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Mark 13:37 | “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!

Severe European Drought

Europe is in the midst of an unprecedented drought. “Spanish farmers are grappling with heat waves and water scarcity. Grains and olives are going dry” (Deutsche Welle, August 10, 2022). Many farmers are facing drastic harvest losses this year as reservoirs dry up. In France, thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as wildfires rage (Reuters, August 10, 2022), and other European nations are sending firefighters to help France battle the blazes. Southeast England has had nearly 150 days with little to no rain—the driest year since 1976 (The Telegraph, August 8, 2022).

According to the European Drought Observatory, “60 percent of Europe and the United Kingdom is currently in danger of drought” (EU Observer, August 9, 2022). The Dutch declared a water emergency and France has imposed unprecedented water restrictions. The sweltering heat and declining water levels in lakes and reservoirs have seriously reduced the production of hydropower throughout Europe—especially in Italy (Politico, August 9, 2022). Some water authorities are having to choose between using water for irrigation or hydropower. Low water levels are also affecting river traffic. The Rhine, a major trade route for European goods, may soon have sections that are impassable, crippling EU trade. The problems generated by heat and drought are pushing European nations to address important common internal issues.

It is commonly believed that desperate times call for desperate measures. As Europe works to combat the effects of a continent-wide drought and the collateral impact of the war in Ukraine, students of biblical prophecy should watch for Europe to take more desperate measures that will influence geopolitics. Self-preservation instincts kick in when we become desperate, and Scripture indicates that significant events will occur in Europe that will lead to the emergence of a German-led “beast” power—the “king of the North” (Daniel 11:40–45). Jesus warned that, as the end of the age approaches, we need to “watch” and be ready (Matthew 24:42).

Global Nuclear Buildup Growing

Not long ago, there was a push for nuclear disarmament among the nations of the world. However, the atmosphere has changed dramatically. In the years just ahead, the global nuclear arsenal is expected to grow for the first time since the Cold War (The Guardian, June 13, 2022). This buildup includes developed nations like the United Kingdom and France, not just rogue nations like North Korea and Iran.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, many nations are now focused on enhancing their nuclear weaponry, and a new “global nuclear arms race” appears to be underway (Deutsche Welle, June 13, 2022). Just a year ago, most Germans wanted U.S. nuclear missiles removed from their soil. Yet a recent poll noted that 52 percent of Germans now favor keeping those weapons in Germany. This is up from only 14 percent a year ago. As America modernizes its nuclear weaponry in Germany,  German leaders are purchasing U.S.-made F-35 jets to deploy some of these weapons. According to a spokesman from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China has built 300 nuclear missile silos in its deserts over the last two years, and Russia is threatening to deploy its new “Satan II” nuclear missile by the end of the year. This hypersonic missile can reach the UK in just three minutes (, June 22, 2022).

Today our world is becoming a more dangerous place for everyone. This echoes the warning of Jesus Christ about the end of the age: “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). However, Jesus will return, and will do so as the “Savior of the world” (Acts 1:11; John 4:42). Thankfully, there is real hope for the future. Jesus Christ will bring peace to the world (Isaiah 9:6–7) and a time when nations will not “learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2–4).

Breastfeeding Benefits Recognized Again

Breastfeeding has long been recognized as the healthiest option for feeding newborns and infants. Recent studies showing the benefits of breastfeeding have continued to validate this divinely designed method for feeding babies.

In the past, many of the benefits of breastfeeding were attributed to the fact that most breastfed babies come from families with higher income and higher levels of education. However, the Guardian reported in June on a recent study from University College London that followed 6,000 babies across Britain from 2000 to 2002 that suggests otherwise. Summarizing the results, the Guardian notes, “Children of poorer mothers who breastfeed are much better at tasks involving speaking, drawing and comprehension as a direct result” of breastfeeding. In fact, children who were breastfed for at least three months had an 8 percent increase on cognitive tests up to age seven, over those who were bottle-fed. This new research shows that the benefits of breastfeeding go beyond just the physical strength of the body, as they also affect brain function, memory, and ability to learn.

When bottle-feeding with infant formula became convenient, safe, and economical, it greatly facilitated a mother’s ability to enter the workplace outside the home. However, infant formulas do not improve upon God’s original design. God created breastmilk to be genetically and nutritionally compatible with the infant. When infants are breastfed, not only does it reduce the risk of breast cancer in the nursing mother, but also babies are healthier and are less likely to face issues with being overweight later in life. And now we know their brains are more prepared to function better—all according to God’s design!

Is a “Middle East NATO” Ahead?

Is it possible that Arab nations of the Middle East could create a military alliance? Until recently, this idea would have been ludicrous to many, given the centuries of infighting among these nations. But today, this possibility is far more likely to become a reality. Jordan’s king recently “made headlines when he told journalists that he would support a military alliance in the Middle East that was similar to NATO” (Deutsche Welle, June 30, 2022). At secret meetings in Egypt, representatives from Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain met to discuss common defense issues. As the U.S. pulls out, Middle Eastern nations are beginning to consider that they must work together for their own defense. They also recognize that if they can include Israel, all the nations in the region would benefit from Israel’s advanced military technologies.

While experts warn us not to expect a “Middle East NATO” anytime soon, biblical prophecies indicate something different. The prophet Daniel was inspired to write of a “king of the South” that will come on the scene at the end of the age. This “king” represents a group of Arab nations that will unite against a coming German-led European “king of the North” (see Daniel 11). In addition, God inspired the psalmist to prophesy of an alliance among Middle Eastern nations that will, at least for a time, include Germany, or Assyria (see Psalm 83). Bible prophecies identify many players on the world scene at the end of the age. Major actions that will shape world affairs are foretold, in a coded way God’s people can nevertheless discern broadly, in the pages of Scripture.

When Currencies Die, So Do Nations

Pakistan’s rupee may be in its death throes. What was once a strong currency has been falling against the U.S. dollar for years and is performing poorly among a large group of peer nations, a drop intensified by the recent rise of the U.S. dollar and internal political strife. South Asia political analyst Michael Kugelman notes that “Pakistan’s economy is at a near breaking point” and that hope of successful international intervention is weakened by the political instability of the nation (Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2022).

The current state of the Pakistani rupee provides a sobering insight into the coming decline of the currencies and currency replacements of the Israelite-descended nations. While the U.S. dollar is currently enjoying a peak of strength, helping to protect Americans against some of the worst effects of global inflation, biblical prophecy indicates that, at the end of the age, scarcity will explode, currencies and nations will decline, and even gold and silver won’t work as a tool to buy sufficient food and goods (Ezekiel 7:14–19). Human beings will no longer be able to rely on riches as they learn the sobering lesson that it is Christ who strengthens us, not ourselves, our governments, or our possessions (Philippians 4:13).

Watching other nations and situations can help us see how God may fulfill these ancient prophecies. As we look around the globe, we can begin to realize why Jesus Christ must return to the earth to save mankind from itself (Matthew 24:22). It is only through His return and wise leadership that the earth will finally experience the abundant blessings and peace that God intends for all human beings.


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