Are recent weather catastrophes the fault of "global warming"? Are they random shifts in a long-standing weather pattern? Or is there something more significant behind the increase in severe weather events around our world?
American citizens still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina may sometimes forget that violent weather disruptions affect millions around the whole world. Just look at how the nation of China has been devastated by tropical storms and typhoons in 2006.
Typhoon Saomai, last August, pounded coastal China with winds reaching 135 miles per hour, lashing the area with heavy rains. The storm left more than 1,000 ships sunk, more than 50,000 homes destroyed, many power lines downed and at least six cities blacked out for long periods.
In the month before Saomai, Tropical Storm Bilis and Typhoon Prapiroon also brought great devastation. China's civil affairs ministry reported that in the months of July and August, weather disasters were responsible for the deaths of 1,949 people, and for an additional 168 still counted as "missing."
In total, these disasters saw an estimated 130 million Chinese temporarily displaced, more than 3.1 million evacuated, and $7.7 billion in economic losses sustained.
While storms are very common in that region of the world during summer and early fall, experts say recent storms have been unusually frequent—and the magnitude of Saomai was exceptionally fierce. China's Central Weather Bureau reported that Saomai was the most powerful typhoon since the bureau began keeping records in 1949.
The debate over "global warming" rages on—is it "junk science" or the major factor behind the increase in big killer storms lashing planet Earth? Meanwhile, we commonly hear preachers say these storms are God's wrath, because of the sins of mankind.
Who is right? Certainly, human beings in their greedy despoiling of the earth for profit are intensely affecting weather patterns. But science overlooks the main source of this violent twist of the weather.
Tomorrow's World Editor in Chief Roderick C. Meredith, in his booklet Who Controls the Weather?, asks: "Are 'natural disasters' the impersonal workings of 'Mother Nature' or can they be a vital message from God? Weather calamities are sometimes called 'acts of God,' but what is His actual role in the droughts, famines, floods and earthquakes that affect our world? What does the Bible say about weather disasters at the end of the age?"
God in His word said that He would bless those who obey Him, by giving them rain in its season. He said He would punish those who rebel against Him, by bringing drought and famine upon them. While most of the Bible's prophecies regarding "natural" disasters are concerned with the modern scattered tribes of Israel, weather patterns affect the whole world. All nations are breaking God's laws, which means the entire world is in rebellion against God and will suffer the consequences:
"He shall judge the world in righteousness and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in righteousness.… Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men" (Psalm 9:8, 20).
Jesus Christ predicted that natural disasters would be one of the signs announcing His return to this earth: "For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places" (Matthew 24:7).
You need to be aware of these dramatic end-time events. Please write for your free copy of our informative booklet, Who Controls the Weather? It will help you see the truth of your Bible coming to pass in today's news.