In 1918 a German-born Jew by the name of Fritz Haber won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the Haber-Bosch process. His process of synthesizing ammonia from natural deposits was a milestone in industrial chemistry. His techniques were used to mass produce fertilizers–without which the diet of today’s humanity would not be possible. In the 1920’s researchers at Haber’s institute developed a cyanide gas formulation, Zyklon A, an insecticide used to keep grain stores safe from pests.
Haber’s own research into and involvement in deploying chemicals during WWI coined him as the “father of chemical warfare.” During WWII his research of Zyklon A was refined by the Nazis into Zyklon B and was used in their gas chambers to exterminate Jews.
Solomon said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
Haber contributed greatly towards the benefit of mankind. “The annual world production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is currently more than 100 million tons. The food base of half of the current world population is based on the Haber-Bosch process.” (Wikipedia). The reason Haber’s process was needed in the first place was because of mankind’s rejection of God’s Laws. Haber sought a way to nourish land that could not sustain continuous farming. God, several millennia previously, set up simple practices that would achieve the same results: “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove” (Exodus 23:10-11).
What seems sensible, cutting-edge or even forward thinking, has proven throughout human history to usually be focused away from God’s simple plan for mankind. Men tried to reach out to God in their own way by building a tower into the sky, but failed to understand God. Today we glimpse millions of years into our past—to the far reaches of space–searching for a better understanding of our universe. But no matter how far we look, man still has little understanding of the magnificent Being whose mere word caused us to exist, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Psalm 33:6).
Calling us lights in a world filled with darkness is not hyperbole! Mankind has truly failed to come to an understanding of God, blinded by their own disobedience. The precious opportunity we have been granted must be used! We cannot rely on our own wisdom, our own shortcuts—as mankind has done—to understand God. What was true in Solomon’s time is true today—man’s way leads to death. Let us all watch and pray that the way we are heading leads to life!