Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
August 18, 1999
Last Updated :
March 20, 2011
God's Vessels Of Wrath, Man's Wisdom Is No Match For God, Evil Heart Of Man, Black Horse Of The Apocalypse, Hurricanes Typhoons And Tropical Cyclones, Worldwide Floods And Tidal Waves
Black Horseman Of The Apocalypse : Poverty, Famine And Social Injustice
Before concluding this section of our series on famines, allow me to share a few more important pieces of information with you. While we have seen that the Lord often judges and punishes peoples and nations by withholding the rain, or by using other natural forces to bring about His Will, we must realize that God can also use man's own sins of greed and lust as a scourge against the nations. Such is the case with wars, as I discuss in such articles as "The Children Of God And Politics", "The Holocaust: Did God Make A Mistake?", "The Fruits Of Disobedience", and "The Seven Heads". These military leaders, as pagan as they are, are sometimes God's vessels of wrath, as in the case of Pharaoh of Egypt, the kings of Assyria, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Roman emperors, etc. Let me mention again that famine is often a by-product of war as the previous Biblical examples and news reports clearly reveal.
Earlier, I rhetorically asked how famines can continue to occur in our modern day, in light of man's science, and his advanced technology. As with certain incurable diseases, we have now seen that man's wisdom is simply no match for the Almighty God. If He wishes to judge a nation or people, He will do it, no matter how much man may try to prevent such things from happening; even if man tries to 'play God' by seeding the clouds so that they will send un natural rain, or by inventing his drugs which will combat the myriad of viruses and bacteria which attack the human system. In fact, as Paul tells us, man's wisdom is simply foolishness in God's sight:
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."
1 Corinthians 3:19, KJV
But allow me to expand slightly on my answer. In the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord made a rather interesting statement. Consider the following verse:
"For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always."
Matthew 26:11, KJV
Why would the Lord say that we always have the poor with us? In my view, it is because He knows the evil heart of man; or as the Apostle John wrote, He knows what is in man:
"And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man."
John 2:25, KJV
In other words, Jesus knows that the evil heart of man never changes, and that some of the things which caused poverty and famine thousands of years ago, still exist today. This of course includes war and the fruits of war. Jesus and the Prophet Jeremiah both expose man's basic evil and sinful nature in the following verses:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Jeremiah 17:9, KJV
"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
Matthew 15:18-20, KJV
What we have seen thus far is that famines can be the result of droughts induced by the Lord Himself, or they can be the by-product of war, which also leads to other things such as poverty, homelessness, destroyed economies, etc. However, I believe that there is another catalyst which contributes to famine and poverty; and that is the questionable politics, and the unfair business and international trade practices, such as unjustified trade sanctions, which are conducted by certain corrupt governments of the world, in order to subdue their economic enemies, and bring them under subjection and bondage through financial manipulation; even if such evil practices result in inducing poverty and famine in a certain country. I am not alone in this view. In a 1998 news report, the Cable News Network released the following information:
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Exploring The Roots Of Famine
(CNN) -- A famine, by definition, is a widespread lack of food that results in misery and death. But Indian economist Amartya Sen makes the argument that misguided politics, not lack of food, is what makes that misery and death possible in the first place.
It is a hypothesis that springs not only from his academic research but also from his own experience. He was just 9 years old when he witnessed the devastating 1943 famine in Bengal, India, that killed more than 3 million poor people in the middle of an economic boom.
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How much this sounds just like the great famine which struck China during Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward as we discussed before. The granaries were full, yet millions of people died from starvation. Truly the apocalyptic Black Horse of social and economic injustice, famine and poverty is indeed riding strong in these Last Days. Consider again the words of the Prophet John regarding this Endtime horse and its rider:
"And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine."
Revelation 6:5-6, KJV
Thus, whether it be by the Direct Hand of God, or through man's own evilness to man, God's Will is being performed, until the time when He will rid the Earth of all evil and corrupt men. Let me again encourage you to read Psalm thirty-seven. Please also consider the ending of this verse:
"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."
