Insight on the News
‘Locusts Go Forth by Bands’
● “Conditions are now ripe for a new plague of desert locusts that could extend across all of North Africa, through the Arabian Peninsula, and into India by the end of 1979,” reports “Natural History” magazine. Weather especially suited to propagation of the hungry insects has prevailed during the past two years in North Africa and India. The magazine states that “the desert locust has long been considered one of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests,” noting that “the Bible records that the eighth plague visited upon the Egyptians was of locusts (Exodus, chapter 10).”
“Natural History” also calls attention to the Bible’s accurate description of the insects: “‘The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands’ (Proverbs 30:27). Unlike ants and bees, locusts are not social insects, and there is no leadership in a swarm. Swarms go with the wind, moving toward areas where low level winds meet and, consequently, rain falls,” thus bringing them to the best breeding grounds. The Bible’s accuracy in detail gives testimony to its Divine authorship.—December 1978, pp. 6, 8, 12.
‘Ancient Prophecies Proved True?’
● What is behind this world’s seeming irrational self-destructiveness? The Belgian newspaper “Het Nieuwsblad” recently published observations on this by Professor V. Werck, a former North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) delegate.
“We live in a possessed world,” he wrote. “Everybody knows it. Nobody believes it.” Noting the “mad armaments race,” terrorism, poverty and other problems, he declared: “It would not be surprising if suddenly madness were to break out and leave mankind in a dazed and stunned condition.” Then Werck cited one of his reasons for saying this: “Some twenty centuries ago [the apostle] Paul warned in his letter to the Ephesians (6:12): ‘Because we have a wrestling, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.’” The professor then continued:
“Before he died, [former U.N. Secretary General U] Thant put it into modern phraseology and predicted: ‘Mankind has ten years left to solve the world’s greatest problems . . . and if they don’t chaos will follow quickly.’ Again, everybody knows it, nobody believes it: the thermo-nuclear Armageddon, the death of the oceans, pollution of the atmosphere, world-wide famine, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, the threat of self-destruction, the failure of traditional ethics. Such terror really belongs in nightmares—or are ancient prophecies gradually being proved true?”
“Watershed of Modern History”
● News columnists recently commented on the end of World War I 60 years ago. Gwynne Dyer of the Montreal “Gazette” wrote: “World War I—simply The Great War to its survivors—remains the watershed of modern history in men’s minds. Before 1914, the figures in the fading photographs live in another world . . . marked by a peculiar innocence. . . . It was the period before 1914 that was the island in time, when men could believe that progress was changing us as quickly as it was changing our machines. Then World War I tumbled us back into reality.”
Barry Renfrew of the “Associated Press” adds: “War has never been easy to explain and World War I is perhaps the hardest of all. Beneath the dry accounts of rivalries and alliances which historians use to explain the war, there lies a sense of something far greater, a sense of restlessness troubling the world.” Renfrew then notes that an assassination “inspired a world which had hardly heard of the murdered prince to go to war over his death without knowing why.”
But Christians do know why. Through their Bible-based insight, they know that World War I was timed with the birth of God’s kingdom in the heavens, which was to result in “woe for the earth.” Why? “Because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—Rev. 12:9-12; compare Matthew 24:3, 7, 8.