Look to the news on any given day and you will see mass numbers of people protesting living conditions in countries in Africa, in the Saudi Peninsula, with murmurs of unrest in Iraq, Iran, even in China. We think we know the root cause of the unrest: dissatisfaction with current leadership and needs not being met.
We think we know the whole story but we do not…not yet.
The global unrest is due, in part to impotent and cruel dictatorships and governments, yes. But this is only one portion of the pie. The other two portions are the economy in general and what has not been getting nearly enough attention: food shortages.
People are angry because they cannot get work, but they are also angry because their jobs are not paying enough to acquire vital necessities: food being central to this.
Global food prices have sky rocketed recently. It is not just affecting only province or one country; it is affecting the entire world. The areas that are most volatile are ones that, currently, are reacting to the impact of these shortages.
There have been unprecedented crop failures of key staples, ones that most people depend upon to live: grains, produce, meat etc., and there appears to be no end in sight and no one to blame for the situation as it is, which is causing people to panic even more.
The source of the global situation regarding crops is directly due to the influence of the evil one. In divine revelation it has stated that the global crop failures were due to direct action taken by the evil one to cause chaos. It appears this has been working because people, globally, are getting very nervous and are beginning to panic.
There is another culprit: There are individuals and organizations that are currently hoarding food for the express purpose of driving the price of food up, so they will make a huge profit on the suffering of many people. Think of what OPEC has done on occasions, where they drove the price of oil up, making many people pay extra to line the wallets of wealthy industrialists. This covert hoarding is currently underway as well, only adding to an already difficult situation.
Where to turn? What to do?
These measures should be instituted by all people:
1. Live off the earth practically: That increased globalization is only adding to the unrest. When you are paying top dollar for food that was shipped from half a world a way, something is wrong. Buy local foods. Utilize what you already have to the best of your ability; grow your own crops if you can, forage if you can. Every region has indigenous flora and fauna that can be utilized for personal needs in the community. You are not doing yourself any service by paying for specialty items in a situation where even staples may not always be available for a time. Support local growers and merchants if they are willing to offer a reasonable price for their goods.
2. Find what grows and thrives in your area and stock up on those items. Especially dried goods, canned goods, and bottled goods. If you have an abundant supply of fresh food, dry out the portion your not currently using and store it away for later use.
3. Where meat, poultry, fish or eggs are not available, stock up on other forms of protein: nuts and seeds, legumes etc.
4. Form local community kitchens: connect with family and friends and agree to plan regular shared meals together, with each family bringing a dish or a food or beverage item. In the sharing process, more people in the community can eat and this provides a form of community and support through difficult times.
5. Look for deals: Whenever there are good deals on dried goods, canned goods or bottled goods, foods that will keep stock up.
6. There is a big difference between stocking up and hoarding: stock up on goods but offer food and help to those in need. Be the consummate host to those in need.
As trying as these times are or are about to become, it is important to keep a cool head and positive mental and emotional attitude.
These times do not need to last for those who do not wish them to. There is, in fact, great hope for all who change their conduct in this world under God’s Divine Administrative Control.
What does this mean? Changing our conduct means to stop thinking only of the world and turn to our Creator. It means stop thinking only of ourselves and think of our fellow man (he is our brother and we are his keeper, after all). It means to prepare ourselves to citizens of the World to Come, not pawns of the evil one, and when we only live for base and selfish desires, we play right into the hands of the evil one. If we are obedient to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and we walk in His Way, then there is great hope for us to see an ending to such times and such hardship.
Just as in ancient times when Joseph revealed to Pharaoh that there would be a time of famine but there would be a way to persevere effectively through such hardship, so too, those who love and worship the God of Israel, will be nourished and healthy on the grain that the Righteous King of the Universe offers to obedient souls.
Do not fear. Do not panic. We are going to be fine. We need to evaluate our priorities. Not just those on the ground, but those in our minds, our hearts and in our souls. Once we have determined our main priority – God – then we need to take steps to improve our situation accordingly.
God provided manna to our ancient ancestors who left Egypt; He brought forth water to those who were parched.
If we travel with those who walk in the Way of YHWH, we too will be nourished when we are in need and as Torah clearly says, the way in which the children of Israel can walk in purity is through God’s Word the Tanakh. (Psalm 119:9)
If we have our priorities right, we will get right with God and we will be sustained. That is a promise.
The Torah is a Tree of Life to those who hold fast to it (Proverbs 3:18)