It reads like something straight out of a disaster movie. A volcanic eruption lasting nine hours and ejecting 15–30 million tons of sulphur dioxide. The second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century happened to coincide with the arrival of Tropical Storm Yunya a mere 75 kilometers away, covering the majority of the island of Luzon in a mixture of ash and water. There was great damage, but it could have been worse. What made the difference?
When Mount Pinatubo blew in June 1991, a 10–33 cm layer of ash covered an area of 2000 square kilometres and caused a drop in global temperature that lasted for more than a year. As powerful an event as this was, it could have been much worse.
While the eruption did result in the tragic deaths of 200–800 villagers, the successful use of an early warning system saved countless lives. As much as two months before the eruption, thousands were ordered to evacuate when the first signs of the coming eruption became apparent. An increasing series of evacuations came as the signs of imminent eruption began to mount, culminating in a final evacuation a mere three days before the blast. In total, 58,000 were ordered out of the danger zone.
As we have seen in recent years, however, this timely prevention is not always the case.
Each time an unmitigated, surprise disaster hits, we stop and ask what could have been done to prevent it. In cases where prevention is impossible, we turn and ask why we failed to see the coming disaster to plan an escape. We ask these same questions after earthquakes, tsunamis, acts of terrorism, market collapses, disease epidemics, school shootings and any other type of tragedy. Early warning systems exist for many potential disasters, but is it possible to be prepared for all of them?
Readers of Tomorrow’s World know that there is an early warning system that notifies us, not only of specific coming disasters, but also emerging trends that will impact the world in profound ways. It is comforting to know that there is a God in heaven who declares “the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10) and who has promised that He “does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). God has given us the most thorough early warning system ever devised—His sure word of prophecy!
Bible prophecy outlines many events that will impact your life. While many early warning systems call for evacuation or other measures to prevent disaster, God’s word calls for obedience and drawing close to Him, as His protection is the only perfect form of safety. Many of the events described in the Bible seem impossible to survive, however, the God powerful enough to predict world events thousands of years in advance is also powerful enough to protect those who obey Him. The words of King David in the Psalms make plain God’s ability to deliver His people from even the most horrifying of events:
“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you” (Psalm 91:4-7).
If you would like to learn more about what God’s early warning system forecasts for the world, join Dr. Roderick C. Meredith for a live, online Tomorrow’s World Presentation entitled What’s Ahead for America and the World. Register online for this free presentation, which will be broadcast live on Sunday, February 10, 2013, at 3:30 pm EST. Also, be sure to order the free booklet Prophecy Fulfilled: God’s Hand in World Affairs and our Tomorrow’s World article “Beyond World War 3” to learn about the wonderful time coming at the return of Jesus Christ.