During this same decade, devastating record-breaking droughts, storms, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and tidal waves have occurred around the globe. These severe weather conditions and geological events have struck particularly hard at the U.S., Great Britain and other European countries. England, Scotland, and Wales were ravaged by severe storms and flooding in recent years, right on the heels of the "mad cow" disaster that nearly wiped out the once-proud British cattle industry. Parts of Western Europe have suffered from severe heat waves, droughts, fires and floods. The longest droughts in a century have plagued vast areas of America, Australia and South Africa.
In the last decade, the world has witnessed an unprecedented series of calamitous events! Many are beginning to ask: Why are these events occurring? On September 11, 2001, a new era of global terrorism exploded on the world stage when self-described Muslim jihadists struck at prime symbols of Western power—the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. These attacks were preceded by the bombing of United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and an attack on the American warship Cole in the Persian Gulf. Subsequent bombings targeted Australian tourists in Bali. The terrorist bombings in Madrid and London targeted U.S. allies.
During this same decade, devastating record-breaking droughts, storms, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and tidal waves have occurred around the globe. These severe weather conditions and geological events have struck particularly hard at the U.S., Great Britain and other European countries. England, Scotland, and Wales were ravaged by severe storms and flooding in recent years, right on the heels of the "mad cow" disaster that nearly wiped out the once-proud British cattle industry. Parts of Western Europe have suffered from severe heat waves, droughts, fires and floods. The longest droughts in a century have plagued vast areas of America, Australia and South Africa. In 2004, the state of Florida was hit by an unprecedented four hurricanes in just a few months. In 2005, two powerful hurricanes in a row pounded the coastal areas of Louisiana and Texas, destroying much of New Orleans and inflicting on refineries "the most widespread damage" the Gulf Coast has ever experienced—100 percent of crude oil production and 80 percent of natural gas production was knocked offline, and it will take months to recover. Gasoline prices have soared, curtailing travel.
Scientists and politicians argue about "global warming," and dispute the exact degree of mankind's role in creating the conditions that have led to recent weather disruptions. But nearly all of these "experts"—and even most religious people—are unaware that the Bible provides additional information about the real significance of the unprecedented calamities that have afflicted the world—and why specific nations (including the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, South Africa and the nations of northwestern Europe) have been hit so hard. Few today realize that more than one-fourth of the Bible is prophecy—most of which relates to the end of the age—the period preceding the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. We are watching these end-time prophecies come alive today!
Scripture reveals that there is a God who is able to predict the future and make it happen. The prophet Isaiah was inspired to write: "I am God, and there is no other… Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done" (Isaiah 46:9–10). The God who inspired the Bible formed the nation of Israel by calling Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As a result of their obedience, God promised great blessings to their descendants—the twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 12:1–3). The Bible reveals that the ultimate fulfillment of the promised blessings would be in the "last days" (Genesis 49:1–28), with the greatest blessings falling on the descendants of Joseph's two sons—Manasseh (prophesied to become a great nation) and Ephraim (prophesied to become a company [or commonwealth] of nations). These important prophecies have been fulfilled in the United States and Great Britain, and in the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples of northwest European descent that have spread around the globe (request our free booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy).
However, God not only promised blessings for obedience to His laws; He also foretold that there would be serious consequences if the descendants of these nations forgot God and disobeyed His laws. In the parallel chapters of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, God instructed Moses to advise the Israelites that obedience would bring "rain in its season" and abundant crops, access to vital resources, the defeat of enemies and unprecedented prosperity, "Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you" (Deuteronomy 28:10). Yet Moses also warned that the consequences of disobedience would include drought, famine, disease, loss of prosperity, defeat by enemies and eventual captivity (Deuteronomy 28:15–68).
When mankind violates environmental laws that govern the earth's ecosystem, it should be no surprise that severe weather disruptions occur. Although the consequences of environmental disruption are global, it is worth noticing that severe catastrophes are now affecting nations that God had previously blessed abundantly—nations that have turned their backs on the real God of the Bible, and have ignored His laws and instructions.
In the days of ancient Israel, God sent prophets to warn His people that their disobedience would bring increasingly severe consequences. These prophecies are "dual"—the same warnings hold true today for the modern descendants of ancient Israel. Jeremiah foresaw a future time of great trouble for those nations: "For, lo, the days come… it is even the time of Jacob's trouble… All thy lovers [allies] have forgotten thee; they seek thee not: for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, because thy sins were increased.… In the latter days ye shall understand it" (Jeremiah 30:3, 7, 14, 24, ASV).
Jeremiah describes how religious leaders of Israelite nations would deceive people and mishandle the laws of God, and how their rulers would lead people in ways contrary to the word of God. He records: "Your own wickedness will correct you… you have forsaken the Lord your God, and the fear of Me is not in you" (Jeremiah 2:19).
Today, many Israelite nations pride themselves on their secular culture. In the United States, where the Ten Commandments have been banned from public buildings by order of the Supreme Court, adultery and abortion are rampant and perverted sexual relationships are commonplace.
Centuries earlier, Moses recorded God's warning: "But if you do not obey Me… I will even appoint terror over you… you shall be defeated by your enemies… Those who hate you shall reign over you… I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze… I will… destroy your livestock… and your highways shall be desolate… I have cut off your supply of bread… I will lay your cities waste… I will scatter you among the nations" (Leviticus 26:14–33).
The prophet Ezekiel was sent to the rebellious houses of Israel and Judah with the warning: "Now the end has come upon you… I will judge you according to your ways… Doom has come to you… A day of trouble is near… The sword is outside, and the pestilence and famine within… Destruction comes; they will seek peace, but there shall be none. Disaster will come upon disaster… Then they shall know that I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 7:1–27).
These are exactly the kinds of events that are making news headlines today! God has recorded and preserved these warnings for His people, whom He has chosen to be lights to the world. Their failure to live up to this calling has made these ancient prophecies come alive as we approach the end of this age and the return of Jesus Christ.