By now everyone has heard of the unprecedented drought in California that will probably result in our food costs going up. In the eyes of many, such a development is to be expected in the face of man-caused global warming. But the climate change rationalization misses the real message of the drought which is actually just one more development revealing that the Tribulation is near.
Jesus told us there would be birth pangs foreshadowing the Tribulation in Matthew 24:8. The Lord said the signs of the coming Tribulation to be things like war, earthquakes, and famines that have always plagued mankind increasing in frequency and intensity like birth pangs. The drought in California and the consequences that will result from it are birth pangs.
The economy of the Tribulation will be characterized by scarcity. "I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius" (Revelation 6:6). A denarius referred to a day's wages in Bible times. So during the Tribulation, food will be very expensive due to scarcity, people will be working just to eat. The scarcity of food will be due to famine which Jesus said there would be in “various places” (Matthew 24:7, NKJV).
There is more than one cause for famine. Drought is the more common cause of famine but food scarcity is also caused by production and distribution disruptions due to war. The book of Revelation tells us there will be a lot of war going on during the Tribulation. Regardless the cause, any rise in food costs due to reduced supply foreshadows the severe conditions that will exist during the Tribulation.
One good aspect of globalization is that the impact of famine in one area is mitigated by the worldwide market which can make up the shortfall. So birth pangs of famines are just one more thing driving the world to be even more globalized. The conventional wisdom that our droughts are due to man-caused climate change is also driving the world to be more globalized because all the world must work together to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And it will take a global government to do that because climate change is seen as too big a problem for any one nation to fix.
Another reason the drought in California may be seen as a birth pang is that it is not the only one going on; droughts are occurring worldwide in “divers places” (Matthew 24:7, KJV). There have recently also been droughts in Taiwan, Brazil, Australia, and various other places. Scoffers will say the California drought is not a sign of the soon return of Jesus and it wouldn’t be if you just looked at it by itself. But Jesus told us that the signs of His return would be recognized in context of other developments which are combining to help the spiritually discerning see that we are in the season of the Lord’s return.
People not in a relationship with their Creator go out of their way to deny the evidence for the soon return of Jesus. The signs are subtle so that all who have made up their minds not to trust in the Lord may continue in their unbelief; that is why the Lord spoke in parables (Matthew 13:10-13). But as the birth pangs proceed, they will be harder to for even unbelievers to ignore and by the grace of God many people will be saved and come to recognize them for what they are.
So as you hear people belly-aching about the price of groceries going up, plant a seed of truth with them that the Bible tells us food prices will inflate prior to Jesus returning (1 Corinthians 3:6). This will bounce right off those who have hardened their hearts to the Lord but will resonate with those who are responding to the Holy Spirit. The opportunities for laying up treasure in heaven abound in these last days.