“There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11)
Famines take a long time to emerge. They are a slow catastrophe, requiring years of drought and other adverse agricultural conditions to set them up. They are also complex, taking into account variables such as food distribution, crop type, agricultural failure, water conditions, population growth, stresses on land, development, and weather. In America, we have plenty of food, but increasingly, people are unable to afford it. In some African nations, donated food is plentiful, but it is not correctly or widely distributed. But simply put, famine is scarcity of food.
Not only will there be famines, because Jesus told us there would be, but Revelation shows us what some parts of that upcoming famine will look like. The Third seal is Famine itself, the first being the Antichrist and the second, War.
The Third Seal–Famine
When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come ” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (Rev 6:5-6)
It will cost a day’s pay for bread, but the luxury items of oil and wine will still be available, indicating there will be people still able to afford it. This is confirmed in Revelation 18:3b
“the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries” and then a bit later in Rev. 18:12-13 those luxuries are listed:
cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.
The Restrainer has been taken away (2 Thess 2:6-7). The one who Restrains is the Holy Spirit and though His ministry of restraint will end, He will still be present on the earth (Gen 6:3). However, because He no longer retrains, the rich hardly care that people are in such need that their children die from lack of bread (2 Tim 3:2-5).
We read the news today about an incredible and sudden jump in wheat prices.
Wheat Soars; Rogers Sees ‘Much Higher’ Food Prices
The July rise in wheat prices, the fastest in 51 years, indicates that shortages in agriculture are coming, Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, told CNBC.com Tuesday. Wheat prices in Europe hit their highest level in two years, rising almost 50 percent since late June as Russia’s wheat crop was affected by drought. “That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Rogers, who has been warning about shortages coming in the agriculture sector for a while, said in a telephone interview. “We’re going to have much, much higher prices over the next few years,” and this from the UK, BBC News: Wheat prices reach 22 month high. Or this headline also from today: Drought Strains Russian Wheat Supplies: “extreme heat and drought had decimated roughly 20 percent of the country’s winter crop…”
A denarius was about a day’s pay for Romans, or 22-25 USdollars. Are you ready to work all day for a loafof bread shared among your entire family? Because the conditions that will spring onto the scene after the rapture in the Third Seal of the Tribulation are coming. If you recognize that you are a sinner and worry about those sins, or wonder about after-death and accountability to God, then pray to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive your sins and to change your heart and your life. Make Him Lord in the sense that He knows best for you (after all, you sin, right? He doesn’t, so He knows better!) and allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit into a changed life. And the best part is you will be worshiping Him in person when the Tribulation unfolds down below, on a lost and dying world.