What Then Shall We Do?

We live in a world that is cursed by God, a world that is experiencing the wrath of God all the time. Paul wrote, “the wrath of God is revealed [not “going to be revealed”] from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom. 1:18). As those who are living among an evil, God-cursed world, we cannot completely escape the effects of God’s wrath upon it, even though that wrath is not aimed specifically at us.

Knowing this, what should we do? First, we should trust God. Jeremiah wrote:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit (Jer. 17:7-8).

Notice Jeremiah did not say that the man who trusts in the Lord will never be faced with a drought. No, when the heat and the famine come, the man who trusts in the Lord is like a tree that extends its roots by a stream. He has another source of supply, even while the world languishes around him. The story of Elisha being fed by ravens during the famine in Israel comes to mind as an example (see 1 Kings 17:1-6). David wrote of the righteous, “In the days of famine they will have abundance” (Ps. 37:19).

But aren’t famines caused by the devil? No, not according to Scripture. God always takes the responsibility, and famine is often spoken of as a consequence of His wrath upon deserving people. For example:

Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am about to punish them! The young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine” (Jer. 11:22, emphasis added).

Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am sending upon them the sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like split-open figs that cannot be eaten due to rottenness” (Jer. 29:17).

“Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it, and cut off from it both man and beast…” (Ezek. 14:13, emphasis added).

“You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. And I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands” (Hag. 1:9-11, emphasis added).

In the fourth example above, we read that the Israelites were given the blame for the drought because of their sin, but still, God claimed responsibility for sending it.[1]

If God sends a famine upon evil people, and we happen to live among those evil people, then we should trust that He will provide for our needs. Paul affirmed that famine cannot separate us from the love of Christ!: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35, emphasis added). Notice Paul did not say that Christians will never be faced with a famine, but rather implied that they might, even though he as a student of the Scriptures, knew that famines can be sent by God to judge the wicked.

[1] For additional references to God causing famine, see Deut. 32:23-24; 2 Sam. 21:1; 24:12-13; 2 Kin. 8:1; Ps. 105:16; Is. 14:30; Jer. 14:12,15-16; 16:3-4; 24:10; 27:8; 34:17; 42:17; 44:12-13; Ezek. 5:12,16-17; 6:12; 12:16; 14:21; 36:29; Rev. 6:8; 18:8). Jesus Himself said that God “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45). God controls the rain.