MERIDIAN — Be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet, said Jesus in Matthew 24:6-7. “Nation will rise against nation … there will be famines.”
Have you ever considered the food demand for the population in the U.S., the Middle East or the World? Have you considered the environmental effect placed on feeding the world?
Most of us would be hard-pressed to think of any biblical laws that are "environmentally friendly." In fact, a great many people would scoff at the idea that the Bible could contain positive admonitions about the treatment of nature. God gave man dominion over all other life on the earth. Adam was given the responsibility to dress and keep the garden in Genesis 2:15. "Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend (dress, KJV) and keep it."
God expanded the responsibility for man to nurture rather than to force, to "have dominion" and "subdue it" from Genesis 1:26, 28! One of the few scriptures that warn about the environment near the end of age is Matthew 24:7 which reads, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines.”
In addition to the environment causing famine with depleted food resources we must consider the law of the Sabbath from God. “Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap.” (Leviticus 25:2-5) This is God’s plan for crop rotation and land rest to replenish the soil.
Environmental pollution of our oceans, a vital food source, directly affects life in the sea as the sea continues to die. Large sea mammals such as bottle nose dolphins and harbor seals are dying from pollution, bacterial infection and a virus resembling distemper.
Further, our food supply from the sea is generally within 200 miles of the coast and the pollution is causing contamination in the food supply. As the earth exhibits its dying trend the student of the Bible recognizes another sign near the “end of the age.”
According to "Consumer Reports", even "farm-raised'' fish, which only spend several weeks in ocean pens for breeding, are contaminated. "Consumer Reports'' say that 90 percent of the fish tested contained mercury.
Some clams contained high lead levels, and others contained arsenic. In addition, 45 percent of the salmon and 25 percent of the swordfish tested contain high levels of PCB's. PCB's seriously impair our immune systems, making us more susceptible to disease. Between the effects of UV radiation and the ever-increasing environmental contamination, pestilence and rampant disease will certainly escalate.
Every day, more than 40 million gallons of partially-untreated sewage are sent gushing into the ocean from New York City's Hudson and East rivers. The sewage has a large biological oxygen demand as bacteria decomposes these organic materials using dissolved oxygen, thus, the DO available for fish is less. Since most of the fish live within 200 miles of shore, the world's richest fishing grounds are being contaminated and transformed into open sewers. The effect of the environmental contamination is devastated by shrinking the life line of sea food.
The environmental cause for creating famine is significant and direct as we have just discussed. To this consideration we must add the chemicals in drainage discharge and the environmental water run-off from farm production and manufacturing.
In addition, skill levels of farm production in many countries, is less than effective due to the lack of farm management knowledge that is required. When added to the weather component, the environment and the destruction of crops from wars there is a tendency to usher in famine.
Psalms 24:1 - (A Psalm of David) reads, the earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Therefore, it behooves us as citizens of the world to be stewards of the land and the sea.