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Are Fears Of A Global Food Crisis A Harbinger Of Things To Come?

Mark Hitchcock

There is a rising concern in the world today over food shortages. Even in Europe, which is a well-fed continent, there is increasing unease about future food shortages that could spill over into a global crisis. 

Earlier this month, Bloomberg published an article, “Europe’s New Security Nightmare Is Food Supply.” In it, they describe a growing level of anxiety about securing supplies. This article parallels another article in the Business Standard, which reads: 

The combined forces of El Niño and La Niña have crippled Latin American soy output. Ukrainian and Russian grain farmers have gone to war. Indonesia has banned shipments of palm oil to Europe, while China is hungry for crops. The Mediterranean region is getting more like a desert.

“Food shortage in Europe? The only question is when.”

This article does not say all those things are happening now, but that they are forecasted and could occur in the future, leading to a global food crisis.

The article goes on:

Over two days in central Brussels last month, some 60 European Union and government officials, food security experts, industry representatives and a few journalists gathered to confront the possibility of something barely on the radar a few years ago: a full-blown food crisis.

Essentially, they gathered to stress-test the food distribution system and production—especially in Europe. This was called a “wargaming” exercise for a full-blown food crisis. 

The article continues: 

The coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and disruptions on key shipping routes have disturbed supply chains and sent prices soaring. Erratic and extreme weather now regularly disturbs farming. Against that backdrop, officials are no longer asking when a food crisis may arrive, but rather how many crises they can deal with at once.

In truth, few governments in Europe are prepared for managing future food crises, according to Chris Hegadorn, a retired US diplomat who co-organized the workshop.

“We’ve been living in crisis for the last three years,” said Hegadorn, adjunct professor of global food politics at Sciences Po in Paris. “There’s a lot more to be done on every level. Crises are only going to come faster and harder.”

Just think about this: household spending on food in Nigeria is 60%. In Egypt, where my wife and I have been the last couple of weeks, it’s 40%. There’s a fear that this kind of food shortage and calamity will spread out to different parts of the world.

When I read things like this, my mind immediately goes to Revelation chapter six, which describes the four horsemen of the apocalypse. What we see here is a faint foreshadowing of what the Bible says is coming.

In Revelation 6:5-6 we read, “And when he [the Lamb—the Lord Jesus] had opened the third seal [The seals are His wrath that Jesus brings on the earth], I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”

What the above passage speaks of is hyperinflation and, primarily, the idea of famine. How do we know this talks about famine? Well, first of all, we know that famine often follows war.

The first Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a rider on a white horse, which pictures the false messiah—the Antichrist. The second rider is the rider on the red horse, who has a sword dripping with blood, which pictures warfare. The horse is red, “pyrros” in the original Greek, the color of fire, and “power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another…”

We know that famine often follows warfare. In fact, a lot of the famine we’re seeing in the world today and food shortages are because of the Russia-Ukraine war. Ukraine is a large producer of wheat and grain. 

We see the same thing in Haiti, where war and chaos have brought famine. The same can also be seen in Gaza today.

First comes the white horse of the Antichrist, second the red horse of war, which is then followed by the black horse of famine.

Another reason we know this black horse brings famine or food shortages is because of the parallel between the seal judgments of Revelation 6 and Matthew 24 when Jesus lays out the birth pangs that will signal His coming.

In Matthew 24, Jesus first describes false messiahs, then “wars and rumors of wars” and nation rising against nation, then finally the “famines” in various places. This is the same order as Revelation 6.

The rider on this black horse holds a pair of scales in his hand—weighing out food on the scale. What we have here is the haunting phantom of famine along with runaway inflation.

The food prices that are described are astronomical! It says, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny.” The Greek word translated as “penny” is actually “denarion,” which was the average day’s wages for a worker in the Roman Empire when John wrote this. It’s going to take everything a person can earn in a day to buy good food for one person or cheaper food for three people.

John Walford, a great Bible and prophecy teacher, says this:

“To put it in ordinary language, the situation would be such that one would have to spend a day’s wages for a loaf of bread with no money left to buy anything else. The symbolism therefore indicates a time of famine when life will be reduced to the barest necessities…”

Notice that the last phrase says, “see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Oil and wine were more luxurious items of that day. What it’s saying is that while most will be grappling with famine, the wealthy will be relatively unaffected. The gulf between the rich and the poor will grow even wider during this period of time in the future.

As we look around our world, we can already hear the thundering hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the distance, and we can hear them growing closer and closer.

The good news for us today is that we’re going to be caught away to Heaven as the Bride of Jesus Christ before the wrath of God comes and these sealed judgments are opened. The fact that we can already hear the approaching hoofbeats tells us that the rapture of the church may be very soon. 


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