Revelation 11:18, KJV
While we have now seen how God can chastise a nation or people for its sins by withholding the rain, thus inducing crop failure and famine, a preview of some of the world's news headlines will also quickly reveal that the Lord can accomplish the same purpose by allowing too much rain, and too much wind. Such is the case with hurricanes, typhoons, tropical cyclones, floods and tidal waves. For the sake of clarification, hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones all refer to the same meteorological phenomenon. They are simply called by different names in different areas of the world. Concerning these monstrous storms which leave death and destruction in their paths, consider the following sample reports which have appeared in the world mass media during the past few years:
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Epidemic Threat Looms 11 Days After India Cyclone
CNN -- Masked rescue workers were struggling to clear mounds of bloated corpses 11 days after a fierce cyclone in India, and the Red Cross estimated Tuesday that 10,000 people had died -- far more than Indian authorities were reporting. A Red Cross disaster expert said the official death figure of 3,426 seemed inaccurate because thousands of bodies were cremated or buried by relatives or neighbors before official help arrived.
. . .
Indian Army Helicopters Drop Aid To Desperate And Angry Cyclone Victims
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Army helicopters on Tuesday dropped relief supplies to victims of one the most powerful cyclones ever to strike India, but the effort was not nearly enough to reach millions of residents demanding clean water and food.
"This is the worst flooding in 100 years, I would say it's the worst in India's history," said Asim Kumar Vaisshnav, chief administrator of Baleshwar, the capital of Orrissa.
Thousands of people are feared dead from the cyclone, which slammed into the northeastern coast on Friday with winds up to 260 km/h (160 mph) and waves 10 meters high. Entire villages along the Bay of Bengal were reportedly washed away.
Communications were severed to most of the state and the hardest-hit areas remained inaccessible Tuesday. One witness who managed to get out told CNN correspondent Jane Arraf that he saw more than 100 bodies drift by as he drove through washed-out roads.
Others reported seeing human bodies and animal carcasses hung in trees after the floodwaters receded.
Helicopters dropped packets of protein-rich food and fresh water to survivors on Tuesday, but were only able to reach thousands of the estimated 2 million people affected along the 90-mile stretch of coast.
. . .
Author Recounts 'The Deadliest Hurricane In History'
The 1999 hurricane season may have gotten off to a slow start, but with three tropical storms now lurking in the Atlantic and Hurricane Bret fresh in the minds of Texans, weather is the hot topic as summer turns into fall. In his new book, "Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History," Erik Larson uses interviews, telegrams and other sources to walk his readers through the events of September 8, 1900: the day 8,000 people died in a hurricane in Galveston, Texas.
. . .
As Death Toll Rises, Mitch Ranked Among Deadliest of Atlantic Hurricanes
Disaster Relief -- More than 200 years ago, a massive hurricane raged through the Caribbean, killing an estimated 22,000 people. Although the death toll from Hurricane Mitch won't reach those numbers, forecasters and historians already are calling it the deadliest Atlantic hurricane in 200 years.
At least 11,000 people reportedly were killed during Mitch's week-long assault on Central America, including more than 6,000 in Honduras and 4,000 in neighboring Nicaragua.
On Thursday, Honduran officials lowered their estimate of the number of people missing from 11,000 to 4,621. The confirmed death toll was put at 4,621. In Nicaragua, the number of dead was raised from 2,400 to 4,000. The number of people said to be homeless in the region also was lowered from one million to 569,000.
Regardless of the corrections, most officials believe that the final death toll easily will rank Mitch among the deadliest hurricanes ever to strike the Caribbean. Hurricane Fifi, which struck Honduras in 1974, was blamed for approximately 10,000 deaths. But then, as now, an accurate accounting of the carnage was difficult to establish. At the turn of the century, a hurricane slammed into Galveston, Texas, killing at least 8,000 people (the naming of hurricanes is a relatively recent phenomenon).
. . .
Death Toll From Storm Babs Rises to 192
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - The recovery of more bodies in the Philippines raised the death toll from tropical storm Babs to 192, officials said today, but the storm lost much of its punch while moving along the southern coast of China.
