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WORLD WAR III: War for Water?
Witnessing Tools
Thursday, October 18, 2012
J.L. Robb

What if the Third World War is over water?

When President Bush decided to go to war with Iraq, the media screamed that it was a “war for oil,” and the mantra became almost contagious. Yet, water is more precious than oil; and God had a lot to say about it.

“The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water- the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter." (Revelation 8:10-11 NIV)

Most who have not studied the Bible have never heard the term “wormwood,’ and most who have studied the Bible have seen the word but know very little about what it is.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, wormwood is a noun and means the following: 

  1. Any of several aromatic plants of the genus Artemisia, especially A. absinthium, native to Europe, yielding a bitter extract used in making absinthe and in flavoring certain wines.
  2. Something harsh or embittering.

I’m not sure that was the definition during John’s writing of Revelation, but maybe. At any rate, it appears that wormwood must be the mother-of-all bitterness.

The human body, on average, can live three weeks without food but only three days without water. There have been exceptions, but not many. Earthquake victims are sometimes pulled from rubble after four or five days without water but usually die unless there has been some source to keep them alive, ie. a leaking water pipe or pool of water that was accessible.

According to a CBS news report March 22, 2012 titled “Water may cause wars in coming decades,” climate change will be the cause. Is that true? Doesn’t the climate change every year, or has there ever been two years in a row that the climate was the same?

At the request of Hillary Rodham Clinton, a “classified” report states that “floods, scarce and poor quality water, combined with poverty, social tension, poor leadership and weak governments will contribute to instability that could lead to the failure of numerous states.”

Did the report say poor leadership? We might be in big trouble. However the biggest trouble will probably be in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia where water may be used as a “weapon of war or a tool of terrorism.”

This is not new, as these tactics have been used before.

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, water sharing issues between Israel, Syria and Jordan became problematic. Then in 1964 after Israel completed its National Water Carrier Project which utilized water from the Sea of Galilee, Arab countries started the Syrian-Lebanese Headwater Diversion Plan to divert water flow from entering Israel and the Sea of Galilee in particular. The diversion, had it been successful, would have diverted waters from the Banias Stream into a dammed site at Mukhaiba for use by Syria and Jordan. The waters of the Hasbani River and the Litani River were to be diverted for use by Lebanon. This diversion would have reduced Israel’s water supply by 11%. As a result, when the Arab project began, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched repeated attacks. Though the Arab countries finally abandoned their plan, the water diversion projects eventually led to the 1967 Six-Day War, which Arabs call the "1967 War" or an-Naksah (The Setback), and a setback it was.  On May 18, 1967 a Cairo radio broadcast made the following statement.

"The sole method we shall apply against Israel is a total war which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence."

Some things never change. Within six days, Israel had destroyed the abilities of the Egyptian air force and took control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt; the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan; and the Golan Heights from Syria. Eleven years later, Jimmy Carter, the illustrious U.S. President, championed the Camp David Accords and Israel began to return her war booty. In a nutshell Carter told the Egyptians that we (the US) would give them beaucoups of money if they would maintain peace with Israel. Of course, giving one’s lunch money to a bully never works for long, as we are now finding out again in the Sinai Peninsula, though we keep pouring in the money to those who want to kill us and wipe Israel off the map; but that’s another story.

The waters in the region, primarily the waters of the Nile, Jordan and Tigris-Euphrates rivers continue to be problematic. Water security in the region depends on an adequate water supply or treaties to insure that the supplies are shared. Shared water is weak security, especially in the arid and drought-prone lands of the Middle East and North Africa.

The United States, according to the US Drought Monitor, is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought in almost 65% of the land.

In August 2012, European drought is particularly focused in Spain and Italy while central Russia and the Arabian Peninsula are experiencing extraordinarily dry conditions, as is northern India. In South America, Argentina and Peru are having record droughts. Likewise, much of northern and southern Africa is experiencing drought. In Australia, in spite of recent “record” floods, drought continues in the west-central part of the continent.

The Bible is full of droughts and the associated famines, called down upon the population by prophets as “punishment” for being especially naughty. What did God have to say about famine and drought during the “end times” when it is predicted to get particularly bad worldwide and especially in Israel and the surrounding countries?

According to the book of Revelation, when the rains have ceased and drought and famine prevail, things won’t be pretty.

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying.

“Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:5-8  NIV)

A whole day’s work for a little wheat or barley? Why will food be so expensive in those days? Because there will be famine caused by drought because there will be no rain. Revelation goes on to state that there won’t be a little rain, here and there; but there will be no rain because the heavens will be “shut up” for 42 months. Three and a half years with no rain. Think about that.

“And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.  They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want." (Revelation 11:3-6  NIV)

Of course, the two witnesses of Revelation will be hated because of the devastation they bring on the world; and in the end will be killed after they finish prophesying but will be brought back to life. What if you actually saw that happen with your own eyes? I am hoping I don’t. Revelation continues:

"Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city- which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt- where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon." (Revelation 11:7-14  NIV)

Yep, I imagine those who see the witnesses come back to life will be terrorized. That’s why we need to pray that we do not have to go through these terrible times, like Jesus told his Apostles to do.

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36 NIV)

Armageddon is located in northern Israel and has been the place of many wars. The final one may not be over oil, but water.

About J.L. Robb

Last week: Does Obamacare Cover Butt-kickin'?



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