Herbert W Armstrong Library
Sign In  |  MyHWA  |    
Famine in Prophecy!
Tomorrow's World Magazine
November 1969
Volume: Vol I, No. 6
QR Code
Famine in Prophecy!
Eugene M Walter

The greatest famine in history is just a few short years ahead. It is absolutely certain to reach into YOUR home — unless you understand and heed!

   Massive famines in the remaining years of this century are inevitable! Nothing can be done to stop them. This very next decade of the seventies is a crucial time.
   Most scientists warn that worldwide famines lie ahead. "It's too late to stop a famine in this century," said Dr. John Rock of Harvard. "It has already started. Despite all the advances in agriculture and the increases in national output, the population has increased faster than the food supply."
   But how does this fact affect you? How many in overfed America and the English-speaking nations really comprehend what this bleak outlook for the future portends for them?
   The prophecies of your Bible speak in great detail about this dire world threat!

Joel's Fearful Prophecy

   The Prophet Joel was inspired to write: "Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come" (Joel 1:15).
   This "Day of the Lord" refers to God's intervention in mankind's affairs — His return to restore peace and order to a world full of sick societies. Joel's first chapter describes some of the events which will lead up to the grand climax of the Day of the Lord as described in Chapter 2. Here in the modern language of the Living Prophecies translation is what chapter 1 says:
   "Listen, you aged men of Israel [the leaders of modern-day Great Britain and the United States of America]! Everyone, listen! In all your lifetime, yes, in all your history, have you ever heard of such a thing as I am going to tell you? In years to come, tell your children about it; pass the awful story down from generation to generation" (verses 2-3).
   Yes, an event utterly unprecedented in history is about to be described! Here is what that event is:
   "For after the cutter-locusts finish eating your crops, the swarmer-locusts will take what's left! After them will come the hopper-locusts! And then the stripper-locusts, too!... A vast army of locusts covers the land. It is a terrible army too numerous to count, with teeth as sharp as those of lions! They have ruined My vines and stripped the bark from the fig trees, leaving trunks and branches white and bare" (verses 4-7).
   As man uses stronger and stronger insecticides, the insect pests adapt and become ever more difficult to kill. At least in part, God will probably use this very condition to bring famine upon us.
   The prophecy continues: "The fields are bare of crops. Sorrow and sadness are everywhere. The grain, the grapes, the olive oil are gone. Well may you farmers stand so shocked and stricken; well may you vinedressers weep. Weep for (he wheat and the barley too. for they are gone. The grapevines are dead; the fig trees are dying; the pomegranates wither; the apples shrivel on the trees; all joy has withered with them. Our food will disappear before our eyes... the seed rots in the ground; the barns and granaries are empty; the grain has dried up in the fields (verses 10-17).
   Notice it! Our vaunted grain surpluses will be gone!
   "The cattle groan with hunger; the herds stand perplexed for there is no pasture for them; the sheep bleat in misery. Lord help us! For the heat has withered the pastures and burned up all the trees. Even the wild animals cry to You for help, for there is no water for them. The creeks are dry and the pastures are scorched" (verses 18-20).
   What horrible conditions! When these things begin to come about, people will start to go hungry:
   "And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied" (Lev. 26:26).
   Do these prophecies of devastating famine and drought apply to our generation? Why would a loving God want to allow such horrible things to happen, today?
   Famine—in 20th century America and Britain — is it really possible?
   You need to know the answers. These are not merely the predictions of men — but the prophecies of the Word of God!

Put YOURSELF in the Picture

   Anyone who has even casually studied the world food situation knows that widespread famine is so certain that it is just a matter of waiting for the grisly details — the time, the place and the number of the dead.
   But how many even remotely grasp the magnitude of the horror that is just ahead — and the swift severity with which it will engulf the entire world?
   How many understand that utterly unprecedented famine is going to strike, not in some far-off land, but in America, Britain and the other English-speaking countries?
   And how many see themselves, personally, in this grim setting of impending hunger and starvation?
   Do you?
   You need to put yourself in the picture and seriously think about where yon will be when this fearful calamity strikes. But that isn't all. Just worrying about your own skin won't save you when this horrible scourge is unleashed.

