41:54-56, KJV
"Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons."
Ruth 1:1, KJV
"And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria."
1 Kings 18:2, KJV
"And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets."
2 Kings 4:38, KJV
"And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver."
2 Kings 6:25, KJV
"And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land."
2 Kings 25:3, KJV
"And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land."
Jeremiah 52:6, KJV
"Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine."
Lamentations 5:10, KJV
"But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;"
Luke 4:25, KJV
"And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar."
Acts 11:28, KJV
As I mentioned a moment ago, in his modern way of thinking, man views these disastrous events as natural occurrences which result from normal scientific principles; however, unlike men of science who have become hardened of heart and spiritually dull of hearing, if we Christians delve deeper into the Scriptures, we discover that the natural forces of the Earth are governed and controlled by the very Hand of the Lord Himself, and that He uses these forces to either chastise or bless the people of the Earth, including His very own children. The ancient Israelites were fully aware of this fact, as can be seen by the following verses taken from Moses' warning and King Solomon's prayer:
"Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you."
Deuteronomy 11:16-17, KJV
"When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance. If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers."
1 Kings 8:35-40, KJV
The children of Israel knew perfectly well that when they were defeated by their enemies, or when drought, famine or other plagues consumed them and their land, it was because the Lord was sorely displeased with them, and He was dealing with them because of their sins. The Lord was intervening directly in their lives, by means of the forces which He had ordained since the foundation of the world. Having clarified this point, consider now the following examples where the Lord tells them directly by way of His holy Prophets, that He is indeed sending these things upon them:
"Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites."
2 Samuel 21:1, KJV
"Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years."
2 Kings 8:1, KJV
"Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread."
Psalms 105:16, KJV
"Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:"
Jeremiah 11:22, KJV
"And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers."
Jeremiah 24:10, KJV
"And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand."
Jeremiah 27:8, KJV
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:"
Jeremiah 29:17-18, KJV
"Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die. So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them."
Jeremiah 42:16-17, KJV
"A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them."
Ezekiel 5:12, KJV
"When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:"
Ezekiel 5:16, KJV
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them."
Ezekiel 6:11-12, KJV
Having now read all of this Scriptural evidence, as honest Christians, the question we must each ask ourselves is this: Does God continue to deal with the people of the Earth as He did in times past, or are the calamities which are currently occurring throughout the world only the result of natural, scientific forces and causes, and man's inhumane treatment of his fellow man? Naturally, my question is rhetorical in nature, because the Scriptures once again provide a clear answer for us:
"For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."
Malachi 3:6, KJV
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Hebrews 13:8, KJV
From these verses, we can safely conclude then, that God's Hand of Judgment does indeed remain active in the world today, just as it has for the past six thousand years; and that if different nations and peoples are now suffering from droughts, famines, wars, diseases and other plagues, then it must all be a part of the Lord's Divine Plan in some way. It seems to me that either the Lord is punishing such people due to their sins of unbelief and rebellion against Him by embracing false religions, even though many of them have now heard the true Gospel of Jesus Christ in some way, or else perhaps He is allowing the rich and the powerful to fill up their cup of iniquity by oppressing the poor for a time, until the Lord chooses to intervene at His Coming. Perhaps it is even a combination of both. As I point out in other articles, one thing I do know with all certainty, is that we cannot, and should not, doubt the Righteous Judgments of the Lord, even if we do not understand them. As the Prophet Isaiah, the Patriarch Job and the Apostle Paul were inspired to write:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV
Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?"
Job 40:1-8, KJV
"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?"
Romans 9:20, KJV
Sadly, this is precisely the ungodly attitude which has been embraced by many people in the world today. They have become so proud, and so vain in their imaginations, and so haughty, that they either claim that God does not exist, or else they judge Him harshly and question His ways. "Well, if I was God . . ." they say; or, "If God is love, then why . . ."; or "If your God is so powerful . . ."; and on and on they go with their foolish lies and false accusations. Such people would be wise to take heed to the following wise counsel offered almost three thousand years ago:
"Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few."
