Ever since I became a Christian 33 years ago and started studying the Bible seriously, there was only one concept Scriptures spoke of that I scoffed at. Revelation 6:8 says, and other verses imply, that in the end times the beasts of the earth are going to kill people en masse.
I thought to myself, "Yeah right, any of those lions and tigers or whatever other kind of fanged animal ever escape from the zoo and try to attack us, we would flat blast the savage critters back to whereever they came from in the first place."
Almost every home in America has a gun or two; I look around John Day and the motels are full of hunters; the military, police and feds are armed to the teeth; I don't see some furry feline taking too many bites out of anyone any time soon.
But after hearing of some of the events happening in our country late in the last century, maybe it isn't the mangling monsters we need fear - maybe it's the little beasties that will satisfy Scripture. The first indication that I got that this could be so was when I read about killer bees killing people and animals in Texas ... Killer bees, what? Where did they come from?
Then the news filled us in on an experiment with bees south of the border and a person who was supposed to lock the "beasts" up and fell asleep on the job. Ever try to shoot a bee with a 30-06?
If that was all, no problem. American ingenuity would find a way to put the little buggers to bay, but then fire ants in Florida started nipping at the tourists. OK, break out the bug spray, but ants are prolific little "beasts" and they are spreading like wildfire.
Zebra snails are choking the life out of pumps in the Great Lakes. Bed bugs that even an M-16 won't kill are coming out of the closet in our swankiest hotels and bedrooms, biting people as they slumber. Bark beetles gnawing on our trees.
Beasts, beasts, beasts everywhere that we're defenseless against. Now stinkbugs all over the place on the East Coast - plagues of Exodus proportions. Is anybody beside me seeing a trend here? Can we expect frogs and locusts next? Will that get our attention?
Moses told Pharaoh to let his people go. He would not. Pro-lifers today are telling the abortion industry to let our people grow. They will not. Pharaoh lost his first-born and we are too. I'm afraid if the Christians do not get serious and exercise 2 Chronicles 7: 14, God will use the beasts for judgment - just as the Bible says and I'm not scoffing any more.
Richie Colbeth is the chaplain for the Cowboy Chapel in John Day.