Put GOD in the Picture

   Throughout history, there have been many famines. Almost every one has been caused by a decrease in the food supply, not an increase in population.
   "The primary cause of famine almost invariably has been a failure of food crops. This failure has often resulted from a variety of natural causes — long-continued drought, blasting hot winds, insect armies, earthquakes, severe and untimely frosts, and destructive inundations" states the article "Fearful Famines of the Past" in the National Geographic Magazine July, 1917.
   Today we seem to have forgotten this important fact. Even those who predict the coming famine base their projections on the assumption that our food production will remain stable or even increase a little — and that the population explosion alone will produce worldwide famine—which is true, but....
   No one seems to even consider that a dramatic drop in food production could occur at any time. No one seems to even think about God — and the fact that Me controls nature and the weather.
   The prophesied coming famine is not going to be caused just because of an exploding population. Rather it is going to be caused primarily because of huge crop losses, violent and upset weather, and severe disturbances in nature caused by the hand of Almighty God.
   God is overlooked! Yet He controls and rules everything. It's time we put God in the picture and begin to consider what He says.
   God does not take delight in human suffering. He is bringing the bitter curse of famine upon us for a very definite and just reason. And He alone can protect and deliver in the days ahead.

WHY Famine

   Throughout history God. has. used, famine, as a means of punishing His people when they have sinned. Physical suffering, pain and miser)' is the only language that somehow "gets through" to rebellious, sinning mankind. It is the only way God can get man's attention so that He can teach man and have man be willing to learn.
   Time after time the Old Testament shows that God uses famine to help bring man to his senses. Now God is about to use famine to once again wake up His people and show them their sins.
   One full third of the Bible is prophecy, and about ninety percent of this prophecy is for us today. Most of it is directed specifically at the nations of modern Israel — we in the U. S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the other English-speaking lands. (For proof of this amazing fact request our free book, The U.S. and British Commonwealth in Prophecy.)
   Today we in these nations of modern Israel are sinning. So is the rest of the world. But as God's chosen people and the ones who have His Word, the Bible, we ought to know better. Therefore God is going to punish us first, and the other nations only after we have been punished.
   We, in the blessed "have" nations of the world, need to realize what a tightrope we are walking on when it comes to our food supply. We need to realize what a futile thing our vaunted "burdensome food surpluses" will be when God sets His heavy hand to punish.
   Most of us — and especially we in America — have a completely erroneous picture of our food supply. We need to get the picture straight and in focus. We need to realize how utterly dependent we are on God and His continued blessings for our daily bread.

A Warning to Prosperous, Overfed America and Britain

   "For she [our modern English-speaking nations} has not taken notice, understood or realized it was I [the Lord God], who gave her the grain and the new wine and the fresh oil, and who lavished upon her silver and gold, which they used for Baal and made into his image. Therefore will I return and take back my grain in the time for it and my new wine in the season for it, and will pluck away and recover my wool and my flax which were to cover her [Israel's] nakedness" (Hosea 2:8-9, Amplified Version).
   Our modem nations have NOT given God credit for all the material prosperity we have received. We have not taken notice of Him, or been thankful. Rather, people congratulate themselves on their genius, their skills, and their wealth, never giving God a second's thought.
   This is the same way our ancestors behaved — ancient Israel!
   Notice what God said to His people whom He prospered. "He made Israel ride on the high places of the earth, and he ate the increase of the field; and He made him to suck honey out of the rock and oil out of the flinty rock; butter and curds of the herd and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan and he-goats, with the finest of the wheat; and you drank wine of the blood of the grape. But Jeshurun [Israel] grew fat and kicked. You became fat, you grew thick, you were gorged and sleek! Then he forsook God who made him, and forsook and despised the Rock of his salvation" (Deut. 32:13-15, Amplified).
   Our modern nations have never known such prosperity as they enjoy today. The English-speaking nations have greater wealth and riches than any nations in history.
   God thunders: "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you shall eat food without shortage, and lack nothing in it, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for all the good (and which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God, by not keeping His commandments, His precepts, and His statutes, which I command you today, Lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses, and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all you have is multiplied [what description more aptly shows the condition of our countries, today!}; then your mind and heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God..."' (Deut. 8:7-14 RSV).
   This is the exact condition in which the United States, and other English-speaking nations, find themselves, today! We have been prospered and blessed. We have unheard-of wealth. Millions believe smugly, "Famine couldn't happen here. We have nothing to worry about."
   But God says differently!
   And it is time you wake up to what God says!

How Much Food Do We Really Have?

