Heaven as Iron, Earth as Brass
Drought grips roughly one third of the United States, threatening many areas with what weather experts say could be America’s worst summer water shortage in years.
“Half of the United States is either in a drought or staring one in the face,” said Conrad Lautenbacher, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa), which includes the National Weather Service. “We need above-normal rainfall to get out of drought” (USA Today, March 15).
Hardest hit is the East Coast, with many areas experiencing their worst water shortage in years. For several months now, New York and Maryland have been pumping water from supplies normally avoided for their potentially less-desirable color or taste. The governor of Maine plans to ask President Bush to declare the state a disaster area due to an “unprecedented drought”—the worst in 107 years. Thousands of shallow wells in New Hampshire and other states have run dry. Reservoirs supplying the cities of the Atlantic Seaboard, including New York City and Philadelphia, are half empty. More than 100 counties are under drought warnings, watches or advisories. Lautenbacher says it is the East Coast’s most severe drought on record.
Water shortages are also affecting other U.S. regions.
In the Pacific Northwest, salmon fishing is suffering because of below-average rainfall. Some communities, such as Klamath Falls, Oreg., have been embroiled over fishing and farm industry disputes as a result of drought conditions in recent years.
North-central Montana is in its sixth year of drought, with wheat production being reduced to the lowest levels since 1940. Wyoming has been dry for more than three years.
The huge High Plains (Ogallala) Aquifer, the primary water source for the American Great Plains (once called America’s “breadbasket”), has been so heavily depleted that some Midwest areas may soon have to switch to rain-fed agriculture. In Kansas, some ranchers are hauling in water or selling off cattle. Insurance companies already are paying farmers in northwest Oklahoma for their failed winter wheat crops, which were meant to be harvested this May and June.
Because of prolonged drought conditions in the Southwest, the Colorado River basin has been overtapped. In California too, the water table under the agriculturally critical San Joaquin Valley has fallen so much that land sinks. Overpumping in that region has caused one section of farmland to drop roughly 30 feet.
Drought has lingered in other states, such as Georgia and Florida, for up to six years. Floridians are now looking to the sea for new sources of water. And a decade-long drought near the Rio Grande has created a tense situation between Mexico and Texas over water supplies.
If drought causes a substantial decline in agricultural output in California, Florida and the Midwest, the economic cost will be great. Drought in the South is a major reason for the massive pine beetle infestation that is destroying thousands of pines. Forest damage caused by this outbreak is already in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Drought conditions now run in two vast swathes, each hundreds of miles wide, from Maine to Florida and Montana to Texas, according to a federal-academic partnership that puts together the U.S. Drought Monitor map.
While some may say drought is a natural occurrence and that the U.S. has always had droughts, what makes the present situation so unique is how widespread and long-lasting it is. What’s more, severe droughts today can have greater consequences than droughts in the past. During the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, the U.S. population was 123 million. Today, with the population at 285 million, water demand has multiplied.
“Natural” disasters such as floods and hurricanes are anticipated by disaster planners. Drought is not prepared for in the same manner because of the gradual nature of its arrival. Nevertheless, because droughts are generally more widespread and last longer, the damage caused is greater.
And not only is the U.S. under the curse of drought. The last year has seen parts of Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, China, South and Central America, and Canada plagued by severe water shortages.
What is needed on this Earth is rainfall in the right places, at the right times and in the proper amount. But that is going to be increasingly rare in the years just ahead—for reasons most people would not expect!
The Real Cause
Over the years, meteorologists have gained better understanding of the physical factors involved in producing weather patterns. Yet they admit they don’t know why major global-impacting weather forces, such as high altitude jet streams or powerful ocean currents, shift as they do.
In our scientifically and technologically advanced age, many forget that there is a God in heaven who reigns supreme. Millions go about their lives with little or no concern for what the Creator of the universe is doing and what His purposes are for mankind!
