This past Memorial Day, when Americans had been given a day to remember those who had gone out to fight and defend the liberties we enjoy, the noise raised over $4.00+ gasoline was greater than the noise of the parades and gun salutes. By the time this is read, the flash of fireworks will likely have illuminated signs with even higher numbers.
Oil is quite literally the lifeblood of the world in which we live. Everything from plastic parts, medicine, and fertilizer to heating our homes, transportation, and the roads we drive on are made with oil. Our society, culture, economy, and lifestyles have grown and developed around oil. Great civilizations in the past have risen, and then fallen into ruin when what once supported their growth became weak and failed. No civilization has ever grown as rapidly and to such glory and with such vigor as the industrialized civilization we now enjoy. Millions live like only a few kings were able to enjoy in any past civilization. Yet it all rests upon a resource that is limited. We have alternative energy resources, but none of them are capable, at least at this time, of replacing oil. Restrictions in its flow raise serious concerns and quickly causes pain in a host of areas. Too much restriction too quickly could lead to the equivalent of a cardiac arrest, and the world as we know it would crash to the earth like a giant beast left for the scavengers.
It is my understanding, that God in his wise providence as he preserves the world and gathers his church, prepared this enormous reserve of oil while he was saving the church with the Flood. The vast quantities of vegetation that thrived at the time of Noah had absorbed a thousand years of solar energy and then were buried. The vegetation was quietly processed beneath the feet of the crusaders and wandering tribes of men until God was ready to nourish the twentieth century world with this high energy “milk.” America and the rest of the industrialized world have gorged themselves, and now the millions in China and other countries have gotten a taste and are scrambling to the feeding trough.
How long will the feeding frenzy last? No one is sure. Oil companies are drilling deeper, and in more difficult places to find more reserves. The increasing demand in the world for oil will only use it up faster. On the other hand, more efficient use of oil and alternative energy sources will stretch the reserves. Are governments in control of the supply and manipulating the world? God knows, and we are comforted knowing that king’s hearts are in his hands as a river of water. Everything is working perfectly according to his sovereign plan. The church in all its beautiful glory is being gathered, one living stone at a time. What a comfort we have as the ungodly look with anxious eyes to the scientists and engineers for a solution.
Americans have prided themselves in their creative solutions to problems, and there is no doubt that high oil prices serve to encourage the development of alternatives to our dependence on oil. Here too, we see the handiwork of God as man digs into the treasure chest of this earth. We as servants of the living God, who has created the earth with all of its elements and resources to be discovered and used by man, stand amazed at the variety of ways that the elements of the earth can be combined and made useful. God uses difficulties and obstacles to force man to subdue the earth and discover the vast treasure that he has created. Who would have imagined that various elements could be mined from the rocks, and the electrons manipulated in such a way that man can communicate vast amounts of information around the world? Now we are being forced to find alternatives to the energy we have become so dependent upon. Ungodly man foolishly praises himself, while we give glory to God who has created the mind of man along with the vast array of treasures within the earth.
We know we live in the last day. God has been pleased to prepare a vast reserve of rich, easy to use energy that has fueled a dazzling world with technology that boggles the mind. Bathed in the lavish riches, the ungodly have perhaps been distracted from the church. God makes it very clear that having riches can make a solid Christian life difficult. The time may be near when man becomes more aware of an end to cheap oil and the world is forced to become lean. As the nations rage, kings and powers will rise to attempt to preserve peace and prosperity. Are we ready for the day when the world unites and considers pilgrims to be a threat and a burden to this world?
The nations rage, the devil goes about as a roaring lion, God prepares the pieces of the antichristian kingdom so that one day the world will be ready for one earthly power to rule and control all the resources we need to live. The devil will hold the reins, and just when his pride reaches its climax, the reality of his defeat, which has already been accomplished at the cross, will be made known to all the world. We look up now and then from our work as citizens of the kingdom of God and see the gathering clouds of the antichristian storm, but we are not afraid, nor do we slack in our work. We may suffer, and even die because this world has no place for us, but we go forth confident and secure in the promise that our Lord prepares a place for us where we may praise our covenant God forever.