The title sounds far fetched. Man has become too advanced in thinking to let that happen and he has the means to avert such a fate. It is true that man is and has, but does he do it? It is what he does, with what he knows, that contradicts his destiny of securing sufficient bread to feed the world. According to the prediction in the Book of Revelation, man himself, will create an environment, which will result in a shortage of food, that will destroy one fourth of humanity (Rev. 6:8). How can this be? Let us see, who is in charge of our bread supply, and in what direction are we moving?
Jesus was asked, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority” (Mt. 21:23)? We are no different when it comes to seek help or understanding. We have experts and specialists on everything, even weather predictors. With one of them, nature played havoc and he asked for a transfer to another region because the climate did not agree with him. I have experienced that change because of bread. The Russians transferred me at the age of nine to the Germans, with my family, in January 1940 to another region, where we had to raise bread for the Nazis. It was because of our familiarity with farming, customs, technology and language, that we were traded back to Germany. The people from the Reich did not qualify.
Love is the younger sister to bread and without bread love cannot exist. It was one of the first and hardest lessons I was taught as a young minister. With my background as a displaced person by World War II, I had forgotten how important bread had been for my family. A young man had his hope set on the daughter of a reputable deacon. The young man had two hard-working brothers in leadership positions in my church, and I assumed the young man was of the same disposition. The young lady had doubts about her admirer and he said that he simply could not live without her. I, the firm believer in love, convinced them that love would iron out their differences. He was a lover, but not a bread earner and three months later, he left his wife. Divorce, at that time, for my people was outright shameful. After that experience, bread came first in my counseling sessions with young lovers.
Prayer is the tie that binds our hearts and minds into a human family, not necessarily Christian. I have friends that do not profess to be religious; but their behavior, even their language, is exemplary. They know, who I am and even ask me to say a prayer in their behalf, because prayer makes us feel for each other, and it enriches our lives, at least it does mine. Prayer is a line to the richest treasure the world has to offer, and that is to the heart of each other.
James, half –brother of Jesus, according to tradition, made his decisions on his knees. His knees became as hard as the soles of his feet. He wrote these words, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it should not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens have rain, and the earth produced its crops” (Ja. 5:16-18). Moses prayed, and manna and quails rained from heaven (Ex. 16). Jesus prayed and crumbs turned into loves and fish into bowls (Mk. 6:35-44).
John Mark’s account of the feeding of the five thousand was an answer to prayer. When Jesus told the twelve to feed the people, they must have prayed and sweated. That one feeding would have cost the twelve eight months of their wages, which they did not have. Who would extend them a loan for throwing a party to a people, that went into the desert. People do get stranded without being prepared. World War II stranded us and we, too, became desperate for food. Those that followed Jesus into a deserted place, wanted to know something about Him and He was not going to abandon them, or let them starve. What David said also applies to us, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up” (Ps. 27:10). Two classic examples were the life of Hagar, mother of Ishmael and Elijah fed by a ravens (Gen. 16, 21; I Ki. 17).
Jesus made this sobering statement, “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praises from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the father. There is one that accuses you, namely Moses, in whom you trust. For if you had believed Moses you would also have believed me, because he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe my words” (Jn. 5:43-47).