“Grasshopper invasion, the worst in 70 years, destroying the crops in Kenya” says one of the newspaper articles. “They left nothing behind”, poor farmers complain. Incapable to do anything they watched the fruits of their hard labour and sweat disappear.
On the other side, in some provinces in Pakistan, a state of emergency was declared due to the grasshopper invasion. Things weren’t any better in the neighbouring country of India, their archenemies. Since these flying warriors came to India from Pakistan, that was an opportunity to accuse their neighbours for this plague too.
We fearfully watched Australia burn. Everyone wishfully looked up to the sky since that was the only way for help to reach. Human force along with all technology was incapable to fight the force of the fire. To rub salt into the wound, sand clouds appeared from nowhere, obstructed the sun and showered the country with sand.
The south of Europe was affected by a terrible, highly destructive storm. It was named “Lucifer”. Waves, at times 10 meters high, ravaged seacoasts. People died.
Floods everywhere; earthquakes all over the world.
They frighten us with tornados and hurricanes every day. As a form of consolation, or even sarcasm, they give them names. We quickly forget them and their names. Who knows how many there were worldwide, while there were several in the United States. Mid December, “in the middle of winter, when it wasn’t its time” a tornado in Choctaw county. In West Mobile, on October 25 – tornado. In Clarke county too, on the same day, the same disaster. A few days earlier, a tropical storm “Nestor”. Hurricane “Barry”, mid-July of the same year. And so on, a disaster after disaster. Mid last century there was only one hurricane recorded. They named it “Baker”. And each following year, again, one or two, until the nineties. And then, suddenly, the disasters double, and triple. Recently, in 2017 – nine catastrophic storms; in 2018 – thirteen.
In July 2019, in China, over a million people had to be evacuated because 60 of their rivers went wild and started flowing out of their channels. In India, after a very dry, drought-like conditions in summer came torrential downpours and floods. According to the United Nations data, last summer in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh over 1200 people lost their lives as a result of cataclysmic floods. And in August, in Sierra Leone, over a 1000 people were killed in floods and landslides. The worst drought in history in South Africa; rain season came and went away; but water supply is smaller and smaller. In Central America, in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the tropical storm “Nate” killed twenty-two people.
We used to take the weather reports as a cup of warm tea or milk before bedtime. Nowadays, the weather reports have become breaking news and we listen to them with horror and fear.
And now, to top all these disasters, sufferings, and troubles of the unfortunate human being, comes that crown of disasters; marked with the crown of himself-the devil. At first, we thought it did not concern us, because it was happening far away, somewhere in China. We believed it was the problem of the Chinese; and that people would successfully contain and restrain it, and that it would not reach the proportions of SARS which we had somehow overcome and almost forgot. To our horror, this deadly virus is spreading rapidly and squashing people all over the world. Nobody should fool themselves thinking they are the only ones bypassed by this calamity.
All the calamities of this world known and unknown, cannot smarten up this modern man and make him realize how powerless he is. Man decided a long time ago to eliminate God the Creator and the Sustainer of All from his life and to destroy Him in everyone that wants to live with God. They try to convince everyone that man is the only criterion, and that it is possible to live without God. God is hated and abandoned by people who – as prophet Isaiah said – turn their faces away from Him. He is hated without being even looked upon. People behave like that wicked servant in chapter 24 of the Gospel of Matthew who began to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards because he fooled himself that his master was far away and that he was going to stay away for a long time.
We, however, no matter how small our number is and the fact that it is getting smaller and smaller every day, must know that Lord is near (Philippians 4:5) and the end of all things is near (1 Peter 4:7). His wide-open eye is watching everything we do, and his wide-open ear is listening to everything we say. He judges all intentions and thoughts of the heart. “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)
Whether we accept God or not has nothing to do with His existence. “He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
If we read the story of life with God in our heart, we will understand what is happening to us and what to expect in future. Those unfortunate ones that covered the world in their sins, and dim their eyes, let them stumble in the dark. And we should open the Book of God and remind ourselves what Lord tells us.
“If you follow my statutes, and obey my commandments, I will give you rains in their season, and the land will yield its produce, and the trees of fields shall yield their fruit; your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land.” (Leviticus 26:3-6)
“But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all His commandments and His statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.
Cursed shall you be in the city and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the calves of your herds, and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in and cursed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me. (Deuteronomy 28:15-20)
“The Lord will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. They will pursue you until you perish.
And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. The Lord will make the rain of your land into powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 28:22-24)
“The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs, and itch, of which you cannot be healed. (Deuteronomy 28:27)
“You shall carry much seed into the field, and shall gather in little, for the locust shall consume it. You shall plant vineyards, and dress them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat them. (Deuteronomy 28:39-40)
“The Lord will strike you on your knees and on the legs with grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.” (Deuteronomy 28:36
“The insects will consume all your trees and the fruit of your ground.” (Deuteronomy 28:43)
“All these curses will come upon you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord, your God, to keep His commandments and statutes He gave you.” (Deuteronomy 28:46)
We read this in the Old Testament, but we witness the realization of these curses today, everywhere, in every corner of his unfortunate world.
Do we understand what is happening to us? ”Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)