By SHARON K. GILBERT
Originally Published May, 2007
WE ALL take it for granted. Once a week, if not daily, we drive to the local grocery store, snag an empty cart, and begin to fill it with an assortment of fresh fruits, meats, and other morsels. We stand in line, pay with plastic (“Will that be debit or credit?”), and return home with our stash, satisfied and ready to enjoy the bounty we call food.
We enjoy an amazing variety of such food stuffs here in America: fruits and vegetables are plentiful in nearly any season, dairy products come pre-packaged and ready to use, meats can be custom-cut or purchased pre-cooked, exotic entrees from the far east or south of the border tempt our selective palates, and those frozen foods will keep for months so why not buy in bulk? Like most of the developed world, American food stores reveal an embarrassment of riches.
But stop for a moment. Imagine driving to that well-kept and ordinarily well-stocked grocery mart and finding only empty shelves. Where once plump apples in shades of red and gold glittered in the overhead lights, you find only cold, dusty metal and a few dead flies. Picture the deli, bare and barren, devoid of hams, roast beef, and turkey. No cheese, no prepared meals — ready for your oven, no crackers, no pickles, nothing.
In fact, imagine arriving at your grocery mart only to discover a vacant building and boarded up windows.
Sound implausible? Think again.
Fewer and fewer of us have any inkling what it takes to produce the meats, cheeses, grains, and packaged foods that line those market shelves. Yes, surely, even the most ‘citified’ school child must realize milk comes from cows and eggs from chickens. But for many of us, the old knowledge ends there. How many of us could successfully ‘fend for ourselves’ if called upon to do so?
Could you till the ground at the appropriate time of year, plant correctly, fertilize, weed, pollinate, irrigate? And if you managed all this, would you know when to harvest or how to store the precious yield? Can you prepare it for safe consumption? And even if we managed to raise a small garden, what of the beef, chicken, pork? Do you fancy yourself capable of tending to the daily needs and healthcare of farm animals? Where would you purchase those animals — especially, if many of them had died in the same famine that had stripped your grocer’s shelves bare?
I grew up in the country–several of those years on a farm — and I farmed in Nebraska for a number of years. I know the long hours and careful planning — and the money — that goes into raising corn, calves, and chickens. Yet I would find myself hard pressed if called upon to shift suddenly from consumer to producer.
So, why have I set up this imaginary test for us all? Because it is a test we might very well face — for real — and examination day might not be as far away as you think.
The Bible speaks of a great famine that will sweep the earth in the ‘last days’. Revelation 6:5-6 says this:
“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”
A ‘measure of wheat’ baked one loaf of bread. And Bible scholars agree that ‘a penny’ (some translations read ‘a denarius’) was the equivalent of a day’s wages. Imagine a famine so great that it took you all day to earn the money for one loaf of bread. Can you feed your family on that? Of course not.
Those who are familiar with PID Radio–and even other articles Derek and I have written–know that we believe we are living in the final days before Jesus Christ’s return. The famine spoken of in the book of Revelation may not be far away. In fact, we might just be witnessing the beginnings of it right now. With that in mind, we’re devoting the May issue of Watcher Magazine to our food and water supply — The Coming Famine. During the course of the month, check back for additional articles and news items as we add them. We’ll be exploring the mystery of the missing bees; earth changes such as quakes and volcanoes; weather patterns; diseases that can affect crops and livestock; the rising threat of agriterrorism; and many other topics that could impact the future of the world’s food supply.
How close are we to ‘the worst case scenario’? Given that food supplies are seasonally dependent, and that most grocers maintain only a 2-3 day supply at any given time, it is quite possible that even one bad harvest could empty our shelves.
Are you ready?