The Bible plainly reveals that God has set spiritual and physical laws in motion. At present, God is essentially allowing humans to develop their own ways of living, which are contrary to His laws, and to reap the natural consequences that result from those ways—including weather upsets.
Normally, God sends “rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). But at other times, He intervenes through the weather to extend both blessings and correction (Job 37:11-13)—or to warn nations of their mounting sins. “Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour [clouds]; stormy wind fulfilling his word” (Ps. 148:8).
Weathermen and news reporters don’t tell you that. They don’t explain that wrong ways of living—wrong lifestyles, morality and thinking—and chaotic weather are related. The Trumpet has stood out as one of the few voices proclaiming this fact!
The truth is, one of the ways God punishes nations is to shut off their water supplies: “Take heed … [lest] 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 …” (Deut. 11:16-17).
Repeatedly and eloquently Scripture reveals the spiritual reasons why many droughts and weather disasters are allowed to occur. Long ago, God foretold that because of society’s mounting sins—crime, divorce, plummeting moral standards and total ingratitude to Him for the blessings bestowed upon our nations (including pure, abundant water)—we will see the day when the taps run dry (Amos 4:6-8).
To a rebellious and self-willed people, God thunders, “[T]hou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain …” (Jer. 3:2-3; see also Isa. 5:2, 6).
God, in His great purpose, may also allow Satan—the god of this world (ii Cor. 4:4)—to have a role in producing catastrophic weather, for man’s ultimate learning (see Job 1).
In the June 1995 issue of this magazine, our editor in chief wrote, “Satan is … going to cause what most people call ‘natural disasters.’ On top of all that, God is against us (Ezek. 5:8). … Why all these disasters? They are a warning from God to repent! The disasters will keep coming until we repent. That is our only hope.”
Extreme weather upsets (Amos 4:7), crop blight (v. 9) and destructive insects and animals (Deut. 28:39, 42) will result in ruined harvests on a massive scale (Ezek. 5:16). The land will be stripped of its life-giving humus and rich topsoil. God says the heaven above us will be as iron and the earth as brass (Lev. 26:19).
“[Y]our land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. And if ye walk contrary unto me [still], and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins …. And I will bring a sword upon you …” (Lev. 26:20-21, 25). Invasion—destruction by biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism—will follow the drought and pestilence!
Not only will U.S. citizens be affected, so too will all human beings on this planet—but the modern nations of Israel most of all! (Request a free copy of our publication The United States and Britain in Prophecy for details.)
But understand this: With God, such punishment is correction for our good—not revenge (Ezek. 33:11). God desires that humans live in health and prosperity (John 10:10; iii John 2). He longs to see us repent and obey Him so He may deliver us. He yearns to bring about worldwide peace, safety and health! God wants to lavish greater prosperity and blessings upon His people than ever before—and ultimately offer us spiritual salvation and eternal life. He would do so, if we would only repent!
Our merciful Creator promises to provide blessings, including rain, to those who obey Him: “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit” (Lev. 26:3-4).
Some are convinced that biblical passages such as these are merely recorded history or poetic imagery. But you can prove that these are, in fact, living prophecies for this “last hour”—and for the soon-coming World Tomorrow! They will come to pass!
No More Drought
God promises sweeping reforms everywhere in the utopian age He says will soon erupt on this Earth.
When God sends Jesus Christ to set up His Kingdom over all nations, one of the top priorities of God’s perfect government will be to completely redevelop and shape the Earth into an Eden-like paradise.
As the nations learn to submit to God’s government, they will no longer be cursed with drought. Gentle rains will fall in the appropriate seasons (Ezek. 34:26) and in the right balance (Ps. 65:9-13). Accessible, pure water will abound. Complicated man-made irrigation systems and huge dams will become obsolete. Water wars will cease.
Does this sound like some far-out fantasy? In the hands of man—absolutely! With God however, nothing is impossible.
Look what God promises: “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains [artesian wells] in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Isa. 41:17-18).
Thank God that someday soon our drought problems—in fact, all our problems—will at last be solved!!