Cycles of Agricultural Productivity, Population Growth, and Decline

Famine, disease, and warfare have all been powerful weapons Satan has used throughout history to decimate human populations. God had originally told humankind to be “fruitful and multiply”; “to fill the earth and subdue it.” However, intelligent evil is at work in all spheres and opposes God’s purposes at every turn. Satan, in opposing God, has always sought to kill untold millions, inflicting widespread misery and suffering on those who remain, and generally to stifle growth and development.

It would appear that throughout recorded history, in somewhat regular cycles, periods of population growth are followed by periods of decline—these often being quite precipitous. With rising food production due to innovation, human populations increase. With increased agricultural productivity, an increasing number of people are freed from this type of work and can seek alternative forms of employment—most frequently within cities. However growing populations, as Malthus observed, often go through these cycles of growth followed by decline. Some reasons for this are that growing populations put great ecological pressure on the environment. As soil is exhausted or eroded, food crops fail, and famine ensues. Disease often takes the malnourished, and as states compete for scarce resources, warfare kills off many others. So intelligent evil engineers these cycles of famine, disease, and death. It also has corrupted the land so that weeds (thorns and thistles) grow and compete with food crops.

Christopher Brittain

Christopher Brittain is a WCIU MA student, and a mobilizer of biblical cross-cultural workers, based in Kenya. He and his wife are passionate to see every believer mobilized to participate effectively with God in his redemptive purpose.