When Climate Becomes Climactic
Last week we looked at how some words have become the new normal for us, words like nuclear and Armageddon, and quite surprisingly we hear this from the mouths of politicians. But there is another word emerging from the world of science, a word describing this new phenomenon we are facing, called the Climate Apocalypse. This new title is not from the Book of Revelation, but from the academic world. Behind this title is a predicted scenario involving a global collapse of our civilization. That sounds pretty apocalyptic, doesn’t it!?
For years now, these scientists have been warning the world that unless major changes are done right away, large areas of the earth will become uninhabitable. This can happen within a 50-year period. This is a result of the extreme temperature rise, the sea-level rise, and the ensuing massive fires. But things don’t stop there. These climatic changes are coupled with the fleeing of many millions due to deadly floods and droughts as well as wars. All this adds just adds further devastation to the lives of so many.
Who is Listening?
And while these climate predictions are coming from academics and from the scientists who are warning the politicians, who is listening? Just this past week, there was an article describing how billions of snow crabs have disappeared from the waters around Alaska. Can you imagine, billions! And they were quick to add that this shocking number is not caused by overfishing but is the direct result of climate change. The snow crab population is reported to have shrunk from around 8 billion in 2018 to 1 billion in 2022. This is just one example of the many warnings around us.
And listen to what is happening to the salmon in B.C., Canada. They found thousands of dead fish in rivers due to historic droughts, and wildfires they have witnessed this past year. The dying off of salmon is expected to continue.
Consider the polar bears who rely heavily on sea ice for traveling, hunting, resting, and reproducing. Today the Arctic ice is rapidly melting. As a result of global warming, the ice is shrinking by 12.6% per decade.
Linking this all with the Bible
How interesting when we can see the direct link between the Bible and what the earth is experiencing right now. The Lord used very similar warning signs in the Scriptures to caution Israel concerning the impending and approaching wars ahead. Before the destruction of Jerusalem and its first Temple back in 586 B.C., an event that triggered the Diaspora, God sent them a warning beforehand which seems to be among the last of the messages they received, pointing to the great disturbances in nature, such as the disappearances of animals and of vegetation.
Let me bring you to Jeremiah 12:4a where the prophet warns the people just before the invasion: How long is the land to mourn and the vegetation of the countryside to wither? That sounds like what the scientists are saying today, but here Jeremiah gives the reason: For the wickedness of those who dwell in it, animals and birds have been snatched away. Jeremiah 12:4b
This Loss is our Fault
See how it speaks of the earth mourning the loss of vegetation, crops and even of animals just before the impending exile and destruction of Jerusalem. And the Scriptures put the cause of these losses plainly on the heart of sinful man. At that time, not many in Israel paid attention to these signs, and similarly today, who is listening to the Word of the Lord? The resemblances are striking. As God warned Israel, so He is warning this world.
Today, these signs, the wars and rumors of wars as well as nature all speak in unison of the sad state and future of our planet and whether people listen or not, these signs have been written down hundreds and thousands of years before as a warning of grace from the Lord. However, the Scriptures do offer hope through the Messiah who will soon come and create a new world of peace and harmony. His ability to do so is clearly outlined in our text from the Gospel of Mark.
Today is the Day
And so let us pray that many will recognize the gentle hand of God on this world as He restrains evil, giving time for many to come to Him for salvation. Twice, once in the Hebrew Bible and once in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament), we read the same words: Today is the day of salvation (Isa. 49:8 & 2Cor. 6:2). These words make an urgent appeal in the midst of our complacency and comfort. May many act on His powerful Word as they hear it. Amen.