Herbert W Armstrong Library
Sign In  |  MyHWA  |    
Drought, Famine, War ... Has God Lost Control?
Plain Truth Magazine
May 1985
Volume: Vol 50, No.4
QR Code
Drought, Famine, War ... Has God Lost Control?
Roderick C Meredith   
Church of God

Born: June 21, 1930
Member Since: 1949
Ambassador College: 1952
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

   DROUGHT, famine, disease epidemics, earthquakes and other "natural" disasters unprecedented in history are headed our way!
   Plus a potential nuclear World War III.
   The most awful national catastrophe in earth's history is shaping up just ahead for the English-speaking world. Why? Has God lost control of earth's affairs? Can't he prevent what is about to happen, not only to the English-speaking world but to all peoples?
   Consider these facts!
   We — the English — speaking world — have been given national greatness and power. But we have not honored the God who gave it and are dishonoring him in the increasing decadence of our national and personal lives.
   Why impending catastrophe? Because the Creator God is going to humble the English-speaking world — to teach lessons we seem unwilling to learn in any other way — unless, that is, we repent of our national sins.
   It is not that God has lost control, but that he is in control!
   But HOW are these terrifying events going to come about in a modern, civilized, highly technological society? Aren't modern food production, storage and distribution systems, major flood-control dams and modern medicine, science and industry foolproof against catastrophe?
   Have we already forgotten the Union Carbide tragedy in India?

How Bible Prophecies Happen!

   The biggest stumbling block to anyone, be he a scientist, physician, businessman, or even a modern theologian who does not take the Bible literally, in understanding revealed Bible prophecies is the failure to grasp the absolute reality and the total POWER of the Creator God! Just how has God's power throughout history worked, and how will that power work in bringing about national punishments till we learn the way to happiness and peace?
   The God revealed in your Bible has TOTAL power and TOTAL control of nations and individuals. He says: "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.... It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: that bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity" (Isa. 40:15, 22-23). Here God says that he can determine the rise and fall of princes and rulers.
   Can we believe that?
   The book of Daniel describes how Nebuchadnezzar was to become insane and driven out of office "to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men" (Dan. 4:17). God not only rules over the nations of men, but often sets up the "basest" of men.
   In the Old Testament, the great prophet Moses described how God orchestrates and guides the migrations and geographical locations of nations and peoples: "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel" (Deut. 32:8).
   In plain language, the Creator of mankind intervenes in his creation and orchestrates the ebb and flow of national power, determining — when necessary — who will be in charge over nations to fulfill his purpose. He guides major nations to the areas of the earth where he wants them and blesses or curses them in weather, war and prosperity according to how they yield to his will.

God Controls the Weather

   Jesus Christ said God "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). But occasionally God withholds rain to teach national lessons!
   In the New Testament, James describes how Elijah "prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit" (Jas. 5:17-18).
   So God has power to send the rain, or to cut off the rain.
   The same applies to the wind and other elements of the weather: "Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish [symbolic of the great commercial sea powers] with an east wind" (Ps. 48:7).
   A very realistic description of God's control of the weather is this: "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.... He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still" (Ps. 107:23-25, 29).
   Indeed, one of the major turning points of history for the entire English-speaking peoples of the world was determined by the great God's intervention in the weather. The outcome was a factor behind the unparalleled religious freedom, prosperity and power we now enjoy. In 1587 foreign influence over the English throne was cut short by the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. The following year, King Philip II of Spain sent his "invincible" 124-ship Armada against England. Though the English naval forces fought, valiantly, they ran out of ammunition. At that point, unprecedented gale-force winds arose and drove many of the Spanish ships to their doom. The tattered ships that escaped limped home to Spain — many so damaged that they were unfit for further service.
   In commemoration of the defeat, Queen Elizabeth ordered the striking of a silver medal, bearing the inscription, "God blew and they were scattered."
   She knew who took charge of those winds at that critical hour in the history of our peoples!
   Again, students of English history will always remember the name "Dunkirk." For, once again, the very existence of the freedoms we enjoy was at stake.
   Hitler's forces had invaded France and the lowlands. They had cut off 330,000 crack British troops, surrounding them at the port of Dunkirk. Word went out all over Britain: "Winston [Churchill] needs boats."
   In waters that were normally very rough and treacherous, literally hundreds of small ships, yachts and boats were launched in hope, but the picture looked grim. Bad weather to the east had grounded most of the German Luftwaffe. But, an incredible thing happened to the English Channel that day.
   Instead of being rough and choppy — as usual — dangerous for small craft — it became almost as calm as a bathtub! Men and women who had lived all their lives on its shore had never seen it so calm. And so nearly one third of a million British troops — the backbone of their entire army — was brought safely over the Channel in what the British themselves call "the miracle of the calm seas."
   I have spent four years of my adult life in Britain, and talked to several older men who were personally familiar with the Dunkirk rescue operation. They all got a certain glint or tear in their eyes when they talked about it. They all remembered the outpouring of gratitude to God by the British people after this event. For Sunday, June 9, 1940, was appointed as a day of national thanksgiving for God's deliverance at Dunkirk, and many English vicars will tell you that their churches were packed on that day and have never been full since.
   The day before, June 8, Britain's Daily Telegraph ran an article about what it called "the miraculous deliverance" at Dunkirk. The article quotes a British officer who had been brought safely back across the Channel from Dunkirk: "One thing can be certain about tomorrow's thanksgiving in our churches. From none will the thanks ascend with greater sincerity or deeper fervour than from the officers and men who have seen the Hand of God, powerful to save, delivering them from the hands of a mighty foe, who, humanly speaking, had them utterly at his mercy."
   Yes, the "hand of God" controls the weather. But the Creator also knows that thankless man would nearly always take the wrong turn — that mankind would be influenced by and partake of the rebellious nature of Satan the devil. And God fully understands how humans always tend to compromise and to forsake the right way.