Ecclesiastes 5:2, KJV
To continue with the previous thought, if certain nations and peoples are currently suffering under the oppressive hands of the wicked without just cause, the Bible makes it very clear that in due season, if they are indeed righteous in the Lord's eyes, God will indeed grant them relief. Due to its length, I cannot possibly quote it here, but I highly encourage you the reader to read Psalm Thirty-Seven. Jesus Himself quoted from this Psalm when in Matthew chapter five He said:
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
Matthew 5:5, KJV
While we have concentrated this section of our series on physical famines, it is important that you realize that the Bible also discusses another kind of famine; that is, a spiritual famine. A spiritual famine results when people are deprived of the Word of God which maintains their spiritual health, stamina, vision and faith. To understand this concept, please consider the following verses:
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
Proverbs 29:18, KJV
"Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food."
Job 23:12, KJV
"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."
Psalms 19:10, KJV
"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Matthew 4:4, KJV
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Romans 10:17, KJV
The simple truth of the matter, is that as Christians, we can no more do without the Word of God, than we can survive without our daily meals. Once we alienate ourselves from the Word of the Lord, we lose the vision, we lose our way, we lose our spiritual strength, we lose our faith, we become spiritually unclean, and if the situation continues for very long, we may just end up losing the battle! As I explain in such articles as "Revelation's Babylon The Great", there was a time in ancient Israel when the leadership and the people had become so backslidden in heart, that they began to persecute and kill the Lord's Messengers, the providers of His Word, because they simply did not want to hear the truth of God's Word. As in the example of King David and Nathan, the words of the Prophets exposed their sins, and it cut them to the heart; just as we see in these verses:
"If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin."
John 15:22, KJV
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
"BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
Psalms 119:9, KJV
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
John 15:3, KJV
Because they rejected the Word of the Lord via His Prophets, they were unclean in His sight. The situation got so bad, that God finally told His Prophet, Amos, to tell the people that He was going to withhold His Word from them, because they were no longer worthy of it. He also told the Prophet Jeremiah to not even pray for the Israelites, because He would not hear their prayers. In short, as I explain in such articles as "Beholding The Evil And The Good", God turned His eyes away from seeing their suffering, and His ears away from hearing their cries: Consider the following verses:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it."
Amos 8:11-12, KJV
"Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee."
Jeremiah 7:16, KJV
"Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble."
Jeremiah 11:14, KJV
"Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good."
Jeremiah 14:11, KJV
Biblical history seems to indicate that for a period of several hundred years, following the return from Babylon, until the coming of Jesus Christ, which thus began the New Testament era, there was a period of silence. It is said that a few of the Prophets may have continued to write under pseudonyms, or pen names. It was during this period of the Grecian and the early Roman rule, that the Pharisees, the Sadducees and other legalistic groups became established in the Jewish religion, and the Written Law was elevated above the Oral Word of God via the Lord's Prophets. As I explain elsewhere, this is why the Lord had so many verbal battles with His enemies during His Earthly Ministry. They were legalists who could not handle the freedom of the Spirit.
It is believed by some people, particularly by some of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theorists, that the previous verses from the writings of the Prophet Amos, may be an indication of a similar great spiritual famine which will occur in our current time, when the worldwide Church is suddenly, and without warning, raptured out of the world; thus leaving a spiritual void for the forces of darkness to fill through the Beast, the False Prophet, the Antichrist, etc. While I personally do not agree with the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory, I can agree that the world may be about to face a spiritual famine of serious proportions as they are denied the true Word of the Lord. In fact, as I point out in such articles as "In Defense Of The KJV" and "Have You Read The New Scriptures Yet?", it may be that this spiritual famine has already begun, as the Word of God has been corrupted, perverted, and in fact replaced by all of the many modern translations of the Bible, which I refer to as the NCRAP versions. These versions are robbed of Spirit, and they are robbed of truth due to intentional manipulation.
If we add to this fact the many false shepherds, false doctrines and false practices which have already invaded organized religion, it definitely seems like a spiritual famine has begun. One thing is for certain, the Bible does speak of one final famine which will befall the mysterious Babylon the Great Whore. Consider this verse:
"Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her."
Revelation 18:8, KJV
As we continue this series in part thirteen, I will briefly re-mention war and God's vessels of wrath. I will also talk about man's wisdom versus the Power and Will of God, the wicked heart of man, and the financial manipulation of the Black Horse of the Apocalypse. The bulk of part thirteen will be dedicated to the discussion of the many hurricanes, typhoons, tropical cyclones, floods and tidal waves which have plagued the world in recent years. I trust that you will join me.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .