John Ritenbaugh, relating some insights from economist Gary North, an unusually religious man who has authored (or co-authored) over 60 books, all demonstrating a clear support of biblically-based law and economics, examines some of the causes of poverty and scarcity, concluding that material wealth is an inaccurate gauge of success and real wealth. North, endorsing the biblical work ethic, insists that, unless one works hard and sagaciously, scarcity and poverty will inexorably ensue. The rich young ruler and British oil magnate J. Paul Getty were wealthy by the standards of this world, yet poverty-stricken when it came to happiness because they were slaves to their wealth. In essence, they did not possess wealth, but wealth possessed them. God does not measure prosperity by the ownership of physical possessions but with the depth of a person's relationship with Him.
Richard Ritenbaugh reminds us that war has personally touched only a fraction of Americans. Not since the aftermath of the 'Civil' War has any part of the nation suffered the ravages of war and the bitterness of defeat. The offspring of Jacob, for the most part, continues to enjoy a period of relative peace and material blessings. The dire events narrated in the Book of Lamentation seem foreign to our scope of experience. For this reason, the events it vividly portrays help us to vicariously imagine the sense of hopelessness and despair experienced by ancient Israel during this historical period. As we approach the coming self-examination prior to Passover, we can apply six significant lessons learned by these people to our personal lives. As human beings we can learn: 1.) Human life is tough, as exemplified in Christ's agonizing sacrifice for us. 2.) Humans are slow to accept blame, but quick at doling it out to others. 3.) Repentance is difficult and rare. Thankfully, we also learn: 4.) God is sovereign, controlling every aspect of Creation. 5.) God is just and is a Deity of Law, giving us precepts that tell us how to live. 6.) God is merciful and faithful, providing a mechanism for our redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, balancing His "severity" with His "goodness."
Martin Collins, relating a message from a member in Cape Town, South Africa, that the entire city could run out of water by April, alerts us that other cities, such as San Paulo, Lima, Mexico City, Melbourne, and Kabul could soon experience the same curse. As a result of sustained drought in these diverse areas, potable water is disappearing. Concomitantly, peoples' self-centered, carnal attitudes have begun to surface as stress mounts from the stringent enforcement of rigorous rationing regulations. Drought has perennially been evidence of God's displeasure toward people who have blatantly forsaken Him for false gods. If we have God's Holy Spirit flowing in us, we can take heart that the curse of drought will end as God accomplishes His purpose and people forsake their sins.
Martin Collins, claiming that economists often refer to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe because it portrays a lone man facing a scarcity in economic goods without any means of exchange of value, suggests that one in such a situation will prioritize his needs in a hierarchy of value. In a world of limited resources, a person should make decisions as to how to achieve his goals. What would we do if we had no money? When it comes to eating or starving, money has no value compared to food. During the famine in Egypt, the value of money had fallen to zero. When there is no bread, the one who has bread can buy anything of value with it. One will sell himself into slavery for a morsel of life-sustaining food. The Patriarch Joseph bought all land and resources for the Egyptian Pharaoh by exchanging food for other material resources. Grain became the new form of money. Whatever everybody wants is true money. Today, cash has value; next year that may not be. Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard economist and champion of the Federal Reserve System, has seriously proposed a phasing out of cash because of the lack of centralized control. Electronic cash would make taxation and confiscation easier, facilities 'progressive' authoritarian regimes have always loved. Some governments around the world, such as the Indian government, have started to phase out cash, instigating massive panics and riots at ATM machines. The price of gold immediately skyrocketed. The India government wants to move its citizenry to a cashless society so it can control every aspect of its peoples' lives by its chokehold on the digital banking system. Failed money is the same as unmarketable money. Digital currency severely limits freedom of movement and choices, tethering one to immense authoritarian government control by elite, unelected globalist brigands.
Martin Collins alerts us that the Obama Administration is allowing the Nestle Company to bottle up our precious supply of water out of the Great Lakes and send it to China. This fact is startling in the wake of the knowledge that the water level of the Great Lakes is at an all-time low. Lake Powell is in danger of drying up. Eleven major cities, mostly in the far west, are in danger of running out of water. Drought—or the threat of drought—has been a perennial curse for disobedience to God's laws. God promises protection to His people in the midst of drought. He guides us continually, not sporadically.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on how people react to impending economic scarcities, observes that moving into the present and living expediency replaces focusing on the future. If we allow expediency to become the dominant factor in our decision-making, we will ignore the future and our responsibilities to follow God's health laws. America's tampering with GMO and hybridization has caused our citizenry to become obese, succumbing to degenerative diseases. Today, we do not face an immediate lack of food. But we definitely face a situation where the only food we can acquire does not function in the way God designed it to function. In fact, many foods today destroy, rather than create, health and well-being. Given the widespread nature of today's food problem, our wisest—and in fact our only effective—choice is to develop a close relationship with God in order to ask Him to cleanse and purify the foods we eat.
David C. Grabbe: In his bestselling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey observes that most people are entrenched in what he calls a "scarcity mentality": They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. ...
Martin Collins, reflecting on the weariness people feel about the disgusting financial crisis bungled by Congress, directs our attention to even a graver crisis, the tragic decline of clean drinking water around the world, caused by drought and pollution, causing an increase in water-borne diseases. Water shortages are more critical than oil shortages. Mexico City is sinking at a rate of 9 centimeters per year because of drawing water of the ground. In Europe, all rivers have an unhealthy concentrate of nitrates. Six major reasons why pure drinking water has been disappearing are (1) the demand outstrips the supply, (2) salty oceans, (3) excessive irrigation, (4) pollution (5) green technologies, and (6) government neglect. The two parallel crises today have as major contributory causes greed and moral decadence.
The specter of famine has again crept into the public consciousness with spiking prices on many of the world's staple crops. Richard Ritenbaugh probes the multiple causes for the most recent food shortages and explains the link between them and the Third Seal of Revelation 6.
On the heels of the red horse of conflict gallops the black horse and its rider, commonly interpreted as famine. Richard Ritenbaugh expands this idea to include scarcity resulting from oppression.
The scarcity of potable water will become a factor as the end nears. Martin Collins shows how world consumption of water is setting us up for major conflict over this precious resource.
Modern Israel is heavily dependent on its ability to produce food, but recent reports reveal just how unstable agriculture is. Bible prophecy predicts that famine will be part of the end-time scenario.
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