   Most people don't have the remotest idea about how much food is available in their local area, their city or their country. They have no concept about how quickly food can disappear. They assume there will always be plenty.
   What a rude awakening awaits us!
   As the accompanying chart shows clearly, at the very best the foodstuffs in the United States — during a national emergency — would last no longer than about one year. But a more realistic estimate, based on how quickly food would be devoured, hoarded, destroyed by rioters and consumed during a time of famine would be perhaps six short months!
   That isn't very long — no matter how you look at it!
   But the picture is really more bleak than it appears. During food crises, people begin to hoard food. They fight over it. During the Cuban crisis a few years ago, people emptied store shelves virtually overnight! Panic struck.
   When the real food shortage develops in the near future, you can bet that food riots will erupt. Food distribution systems will be heavily taxed — in some cases, will break down. Everybody will be looking out for "Number One" first, ignoring the needs of others. Human nature will take over. Even civil war may be ignited in the competition for food!
   Such things have occurred in historical famines. They occurred in measure in the Indian famine of 1966. Do you think it would be any different in your country?
   It is time to stop foolishly trusting in food reserves to protect us. We could have a hundred years' food supply in store, but unless our nations turn to God, He would demolish all those reserves, our vain trust in them, and bring His prophecies to pass regardless. When God punishes, He says: "Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store" (Deut. 28:17). God could easily cause insects and pests to destroy large parts of these grain reserves while they are in storage.
   Further, there is no guarantee that we won't foolishly gamble away our remaining reserves at some critical point in order to try to buy ourselves out of some grave international crisis.

The Prophecies About Famine

   In Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26, God lays before Israel the blessings that obedience to His laws will bring and the curses that disobedience will bring. These blessings and curses apply to the English-speaking nations of modern Israel today just as much, if not more so, as they did to ancient Israel our forefathers of the Old Testament. God does not change (Mal. 3:6). His blessings for obedience and His curses for disobedience are the same for all generations.
   If we will not obey God and "observe to do all his commandments and his statutes" He promises that "then shall all these curses come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in town and in country; cursed your basket and kneading-trough, cursed the fruit of your body and your ground, the young of your cattle and the lambs of your flock" (Deut. 28:15-18, Moffatt).
   Though we try to ignore it, this curse is already upon us in the quality of our food. Much food available today has been polluted with a multitude of poisons and comes from inferior seed grown on depleted and misused soil. But very soon we will not even have this kind of food.
   If we won't change our ways God promises: "The sky overhead shall be brass, and the earth underfoot shall be iron; the Eternal will turn the rain of your land into powder and dust, dropping from the sky till you are destroyed" (verses 23-24 Moffatt).
   Notice that! This isn't going to be just some little local drought. It is going to be so severe, on such a large scale, and of such a long duration, that it will destroy us!
   God warns, "And I will break and humble your pride in your power; and I will make your heavens as iron [yielding no answer, no blessing, no rain}, and your earth [as sterile] as brass; and your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.... When I break your staff of bread and cut off your supply of food, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall ration your bread and deliver it again by weight; and you shall eat, and not be satisfied" (Leviticus 26:19-20, 26, Amplified Version).
   Even more graphic details of the coming famine are given in Isaiah. In the Living Prophecies we read "You buy up property so others have no place to live. Your homes are built on great estates so you can be alone in the midst of the earth! But the Lord of Hosts has sworn your awful fate — with my own ears I heard Him say, 'Many a beautiful home will lie deserted, their owners killed or gone.'
   "An acre of vineyard will not produce a gallon of juice! Ten bushels of seed will yield but a one-bushel crop!
   "Woe to you who get up early in the morning to go on long drinking bouts that last till late at night — woe to you drunken bums. You furnish lovely music at your grand parties; the orchestras are superb! But for the Lord you have no thought or care.
   "Therefore I will send you into exile far away because you neither know nor care that I have done so much for you. Your great and honored men will starve, and the common people will die of thirst" (Isaiah 5:8-13).
   Have you ever gone hungry? Have you ever had to live like the average person, today, in India — competing viciously for every scrap or morsel of stinking garbage — coveting it, eagerly desiring to eat it in order to stave off the gnawing pains of hunger?
   Probably not. You can't even begin to imagine what it's like.
   But unless our modern progressive nations repent, and turn to their God, God says the plagues of famine and great hunger are coming on us — and they are not far away! Don't let the ever-permanent present lull you into a false sense of security.

Historical Famines

   In the July, 1917, issue of National Geographic Magazine is an article entitled "Fearful Famines of the Past." This article vividly portrays what people do when they go hungry. They eat anything they can get their hands on, including cats, dogs, rats — and even human flesh!
   For example, in a famine in Russia in 1600 in which 500,000 people died, "Cats, dogs, and rats were eaten; the strong overcame the weak, and in the shambles of the public markets human flesh was sold. Multitudes of the dead were found with their mouths stuffed with straw" (page 89).
   In a famine in Egypt in the eleventh century, "Human flesh, which was sold in the open market, was obtained in the most horrible manner. Butchers concealed themselves behind latticed windows in the upper stories of houses.... Letting down ropes to which were attached great meat hooks, these anglers for human flesh snared the unwary pedestrians, drew their shrieking victims through the air, and then prepared and cooked the food before presenting it for sale in the stalls on the street level" (p. 78).
   In a famine in Egypt during 1201 and 1202, "Men waylaid women in the streets and snatched babies from their mothers' arms." One historian "recites at length the various dishes into which the murderous kidnappers converted their infant forage. The very graves of Egypt were ransacked for food" (p. 79).
   You think our people would never resort to such practices? Listen to what happened in England during the famine of 1314
   "...Everything imaginable was eaten — dogs, horses, cats, even babies. The jails were crowded with felons, and when a new criminal was thrown into a cell he was seized upon by the starving inmates and literally torn to pieces for food" (p. 82)!
   Such horrible practices are not confined to past centuries. In the siege of Leningrad during World War II, "Husbands ate their wives, wives ate their husbands, and parents ate their children" {Reader's Digest, April, 1969, "The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad").
   One example is related in which a man named Dmitri went with a well-dressed and robust man to the latter's house to bargain for some food. As they arrived at the man's home on the top floor, the man knocked "and someone inside asked 'Who is it?'
   "'It's me' the man responded, 'With a live one?
   "Dmitri froze at the words. Then the door opened, and he saw a hairy red hand and a mug-like face. From the room came a strange, warm, heavy smell. Suddenly a gust of wind in the hall caught the door, and in the swaying candlelight Dmitri had a glimpse of several great hunks of white meat, swinging from hooks on the ceiling. From one hunk he saw dangling a human hand with long fingers and blue veins."
   The men lunged toward Dmitri, but he leaped down the stairs shouting "Cannibals!" Fortunately some soldiers were passing and they shot the cannibals. They "found the hocks from five carcasses hanging in the flat. Five — all of them human."
   Gruesome? Sickening? Nauseating? That's right! You bet! But now read what God says will happen in the coming famine in the nations of modern Israel.

Cannibalism in Prophecy

   In Leviticus 26:29 God says: "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat."
   This prophecy is repeated in Deuteronomy 28 with added details: "You will have to eat your own children, the flesh of the sons and daughters which the Eternal your God has given you... He who is most tender and dainty among you will grudge the food even to his brother, to the wife of his bosom, and to his remaining children, refusing any of them any part of the flesh of his own children which he means to eat... she who is most tender and dainty among you, who would not venture to put the sole of her foot to the ground — so tender and delicate is she — will grudge even to the husband of her bosom, to her son and to her daughter, the after-birth of her womb and the babes she has borne; these she will eat herself in secret, so famished is she..." (verses 53-57, Moffatt).
   The Prophet Jeremiah, writing about the same end-time events "in the day of the Lord's anger" (Lam. 2:22) states: "Little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets. 'Mamma, Mamma, we want food,' they cry, and then collapse upon their mother's shrunken breasts" {Living Prophecies, verses 11-12).
   "Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long [the foetus]?" the prophet asks. The pathetic answer is that they will do just that!
   This is not going to happen in some far-off underdeveloped country with barbaric natures — it's prophesied to occur in your country, your city, your street! Can you comprehend it? Can you believe it? Most won't. But it is prophesied!

The Grim Totals

   The Prophet Ezekiel wrote after ancient Israel had already gone into captivity. The events he foretold could not possibly apply to them. But Ezekiel's prophecies do apply to us today. Chapters 4 through 7 say much about the coming famine which we have already covered. However, chapter 5 adds a detail not yet mentioned. It says:
   "One third of you will die from famine and disease... I will shower you with deadly arrows of famine to destroy you. The famine will become more and more serious until every bit of bread is gone" (verses 12, 16 Living Prophecies).
   That scripture means what it says! One out of every three people in Britain and America will die of famine or disease! That includes one out of every three of your countrymen — friends, relatives, loved ones. Revelation 6:5-8 shows that this unprecedented famine is not restricted to the English-speaking countries — the entire earth will suffer, hundreds of millions will perish!
   Where does that leave you? Where will you be when this awesome famine strikes? How can you and yours escape this sure prophecy? That all depends — on you!

