When Hunger Will Be No More
IT MAY well be that you have never experienced days upon days of gnawing hunger. Yet that is what millions of men, women and children have to face. According to one conservative estimate, 460 million of earth’s inhabitants do not have enough to eat. Other estimates would put this figure as high as one billion persons. Especially great is the suffering of children. Their hunger may lead to blindness, stunted growth, loss of resistance to infection and, in fact, a premature death.
Relief from hunger is certainly needed. But will such relief come? Yes, the Creator of man, Jehovah God, has purposed to bring an end to hunger. The prophecy of Isaiah, for example, pointed forward to an earth-wide banquet, with enough food for all. We read: “The LORD of Hosts will prepare a banquet of rich fare for all the peoples.”—Isa. 25:6, New English Bible.
To the starving millions such a promise may sound unbelievable. They may think that the earth just cannot provide enough for everyone. But this is not the case. In its issue of September 1974, Scientific American said: “The earth and technology can probably provide food for a population of 40 to 50 billion.” Why, then, are so many hungry? Lack of cooperation among peoples, economic systems based on making big profits, and mismanagement of earth’s resources are among the factors contributing to the sad situation existing today.
All these things stem from man’s failure to be concerned about the welfare of his fellow humans. This failure is out of harmony with what the Son of God, Jesus Christ, encouraged: “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” (Matt. 7:12, Common Bible) Since Jesus’ teaching originated with his Father, it is evident that, in the final analysis, disregard for the law of God is responsible for the hunger problem.—John 7:16.
It is noteworthy that many centuries ago Jehovah God revealed to the Israelites that freedom from hunger would depend upon their obedience to his commands. They were told: “If you will without fail obey my commandments that I am commanding you today so as to love Jehovah your God and to serve him . . . , you will indeed eat and be satisfied.”—Deut. 11:13-15.
The ancient history of the Israelites confirms these words. During King Solomon’s reign, for instance, Israel’s faithful adherence to God’s law resulted in prosperity and security. The Bible reports: “Judah and Israel continued to dwell in security, everyone under his own vine and under his own fig tree, from Dan to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon.” (1 Ki. 4:25) Fulfilled were the words of Psalm 72 that were spoken initially with reference to what should be expected during Solomon’s rule: “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.”—Ps. 72:16.
The situation existing during the prosperous reign of Solomon was prophetic of the grand conditions to prevail earth wide under the rule of one greater than Solomon, Jesus Christ. (Matt. 12:42) We know this because the words of Psalm 72:8 are repeated at Zechariah 9:10, where we read with specific reference to Messiah’s reign: “He will actually speak peace to the nations; and his rulership will be from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”—Compare Zechariah 9:9 with Matthew 21:4, 5.
Because the whole earth will come under his jurisdiction, Jesus Christ can see to it that all his subjects benefit from earth’s abundance. Furthermore, he will remove all those who do not want the peace that he offers but who persist in following their own ways, to the hurt of fellowmen. While on earth, Jesus told his disciples that he would come in this executional capacity at a time of great trouble and anxiety among mankind. (Luke 21:25-36) In view of increasing world distress, that time must be very near.
His acting against those who persist in selfishly pursuing their own interests and who oppose his rulership will mean an end to greedy commercial systems, to mismanagement of earth’s resources, to unequal distribution of food supplies and to all the other factors responsible for the plight of starving peoples.
Thereafter Jesus Christ will concentrate on helping his subjects to get the very best from life. His great concern for the physical welfare of people, shown while he was a man, assures us of this. There was the time, for example, when he called his disciples and said to them: “I feel pity for the crowd, because it is already three days that they have stayed with me and they have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away fasting. They may possibly give out on the road.” (Matt. 15:32) This compassionate concern moved Jesus to perform a miracle. Using seven loaves and a few fishes, he provided a meal for four thousand men, besides women and children. (Matt. 15:34-38) On an earlier occasion he performed a like miracle with five loaves and two fishes.—Matt. 14:17-21.
Such miraculous multiplication of bread and fish may appear unbelievable. But should we not expect things of this nature from someone who is no ordinary human but the Son of God? And if he could perform miracles in providing necessary provisions, surely it is within his power to cause all the earth to “give its produce” in abundance when selfish men who pollute and “ruin” this planet are removed!—Ps. 67:6; Rev. 11:18.
So we can look with confidence to a time in the not-too-distant future when hunger will be a thing of the past. If you would like to see that time, take positive action in showing that you want to be an obedient servant of God and Christ. Then, as in the case of the Israelites during Solomon’s reign, you may be among the many who will witness a time of peace, security and prosperity.
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“There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.”—Ps. 72:16.