The term famine is currently on everyone’s lips, today even more than ever before. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the entire face of the world and people are suffering from great anxiety. Due to the reciprocal sanctions which the world rulers are inflicting on each other, the tensions and problems among them and in the whole world are getting bigger and worse, until it will ultimately lead to a nuclear world war.
We know that these days we find ourselves in are the beginning of sorrows, and that these point, among other things, towards a coming great famine. The current trading and speculation with food on the stock markets are increasing more and more. Thus, the food prices keep rising more and more, and so will worldwide inflation. This refers not only to wheat and corn, but many other groceries are also affected as well, such as rice and soy, coffee and sugar, and many more other goods like raw oil, not to mention the constantly rising energy prices.
Der Tagesspiegel wrote on May 3, 2022: “We are heading for the greatest famine in human history.
“The farmers in Ukraine are producing much fewer resources, the infrastructure is destroyed, the ports are blocked. But the problems are much worse.
“The poorest countries have already been hit hard by the pandemic. On top of that, there is climate change with droughts in Africa and China. Because of lack of energy China is producing less fertilizer, and due to the blockade of the Black Sea, hardly any fertilizer is being exported from Russia and Belarus. Added to this are global logistics issues. Even if there was enough food, it doesn’t necessarily get to where it’s needed. The Russian invasion is deeply shaking the world food system. We fear that the number of hungry people will double in 2023 or 2024. If we have ten percent less artificial fertilizer than we need, up to 320 million people are robbed of their food base.”
In Austria, the city of Vienna posted the following statement on its platform:
“Waste on the one hand, hunger on the other.
“1.3 billion tons of food are thrown away each year or constitute losses along the value chain. For Europe, the authors estimate an annual loss per capita along the entire value chain of 280 to 300 kilograms. European and North American households throw away between 95 and 115 kilograms of food per year, especially fruit and vegetables, although a large proportion would still be edible. Add to those mountains of food that retailers discard.”
There is no way to realize by any stretch of the imagination the full extent of the scenario that is rolling toward humanity.
This leads to a crucial question for us. Will such news also raise fears and worries in us because of a coming famine?
Christ already warned us about this very scenario 2000 years ago: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).
The world simply ignores these statements, but it should be clear to us that these prophecies of God are being fulfilled today right before our eyes. If we heed the words of Christ and do what He commanded us to do, namely, to keep the laws of God from the heart, God the Father and Jesus Christ will be with us to help, sustain and protect us in these terrible times.
Let us remember the famine in Abram’s time, when he had to go to Egypt (Genesis 12:10). Isaac also fled from a famine (Genesis 26:1). When famine broke out in all lands by the time of Joseph, who was a righteous ruler directly under Pharaoh, God showed His power and saved the children of Israel from starvation (Genesis 41:53-57).
In Genesis 45:11, because of God’s power, Joseph was able to promise Jacob and his descendants to help them: “There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.” When Israel was in the wilderness and had nothing to eat, God provided them with manna and quails (Exodus 16).
Many prophets experienced famines as well, such as Elijah and Elisha, but they were saved by God. And David wrote with full knowledge and conviction: “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).
Christ once fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, and all were filled (Mark 6:30-44). On another occasion, he fed four thousand in the wilderness with seven loaves (Mark 8:1-9).
So why should God let us die in a famine today? Of course, there will be moments when we are tested, and it may be difficult for some. Paul experienced what it was like to be hungry. But as Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35). Paul was fully convinced that nothing could unsettle him or us!
Christ tells us what to focus on: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:31-34).
In the end, it doesn’t matter to us personally how much we speculate about food wastage in the world, or how much of it ends up in the trash, or how much the world’s population increases in the face of hunger, even though it is all very tragic. What is of the utmost importance for us is to realize that only God can and will help us in all future suffering and misery.
God trusts each one of us. And therefore, we must also trust Him to the fullest extent.
Initial translation from German: Daniel Blasinger