High temperatures, strong winds and months of dry weather are creating severe conditions in various parts of the world. Over 400 fires are burning in western Canada, and more than 100 fires are burning in the United States (Vancouver Sun, August 8, 2018; Reuters, August 11, 2018). Much of the state of California has been ablaze for weeks, with 18 fires currently burning. Nearly a million homes are at high or very high risk of destruction from fire (LocalSYR.com, August 13, 2018)! The Mendocino fire, the largest in California’s history, has already burned over 450 square miles (MSN, August 8, 2018). Homeowners insurance rates are expected to rise drastically as a result of the fires.
On the other side of the globe, the state of New South Wales in southeast Australia is engulfed in drought. The government is now allowing farmers to shoot kangaroos who vie with cattle over limited pasture land (Deutsche Welle, August 8, 2018). Australia’s prime minister recently made the sobering observation, “Now we are the land of drought.” Australian farmers and ranchers expect major crop failures and even cattle deaths. Wild fires are also ravaging Greece and other European nations, bringing devastation and death (The Guardian, August 12, 2018).
While some blame “global warming,” others see these weather extremes as part of predictable weather cycles. However, Bible prophecies provide additional insights. Jesus Christ warned that as we approach the end of the age, we should expect to see “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” and said these dramatic events are just “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:7–8). Long ago, God warned that Israelite-descended nations at the end of the age (such as Australia, Canada and the U.S.) would experience serious drought and related consequences due to their sins and rejection of Him (Deuteronomy 28:17, 23, 38). The Bible does far more than tell us these sobering circumstances are a foretaste of what is to come—it also explains why these disasters are coming. The current drought-related events we are watching are sobering, but the Bible helps us understand both “why” and “what is next.” To learn more about this timely topic, read or listen to Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return, or go online to read or listen to Who Controls the Weather?