In Manila, an official at the Philippine Office of Civil Defense said emergency crews have recovered 189 bodies and that 53 people were listed as missing. Previously, the official death count stood at 156.
. . .
Death Toll from Typhoon Winnie Could Be Much Higher
The death toll in China from typhoon Winnie may be much higher than originally indicated.
The South China Morning Post is reporting that as many as 240 people may have been killed in the storm that tore through China's eastern Zhejiang province earlier this week. Reuters news service is reporting that 140 people died in the storm.
A Zhejiang province foreign affairs official said that figures were still being collected.
. . .
Storm Hits India, State Executive Says Death Toll May Reach 2,000
HYDERABAD, India (AP) - Flooding rice paddies and villages, ripping power poles from the ground, a fierce cyclone roared through India's southeast coast. The state's top official said Thursday the death toll could reach 2,000.
At least 670 residents were killed, another 1,500 people are missing and 10,000 homes were destroyed, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said after an aerial survey of Andhra Pradesh state.
It was the second major storm in three weeks, coming before the battered region had time to recover from widespread storms and flooding that killed 350 people.
State Chief Secretary M.S. Rajaji said at least 250 villages were under water Thursday and many communities on the Bay of Bengal were inundated by 12-foot-high waves. Hundreds of thousands of acres of rice crops were destroyed.
. . .
Hard-Hit Dominican Republic Welcomes Relief As Death, Damage Toll Rises
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Sept. 25, 1998 -- As the death toll on this hurricane-ravaged island continued to climb Friday, the first international relief efforts arrived here with promises of more support on the way.
The Dominican government, which was caught largely unprepared Tuesday for the force of Hurricane Georges, listed 125 dead and at least 90 missing, but news reports from hard-hit rural communities put the number of possible missing in the thousands.
The front page of one daily newspaper bore the stark headline: "Mesopotamia No Longer Exists," referring to a city in the western part of this country of 8 million people that was overwhelmed by torrential floodwaters. About 9,000 people were evacuated from the area, but U.S. Embassy spokesman Franklin Polanco said "nobody knows how many are in the mud."
In the town of Cambita, about 30 miles west of the capital, about 40 people were reported missing when floods swept away the shelter in which they were seeking refuge.
. . .
Typhoon Bart Kills 22 In Japan
Typhoon Bart battered Japan on Friday, killing nearly two dozen people and injuring more than 300 as it clawed its way up the Japanese coast. Japanese authorities blamed the storm for 22 deaths and 333 injuries Friday as it hit southern Japan with winds of 144 km/h (90 mph). Gusts of up to 238 km/h (150 mph) were recorded early on Friday.
. . .
Australia's Worst Cyclone Fizzles
PERTH, Australia (AP) -- The most powerful cyclone ever recorded in Australia lost power Thursday, but not before it wreaked havoc on a town along the country's remote northwest coast.
Residents of Whim Creek were picking over the damage caused when Cyclone John crashed into their town Wednesday, packing sustained winds of 130 mph and gusts of up to 180 mph. Forecasters said it was the strongest cyclone to hit the country since they began keeping records. Cyclone is the term used for hurricanes in Australia.
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Flooding In South Korea
Flooding In Philippines
Flooding In Thailand
Flooding In Viet Nam
As the following news reports reveal, in recent years, the world has also experienced a number of devastating floods which have taken the lives of thousands of people, and left millions more either missing or homeless. Sometimes these floods result from severe storms, from heavy monsoon rains, from hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones, or from the Springtime thaw. Regardless of the physical cause of their origin, as with the other Endtime signs we have discussed, as Christians, we must learn to view these things as being ordained by the Hand of God, in order to fulfill His Divine Purposes, whatever they might be. To do otherwise, is to say that God is not All-Powerful, and that He is not in control of His Creation. Having said that, consider these reports:
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Survivors Gather As Venezuelan Flood Toll Soars
CNN -- Workers dug 1,500 graves in a Caracas cemetery for victims of mudslides along the Caribbean coast as the estimated death toll in Venezuela's worst natural disaster in 100 years reached more than 5,000 on Monday.
. . .
