Does it seem that there are an increasing amount of disasters, crises and major issues in the world? Is it a case that the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the problems of everyday life and perhaps we only perceive more crises? Perhaps it is the increase in technology, need for global reporting and an increased access to information that we did not have 30, 50 or 100 years ago and not more frequent disasters. In an article entitled, “Thirty Years of Natural Disasters 1974-2003: The Numbers”, the authors state:
“Today, the world is facing disasters on an unprecedented scale: more that 255 million people were affected by natural disasters globally each year, on average, between 1994 and 2003, with a range of 68 million to 61.8 million. During the same period, these disasters claimed an average of 58,000 lives annually, with a range of 10,000 to 123,000. In 2003, 1 in 25 people worldwide was affected by natural disasters. Scientific predictions and evidence indicates that global climate change will increase the number of extreme events, creating more frequent and intensified natural hazards such as floods and windstorms.”
Guha-Sapir, D., Hargitt, D., Hoyois, P. “Thirty Years of Natural Disasters 1974-2003: The Numbers”, website location . Accessed : August 22, 2020.
In a more recent article entitled, “More than 200 natural disasters across the world in 1st half of 2020”, the author states,
“At least 207 natural disasters were recorded globally in the first six months of 2020 — this is above the 21st century average (2000-2019) of 185 disasters. The number of events exceeded average in all regions except the Americas. There was an increase of at least 27 per cent in natural disasters recorded during the same time in 2019. Between January and June 2019, at least 163 natural disasters were recorded.”
It appears that globally, there is a real increase in the number and intensity of natural disasters and extreme weather events throughout the world and this is predicted to continue to increase.
This is no surprise to those who read and believe the Bible. The analogy of child birth is used to describe this increased frequency and intensity of disasters. The Word of God often speaks about child birth. In fact, when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, the LORD God said to Eve,
I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.
From the time of the very first birth, a woman has pain in labour. This statement is quite profound as we continue to read through the Scriptures. We know that once labour pains begin for a pregnant women, the closer she gets to the time of delivery, the more frequent and intense the labour pains become. Once the child is born, the pain from the frequency and intensity dissipates and the emotions of having delivered a child take over.
The apostle Paul describes the return of Jesus Christ to the earth using the analogy of a women in labour as she is about to give birth:
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
Paul is telling us that the return of Jesus is like the birth of a child, it will herald very positive changes to the world and the people. However, just like a women in labour, the closer the world gets to the return of Jesus, the more frequent and intense the disasters will become. In fact, when speaking about his return to the earth, Jesus said,
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
The increased frequency and intensity of disasters will shake the world and cause people to be scared. This is because those who don’t know and don’t believe what the Bible has to say, have no idea what is happening and what the results will be. Those who do know and do believe, are not immune of the events, but they understand that this is leading to great and wonderful changes to the earth and the people. The results are that God’s Kingdom will be established on the earth,
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
The Bible provides us with many signs that indicate the return of Jesus to the earth is getting ever closer. The scientific evidence of this increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters and extreme weather events corroborates the descriptions from the Bible.
Those who believe, are ready, watching and waiting for Jesus and see these events as milestones leading to the wonderful changes that are coming to this world. Jesus spoke about the joy of his coming in this way,
When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.