The first business day of 2016 was not a happy one as stock markets around the world lost anywhere from 2% to 4% due to weakening manufacturing numbers in China and the standoff between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The manufacturing reports out of China show that the global economy is continuing to shrink for the sixth consecutive month. There is growing evidence of a destabilized economy from the United States to China and even Saudi Arabia.
Many of the world economies are a result of bad policy, particularly the continued pursuit of socialism and the Communist/capitalist hybrid that is causing liberals to scratch their heads.
In the United States, the Federal Reserve is trying to understand why 35% of the eligible workforce is not working including a large number of people age 21 – 35. They fail to understand the huge disincentive for many people to work as long as there is easy access to government money.
The precarious economy we currently enjoy is more reliant on the stock market and its speculative investors than on entrepreneurs and workers. Added to this we have the overproduction of oil by Saudi Arabia leading OPEC.
While many of us enjoy the lower gas prices, these prices have been driving American oil companies from the field to reassure our dependence on foreign oil.
Americans in the oil industry who were enjoying the boom of a year ago are now struggling are now struggling to make ends meet and many oilfields along with their supporting infrastructure have had to close down.
Saudi Arabia has been paying the price, all too willingly, to drive American oil production out of business. Their government has incurred the greatest debt that nation has seen since its founding over the last year and now with tensions escalating over the conflict with Iran we can expect oil prices to become volatile.
It is quite possible that as tensions come to a head that Iran could cut off shipping in the Gulf which could result in a quadrupling of oil prices in a very short time.
Biblically, we may be seeing the beginning of the conflict mentioned in Scripture regarding the kings of the North and the kings of the South or this could just be one of many conflicts leading to the prophetic standoff.
As believers in Jesus Christ we do not put our hope in silver or gold or even in oil but we trust that the Lord is still seated upon the throne. We understand that things will become even more volatile in the Middle East to set the stage for the final act we find in Daniel and Revelation. We should beware that there are many moving parts both seen and unseen working towards the final showdown between the Lord and those who reject Him.