200 Dead, Thousands Missing In Venezuela Floods
Venezuelan officials say tens of thousands of people are dead, missing or homeless from days of torrential rain, floods and mudslides. "There are approximately 150,000 people homeless, 7,000 persons are missing and about 200 dead," said Foreign Minister Jose Rangel, quoting figures for Caracas and seven other states, including the tourist island of Margarita. Rangel said he expected the casualty count in northern Venezuela to rise significantly.
. . .
Venezuela Floods Declared Worst In Decades
CNN -- Venezuela President Hugo Chavez is calling this week's torrential rains and deadly flooding the worst disaster his nation has seen in half a century. In Caracas, the city's mayor said more than 100 people had died since Wednesday in the capital alone. At least 40 people were reported dead in the coastal state of Vargas, and tens of thousands were left homeless after 10 days of unyielding rain and massive flash floods Wednesday and Thursday. Authorities declared nine northern states and Caracas disaster areas.
. . .
Vietnam Flood Toll Tops 500, Weather Aids Relief Efforts
HANOI, Vietnam (Reuters) -- Helicopters and trucks filled with emergency supplies began pushing further into devastated parts of central Vietnam on Monday as the death toll from the region's worst floods in a century hit 527.
Official media on Monday said water levels were falling but that large numbers of people were still hungry and in danger of getting sick following one week of floods across eight provinces that stretch for some 600 kilometers (375 miles)
. . .
Floods Maroon Hundreds, Death Toll Hits 2,000 In Southern Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Heavy rain pounded Ethiopia again Saturday, feeding the overflowing rivers that have killed some 2,000 people and are threatening to create an inland sea in southern Somalia.
A month of flooding has inundated large areas of southern Somalia between the Ethiopian border and the Indian Ocean. High water has wiped out the freshly harvested staple crop of sorghum and left hundreds of thousands homeless and hungry.
The death toll is rising so fast that aid agencies can only guess at the carnage.
David Neff, CARE's director for Somalia, said any estimate below 2,000 dead "has got to be conservative."
He said the Juba River, which originates in Ethiopia and runs south to the Somali port of Kismayo, is now eight miles wide at some points. "Normally, this is what we would call a creek in the American Midwest," Neff said.
. . .
Death Toll From China Floods Tops 2,000 -- 240 Million Affected
The official death toll from the massive floods that have plagued China this summer climbed past 2,000 on Thursday, and authorities have warned that the worst may be yet to come.
About one-fifth of China's population -- 240 million people -- are said to be affected by the floods, which are the result of unusually heavy rains that arrived earlier than expected this spring. Most of the deaths have been blamed on landslides and mudflows caused by torrential rains that have fallen since early June.
The Yangtze -- the world's third largest river -- has kept the pressure on, with water levels along many stretches at their highest levels since 1954, when floods killed 30,000 people. A fourth major flood crest has been working its way down the river, and officials are concerned that waterlogged levees will begin to fail under the constant stress.
Flooding has been complicated by the arrival of tropical storm Otto which, although downgraded earlier in the week from typhoon status, still reached mainland China with strong winds and heavy rains.
Vice Minister of Civil Affairs Fan Baojun said nearly 14 million people have been forced to abandon their homes, and that nearly six million homes have been destroyed by the flood waters. Additionally, he said 53.2 million acres of farmland have been inundated and 11.8 million acres of crops destroyed.
. . .
Survivors Dig Desperately For Mexico Mudslide Victims
Digging into mounds of mud with buckets, shovels and their bare hands, soldiers and survivors hoped to find survivors of southeastern Mexico's deadly mudslides early Saturday. President Ernesto Zedillo called the disaster "the tragedy of the decade." At least 293 people were confirmed dead but the number "is rising by the hour," Zedillo said on a visit to this Puebla city of 180,000 people, 110 miles (175 kilometers) east of Mexico City.
. . .
Death Toll Rises From Torrential Rains In Mexico
Rescue teams are intensifying their efforts in central and southern Mexico, where floods and mudslides brought on by over a week of rain have killed at least 218 people. The downpour caused flooding in nine states across the country. Although the rain has subsided, government officials say the death toll is certain to rise as more reports come in from areas that are still cut off.
