On Saturday, January 13, Hawaiian residents received the warning on their phones: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency sent this false alarm in error when someone “pushed the wrong button.” Nevertheless, it caused widespread fear and panic!
Imagine yourself receiving a similar message! What would you do?
Some Hawaiians hid their children in sewers to protect them from a missile blast. Many others sought shelter wherever they could. Fear and terror gripped a multitude as a result of the alarm, even though there was no actual missile. It was, according to news reports, nearly 40 long, terrifying minutes until the cancellation message was issued.
In the aftermath, there were embarrassed explanations, investigations initiated and promises made to fix the system. Human errors are easily made, and it is not the purpose of this commentary to determine what happened, nor to pass judgment or blame any individuals involved.
But, consider a biblical prophecy written millennia ago. It is found in Leviticus 26, and it discusses a consequence for disobeying the Almighty God. It simply states:
But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you (vv. 14–17).
Proverbs 28 discusses this phenomenon of fleeing when no one is in pursuit: “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (v. 1). When a person is doing wickedly, they are afraid of being caught. So, any noise—or even their own imagination—can cause them to become fearful and flee. As stated in Leviticus 26, later in the same chapter mentioned above, “And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues” (v. 36).
This event in Hawaii should not be seen as a fulfilfillment of the prophecies of Leviticus, to be sure. The citizens of Hawaii were simply responding to a warning from their government. The warning may have turned out to be a false alarm, but no one can blame them for taking such a warning seriously. But the brief moment of needless terror that was stirred that day should remind us: When a nation refuses to turn to God in repentance, His word clearly states that constant fear and terror, even when there is no cause, are destined to become a way of life.
The first chapter of the Bible’s “book of wisdom,” Proverbs, states: “Wisdom calls aloud outside… ‘How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.... Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you…. But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil’” (vv. 20–33).
Many Tomorrow’s World listeners are familiar with the many end-time prophecies that God declared long ago through His prophets, and which are discussed in our programs, articles and booklets. We offer all of our materials free of charge and encourage readers to prove these things in their own Bibles.
Continue to watch the Tomorrow’s World program, and avail yourself of the many helpful articles and booklets offered for free. You may find the telecast “What’s Ahead for 2018 and Beyond?” of great interest, and valuable for peace of mind.