commentary: The Food Crisis
The True Bread From Heaven
Martin G. Collins
Given 28-Mar-09; 13 minutes
Last time I gave the commentary—I think it was the beginning of this month—I talked to you about water shortage and drought. This is a little bit of an offshoot of that—the commentary today. It's a very important offshoot; in fact, it's just as important as the water shortage.
On United Nations news center website, they had an article entitled, "U.N.-Backed 2009 Summit on World Food Crisis Gains Support":
March 23, 2009 - A proposed 2009 world summit on the food crisis, which continues in poor countries despite falling commodity prices, is rapidly gaining backing and growing in relevance, the United Nations agricultural agency said today.
“The world food insecurity situation is unbearable,” the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) affirmed in a press statement . . . . According to a recent FAO report, the total number of undernourished people in the world reached 963 million in 2008, nearly 15 per cent of the world's population, prompting the agency’s Director-General, Jacques Diouf, to call for the meeting.
...[He] stressed that the Summit, to be held in Rome at the 36th Session of the Conference of the Organization, would reach tangible results by securing broad consensus on the total and rapid eradication of hunger and setting a new world food order. [His words.]
Another article, this time on the Catholic News Service website, is entitled "Global Food Crisis is Called Ticking Time Bomb":
The global food crisis was called a ticking time bomb at a February 24, 2009, forum during the annual Catholic Social Ministry gathering in Washington. . . . She said, "The food crisis has been overshadowed by the the global financial crisis. The spike in prices was brought about by unregulated speculation in food commodities [and that is because organizations like] Morgan Stanley and American International Group, better known as AIG, used loopholes to buy more than 2 billion bushels of grain, keeping it off the market and sending prices soaring. [They did that for price fixing so they could make some money. Aren't they nice?] Another driver in food price hikes was the use of food for biofuels [which is taking up the five percent of the food for that purpose]. . . . Low prices lead to a flood of cheap imported food from high-yield agricultural nations, creating a disincentive for local farmers to grow their own crops since they cannot compete on price. . . . Past shortages have been primarily caused by insufficient production. Even so, the rate of increased yields is declining to about 1 percent to 2 percent a year. . . . The use of grain as animal feed also removes food from the marketplace. It takes 2 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of chicken, she said, but 6 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef.
It gives you a general idea of what's happening around the world, and all of it has been man-caused.
From the Environmental News Service, February 17, 2009:
Over half of the food produced globally is lost, wasted or discarded as a result of inefficiency in the human-managed food chain, finds a new study by the United Nations Environment Programme released today. This staggering amount of waste plus environmental degradation is putting an end to a 100-year trend of falling food prices, the study warns. Food prices may increase by 30 to 50 percent within decades, forcing those living in extreme poverty to spend up to 90 percent of their income on food, findings that are supported by a recent report from the World Bank. . . . Losses and food waste in the United States could be as high as 50 percent, according to some recent estimates. Up to one-quarter of all fresh fruits and vegetables in the United States is lost between the field and the table. In Australia it is estimated that food waste makes up half of that country's landfill. Almost one-third of all food purchased in the United Kingdom every year is not eaten. . . . In Africa, the total amount of fish lost through discards, post-harvest loss and spoilage may be around 30 percent of landings.
So that article is explaining how it's man's inefficiency to handle the food and the inability of man to be able to store the food long enough to be used before it spoils.
History shows that the sins of humankind have brought devastating famines, starving to death hundreds of millions of people in body and in mind, physically and spiritually. And as we come to the end of this age, the world is reaping what it has sown; it's reaping the distasteful and edible fruit of greed and selfish ambition.
The recurring cycles of the first four seals of Revelation 6 reveal the truth of what this world really sows and reaps. As each cycle begins again, it accelerates on the foundation of the previous cycle. More false religion produces more war. More war produces more famine, and more famine produces more starvation and disease. It's an infinite loop that man hasn't been able to get out of.
My question for you today is, what is our part in this? What is expected of us as members of God's church? Well, there is a biblical principle that has both a physical and spiritual application regarding our responsibility when we see physical and spiritual food shortages. Matthew 25:31-46 talks about the Son of Man judging the nations.
Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
Matthew 25:33-37 (New International Version (NIV)) And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
So God must test our faith to see where we stand in loyalty to Him; to clarify in our own minds where we stand in our trustworthiness; to manifest in our actions and our reliability in carrying out His pleasure; and to show we are spiritually alive in our faith in Him as we work to accomplish His will.
There is another scripture I would like to bring in here that helps support this:
James 2:14-17 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
This is a spiritual principle that applies to what really matters when it comes to our physical and spiritual health. We do not have to worry about whether God will supply our needs, as long as we are genuinely concerned about and meaningfully act on behalf of those in need. The work of God is that we have faith in Him. When we have faith in him, we will never hunger or thirst.
John 6:26-35 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes [has faith in] in Me shall never thirst.
The true bread from heaven is something that nourishes people eternally and spiritually, and is infinitely superior to the manna given to the Israelites in the Old Testament times, which was able to meet only their temporal and physical needs. Jesus is the support of spiritual life, and His doctrines give life and peace to the heart and mind. Those who trust in Him do not hunger. That is, their spiritual hunger to know God is satisfied. If we are doing our best to believe in Christ and overcome sin, Satan, the world, and our own human nature with God's help through His Holy Spirit, we do not have to worry about not having the true bread from heaven to feed us spiritually. The principle also holds true that we do not have to worry about not having bread or food to sustain us physically, because God promises He will provide our needs. He will never leave or forsake us. What a promise we have there. We do not have to learn to worry about the water and the food shortages, as long as we are close to God and looking out for the good of others.