. . .
Floyd Leaves 35 Dead As Flooding Continues
North Carolina struggled with the worst flooding in its history early Saturday as the death toll from Hurricane Floyd's march up the East Coast rose to 35. Military air rescue teams and squadrons of civilian boaters plucked people out of their homes and off the roofs of buildings. Authorities recovered seven more bodies from submerged cars in the state Friday, and braced for more flooding destruction on Saturday, when the Tar and Neuse Rivers were expected to crest.
. . .
Texas Flood Victims Recover From Latest Weather Nightmare
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) -- The floods and storms that killed 29 people and left almost $500 million in property damage in Texas this week were the latest in a series of recurring weather nightmares in the state.
Last summer, weeks of triple-digit heat killed at least 131 people and a punishing drought destroyed about $2.1 billion in crops and livestock. Nine people died in flooding in Del Rio and the nearby Hill Country in August, and hundreds of homes were destroyed. Tropical Storm Frances flooded southeast Texas coastal areas in September, causing $300 million in damage.
"It's very coincidental, which is why it's a 100-year event, Rydell said. "To get everything to happen all at the same time is very unusual."
Up to 20 inches of rain fell on some areas around San Antonio beginning Saturday, October 17. The downpours were especially dangerous because they came after Texas suffered through a punishing drought that baked the state for weeks in triple- digit temperatures.
"Nature is devastating. It was only three months ago that we were praying for rain, and now in Texas we've got too much rain," said Gov. George Bush. "It happened so quickly and so suddenly."
Cuero, a town of 7,000 people 80 miles southeast of San Antonio, was among the areas hardest hit by the floods.
So many people in Cuero have mentioned the increase in poisonous snakes after the floods that state emergency services coordinator Tom Millwee called for snake handlers to come to the area.
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Another way in which the Lord sometimes lets His wrath be felt in this sinful world, is through a sometimes deadly phenomenon referred to as "tsunami", or tidal waves. These massive walls of water are sometimes generated by undersea seismic activity, that is, by earthquakes, while at other times, they are the result of gale force winds created by hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones, pushing on the surface waters of the world's oceans. By the time these towering walls of destruction reach the coastline, they can contain the force of a moving locomotive, and the collision of water with land can be devastating, as we see by this report concerning the tidal wave which struck Papua New Guinea in July of 1998 following an earthquake:
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Death Toll From Papua New Guinea Tidal Wave Climbs To 600
Radio Australia -- Disaster relief officials in Papua New Guinea say the tidal wave that hit the north-west coast on Friday night killed about 600 people and the figure could rise to a-thousand.
Rescuers are still retrieving bodies from a lagoon at the scene of the disaster.
Sean Dorney reports from the Wahiu Catholic Health Centre at Aitape where hundreds of people are being treated for injuries suffered when the tidal wave smashed their houses.
The doctor in charge of the Wahiu Health Centre, Dutch Doctor Menno Swiyar says they're doing war surgery. People with smashed up bodies are being delivered to them by the hour and some are having to be treated on the floor. Brother Gary Hill who's been a Health Extension Officer in Papua New Guinea for 38 years told me of how yesterday he was pulling dead bodies from the lagoon behind what was once Arop Village when he heard some splashing. He found a woman alive but with a badly broken leg. She had spent the night trying to keep her head above the water surrounded by five dead bodies. She's been taken to the Provincial Hospital at Vonomo for emergency treatment. Sean Dorney Aitape.
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As we conclude this series in part fourteen, we will turn our attention to yet another weather phenomenon quite common in the United States of America; that is, tornadoes. Also to be discussed will be science and medicine's losing battle, medical errors, false peace treaties and the inevitability of war, America's growing vulnerability, Y2K and the threat of cyber-terrorism, our God of love and God of wrath, the Lord's forewarning to His children, trust and obedience in place of fear, the Lord's final shake-up of the Earth, the Children of Disobedience, the price of sharing our knowledge with others, Christian persecution, and keeping our eyes on Jesus. I trust that you will join me.
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