The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah, in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah. I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth, says the LORD. I will sweep away humans and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. I will make the wicked stumble. I will cut off humanity from the face of the earth, says the LORD. (NRSV)
Friday, January 7, 2011
Dead Birds and Fish - The End of the World?
Over the last week an unsettling numbers of dead birds and fish have been appearing. In Arkansas thousands of birds fell from the sky dead on New Years. In Maryland 2 million dead fish were found in the Chesapeake Bay. The Birds it seems may have been shocked to death by New Year's Eve fireworks. The fish may have died from lower than normal water temperatures and suffered cold shock.
But with predictions for May 21 as the date the world ends, many are looking in the Bible for answers. One place they are finding it is in the prophet Zephaniah 1:1-3 which says.
An interesting connection. I suppose if I thought or was worried that this was the year the world would end this verse might give me some insight. The problem, however, is that in context God is speaking specifically to Judah and to the officials of Jerusalem, not people living in the 21st century. A few verses later those who wear foreign dress or "jump over the threshold" are also threatened.
So while we should all be interested and concerned about an inordinate amount of dead wildlife, I don't think we will find the answer in the Bible. At least not under prophecy. Perhaps we might look at our theology and stewardship of creation and ask ourselves how we might have contributed to such "natural disasters."
Since I posted on the May 21st date prediction the number of visits to that post has steadily climbed. I plan to relate some of my thoughts on this kind of eschatology in a upcoming post and why I think it is unhelpful.
Read more on the Zephaniah connection here.