Human Nature and Divine Intervention

   Right after giving ancient Israel the details of his law through Moses, God told Moses: "Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured... " (Deut. 31:16-17).
   Obviously, God knew the hearts and attitudes of the ancient Israelites and perceived in advance what they would do. For God says in his Word: "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity" (Ps. 94:11). Again: "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee" (Job 42:2). And God perceptively warned Israel that when blessings and prosperity came upon them, they were in grave danger of following the heathen ways of the nations around them (Deut. 6:10-12).
   As you read through the history, laws, promises and prophecies of the Old Testament, it becomes absolutely clear that the Creator understands the tendencies and foibles of human nature to the "nth" degree. Having this profound knowledge and insight, God can authoritatively state what the basic conditions of peoples and nations will be in the future. Then, by intervening in the weather, in human leadership or other circumstances, God can bring about specific prophecies that are sometimes astonishing in their minute detail.

Angels and Demons

   At times, the Creator works through spirit beings he created — righteous angels, and even the fallen angels — to bring about his will.
   A fascinating insight into the working of the spirit world is given in I Kings 22. This inspired account in the Bible pictures a conference in heaven. God had already determined to slay one of the most wicked kings in the history of Israel, King Ahab. The problem was how to get him to go up to the coming battle at Ramoth-gilead, where he would be killed. In this case, an evil spirit spoke up and said: "I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his [Ahab's] prophets" (I Kings 22:22).
   On the day of the battle, the army God already knew was stronger and would win did indeed defeat the Israelites, and Ahab was slain by an arrow piercing the joints of his armor (verses 34-37). This was because God had determined that wicked Ahab should not stay behind and escape, but should perish right along with many of his defeated troops.
   When Adolf Hitler rose to power, a noted German pastor, Martin Niemoller, perceptively stated: "Verily a time of sifting has come upon us. God is giving Satan a free hand, so that He may shake us up and so that it may be seen what manner of men we are."
   In his book The Nazis. the respected British author George Bruce asks:
   "Can the mystery of the evil of Nazism be explained? Was there a Satanic nucleus at the heart of it? One interpretation of its nature that should be mentioned is the link between Nazism and the alleged attachment to black magic and occultism of Hitler and his inner circle, including Goering, Himmler, Goebbels, Ley and, in the early days, Dietrick Eckart and Professor Karl Haushofer.
   "Hitler, according to what may seem to many people a far-fetched belief, was the medium through whom contact was made with supernatural powers of evil. Hermann Rauschning, who observed Hitler with a cold and analytical eye, declares that he was a medium, 'possessed by forces outside himself — almost demoniacal forces.' Rudolf Olden, political editor of the Berliner Tageblatt in the days of Nazism's rise to power, remarked how the overwhelming, almost superhuman Niagara of words that poured forth during Hitler's speeches sometimes reached a climax during which he literally 'spoke in tongues' and seemed possessed. Andre Francois-Poncet, French Ambassador to Berlin, also referred to his apparent demoniacal possession."
   Now see how God's revealed Word describes the soon-coming final revival of the ancient Roman Empire in these words: "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird" (Rev. 18:2).
   In our highly technological and materialistic society, we need to be much more aware of the very real spirit world around us. And we must make absolutely certain that we are guided by the true Spirit — the Spirit of God!

God's Purpose Stands

   Being our Creator, God knew that when we were "fed to the full" and increased with material goods and prosperity, the American and British peoples would lapse into materialism, idolatry and paganism.
   He who guided the migration of the "Lost Tribes of Israel" to the temperate regions of the earth, he who enlarged us, who gave us the "gates" of our enemies around the earth, he who delivered us again and again in situations like the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the "miracle of Dunkirk," this GREAT GOD has prophesied that since we have rejected him and his ways, he will now set his hand — in love — to punish nations and humble all peoples.
   We could forestall this only by a national repentance and individually turning to God in surrender to his ways, his righteous laws, his rule over our lives.
   Will we?

Back To Top

Plain Truth MagazineMay 1985Vol 50, No.4
|  Fundamental Doctrines of the Church of God  |  Comments or Suggestions?  |  FAQ  |   Holy Day Information   |   Site Map   |   Donations   |
|  Sabbath & Holy Day Services   |   Weekly Bible Study Services   |   Video Groups   |   2016 Feast of Tabernacles   |
Follow Us: HWALibrary - Mobile Site
Copyright © 2016 Herbert W Armstrong Library
Important Notice

Please Note:

The address and phone number for the Worldwide Church of God given for material are no longer valid for obtaining the material offered in booklets, magazines, telecast and radio broadcast.

HWALibrary.com has all material offered on this site 100% free. You do not need to call or mail your requests, simply do a search for the material offered on our site.

The Worldwide Church of God dissolved after Mr. Armstrong's death in January 1986.

Visit our FAQ page for instructions on downloading audio and video files.

Sabbath Services

Sabbath Services:

Hello, and welcome to our Sabbath and Holy Day service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Services are posted every Sabbath or Holy Day. Our service consists of 3 hymns, a Sermonette, a hymn, the Sermon and a final hymn.

Continue to the Sabbath Service page.

Bible Study Services

Bible Study:

Hello, and welcome to our Bible Study service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Bible Study services are posted each Wednesday. Our service consists of an opening hymn, a Bible Study and a final hymn.

Continue to the Bible Study Service page.