You CAN Escape

   God said through His prophet Amos: "'I sent you hunger but it did no good; you still would not return to Me. I ruined your crops by holding back the rain... Yet you wouldn't return to Me. I sent blight and mildew on your farms and your vineyards; the locusts ate your figs and olive trees. And still you wouldn't return to me,' says the Lord... 'Therefore I will bring upon you all these further evils I have spoken of. Prepare to meet your God in judgment, Israel" (Amos 4:6-9, 12).
   Make no mistake about it. The coming famine will be horrible beyond description. But if we don't heed even then, famine will be just the beginning of God's punishment. And the prophecies show that as nations we won't heed.
   You as an individual, however, can heed. You can prepare to meet your God NOW. But no one else can take your place and stand for you. You stand alone in this matter.
   God told Ezekiel: "Son of dust, when the people of this land sin against Me, then I will crush them with My fist and break off their food supply and send famine to destroy both man and beast. If Noah, Daniel and Job were all living today, they alone would be saved by their righteousness, and I would destroy the remainder of Israel, says the Lord God" (Ezek. 14:13-14, Living Prophecies).
   God says that when He sends other punishments this same principle will still apply — "Even if these three men were living, the Lord God swears that it would do no good — it would not save the people from their doom. Those three only would be saved, but the land would be devastated" (verse 16)!
   You can't be saved by the righteousness of another person. No association with a righteous man or group of men — regardless of how close — will save you if you, yourself, are unrighteous and disobedient to God. No one else can be righteous for you. No one can obey God in your stead.
   Does God like to see people suffer? Does He enjoy punishing people or bringing famine? Of course not. God loves people. But God sees that our wicked ways are bringing these punishments upon us!
   God set a law in motion long ago. That law says that those who obey it will be blessed and prospered as a result. But those who break it will themselves be broken! Transgression does not pay!
   God wants us to obey His Law which was ordained for OUR GOOD — OUR WELFARE.
   In Ezekiel we read, "Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed against me, and make you a new mind and heart and a new spirit. For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies, says the Lord God. Therefore turn — be converted—and live!" (Ezekiel 18:31-32, Amplified Version).
   With great compassion and love God cries out, "'As I live,' says the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked turn from his way and live; Turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?'" (Ezek. 33:11, RSV.)

What You Can Do

   The cause of the onrushing time of famines, pointed out plainly in the Word of God, is sin — transgression of God's Law (I John 3:4). Unless our nations repent of breaking that eternal, spiritual law, famine is inevitable. Unless we return to God, and obey Him, there is no escape!
   To trust in America's vaunted "food surpluses" is the height of foolishness. Grain elevators of wheat will not save you. There is only one way of escape — turning to God!
   Notice this final command from God to you as an individual concerning the sins of modern Israel — her pride, arrogance, and law-breaking: "Come out from her, my people, so that you may not share in her sins, neither participate in her plagues" (Rev. 18:4, Amplified).
   This is the only way of escape from famine and the other plagues of God! There is no other way. God's protection and deliverance are the only answer.
   Notice what God says about those who love and obey Him. "Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those of us who reverence the Lord will never lack any good thing" (Psalm 34:10, Living Psalms').
   "Day by day the Lord observes the good deeds done by godly men, and gives them eternal rewards. He cares for them when times are hard; even in famine, they will have enough" (Psalm 37:18-19, Living Psalms).
   "I have been young and now I am old. And in all my years I have never seen the Lord forsake a man who loves Him; nor have I seen the children of the godly go hungry" (verse 25).
   These are God's promises! You can trust Him! But it will do no good to attempt to "hoard" food for yourself to protect yourself from the coming days of famine. Proverbs speaks about hoarders: "People curse the man who holds his grain for higher prices, but they bless the man who sells it to them in their time of need" (Proverbs 11:26, Living Proverbs). But we also read in Proverbs this wonderful promise: "The Lord will not let a good man starve to death" (Proverbs 10:3).
   To obtain God's divine protection in the days ahead, you must obey God now—you must seek His righteousness.
   The very purpose of this magazine is to help you understand what God requires of you — show you the way. But you must make the decision to heed and obey.
   Don't make the same mistake the world is making. Don't trust in hoarded goods or stored foods, or physical things to save you. Don't look to "grain surpluses" — Look to God!!!

Back To Top

Tomorrow's World MagazineNovember 1969Vol I, No. 6
|  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   |
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.