Last week the Doomsday Clock was moved to 100 seconds to midnight. Created by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1947 following WW II and the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. the hypothetical clock measures how close the scientists estimate the human race is to global catastrophe and potential annihilation. Across the years the “clock” has varied from 17 minutes to midnight to 2. Its original setting was 7 minutes to midnight and has been adjusted backward and forward 23 times. This is the first time it has been moved closer than 2 minutes to midnight.
The scientists cited three primary reasons for moving the clock to 1 minute and 40 seconds to midnight: (1)the rising threat of a nuclear blunder (collapse of the Iran nuclear agreement, reemergence of North Korean threats and buildup of nuclear weapons in Russia, China and the U.S.), (2) climate change; and (3) disinformation. No one knows what to believe anymore. According to Robert Latiff, retired Air Force major general and fellow at the University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, “We have a witch’s brew of ingredients for global conflict.”
Like generations of old, we are prone to turn a deaf ear to doomsday prophecies. It was so in the days of Jeremiah and Amos, who warned of impending disaster. We don’t like bad news. We prefer to live our lives undisturbed and dismiss dire warnings.
As in the days of Jeremiah and Amos, the solutions are ethical. Amos proclaimed, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24). Jeremiah wrote, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
The more we embrace prejudice, tolerate injustice, practice deception and turn a blind eye to corruption, the closer the clock ticks toward “midnight” and humanity’s final hour. When we promote understanding, conduct ourselves with compassion, practice honesty, generosity and truthfulness, the world becomes a safer place.
So, what should we do? We must hold our leaders accountable and we must pray for them to establish peace in a world of unimaginable weapons of destruction. We are all stewards of the earth and our environment. Space exploration has made us more aware of how remarkable and fragile our planet really is. We must all be committed to the truth, to tell the truth and to discern the truth.
While the Bible is clear that the earth will eventually pass away to be succeeded by a new heaven and a new earth, we are admonished by Jesus to pray that “His Kingdom would come and His will be done on earth (today) as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).