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What does the Bible say about preparedness? Is it even Biblical? Or, a lack of faith? Let’s take a look!
The Preppers Bible: A Case Study: Noah
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it also shall be in the days of the Son of Man. They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and the flood came and destroyed them all. So also as it was in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but the day Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the heaven and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26-29)
Q) How was it in the days of Noah? What were the wicked doing?
A) “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark”. So, they pretended that everything was okay and kept living their lives as normal, giving no thought to the destruction that was about to come.
*We should remember that doing these activities will be the ones who will be getting the Mark of the beast. Let’s read:
“He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)
Clearly the righteous will not be partaking in the world commerce system, as we know that the righteous will refuse the Mark.
~So, if those living it up are the wicked, then Noah must be the example of the righteous.~
“Yahweh said to Noah, “Come with all of your household into the ship, for I have seen your righteousness before me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1)
The Preppers Bible
Q) Then what was it that righteous Noah was doing?
A) “By faith Noah, having been warned by God of things not yet seen, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)
We find Noah during this time building the Ark of safety for the saving of his house. Through obedience, he went to work and proactively trusted in God.
Q) What about supplies and food for Noah and Family?
A) “And take for yourself all food that is eaten, and you shall gather for yourself. And it shall be for food, for you and for them. Noah did so, according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” (Genesis 6:21-22)
So, while natural provision was available to be gathered and stored, God told Noah to do just that. Gather and store for the saving of his house. According to Jesus, the lost wicked will think this is foolishness as they keep living it up.
Since Jesus said that the end of time will be like the Days of Noah, then we can determine that the righteous are making necessary provisions for their own well being as God provides them opportunity. They are not prioritizing entertainment, advancement, or the endeavors of life. No. They are putting first and foremost the necessary provisions of their physical life- Food, Water, Shelter, & Fire!
The Preppers Bible – GOD OUR PROVIDER
The following are some more examples of how God provided for those trusting Him!
“One of them, named Agabus, got up and predicted by the Spirit that a severe famine was about to come over the whole inhabited world. (This took place during the reign of Claudius.)” (Acts 11:28)
“The fourth Roman Emperor (A. D. 41-54). Roman historians mention several famines during his reign. For this one in Judea and the adjacent countries took place, A.D. 41 [Josephus, Antiquities, 20.2, 5]”
How Did God Provide?
“So the disciples, each in accordance with his financial ability, decided to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. They did so, sending their financial aid to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.” (Acts 11:29-30)
We see that around 5-10 years before the famine, God warns them that it was coming. How do we see God providing? With the “warning” and the church preparing for it by sending funds ahead of the famine, to prepare the church with stores of goods.
We find here that obeying God’s command was “trusting God to provide.” He gave ample warning and time to do so. It would have been tempting the Lord to ignore the warning and saying “God’s Got This!”, and doing nothing to partner with Him in the solution. The warning of God is often the first step to the provision of God!
Again, how do we see the Lord providing for the Church?
“And all who believed were together and had all things common. And they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:44-45)
This time God puts into the hearts of the people to sell what they have and give to each other. It takes people partnering with God when God says “move”, to accomplish the will of God.
The Warning From God.
“Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning. The seven lean, bad-looking cows that came up after them represent seven years, as do the seven empty heads of grain burned with the east wind. They represent seven years of famine. This is just what I told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. But seven years of famine will occur after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate the land. The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe.” (Genesis 41:25-31)
As we talked about earlier, “the warning of God is often the first step to the provision of God!” Just like the Church, God sends a warning:
“Look guys! It’s going to get bad, so act now!”
How Did God Provide?
“…. Pharaoh should do this – he should appoint officials throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should gather all the excess food during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority they should store up grain so the cities will have food, and they should preserve it. This food should be held in storage for the land in preparation for the seven years of famine that will occur throughout the land of Egypt. In this way the land will survive the famine.” (Genesis 41:33-36)
Taking the warning to heart and adhering to the advice of God through Joseph, Pharaoh obeys and follows the steps given by God. God provides when people obey His warning
We find something very interesting with the disciples on preparedness.
Jesus gives them this following direction:
“Carry neither purse nor bag nor sandals. And greet no one by the way. And into whatever house you enter, first say, Peace to this house. And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest on it. If not, it shall return to you, And remain in the same house, eating and drinking the things shared by them; for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Do not move from house to house. And into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.” (Luke 10:4-8)
This would seem to imply that Christians should not provide for themselves. Jesus gave them this command because they were amongst their own people, and tradition, culture, and law of God allowed for their well being. That meaning they could have their needs met at the time through the law of the land and their countrymen.
Yet, Jesus changes His directions right before He dies:
“And He said to them, When I sent you without purse and wallet and sandals, did you lack anything? And they said, Nothing. And He said to them, But now, he who has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his wallet. And he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must yet be accomplished in Me, “And he was reckoned among the transgressors”; for the things concerning Me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said to them, It is enough.” (Luke 22:35-38)
Now that they will be sent out amongst the nations, Jesus tells them to prepare and provide for their journey, even up to selling stuff to do so. Again, we find the warning as being the first step to the provision of God. Then followed by obedient action based in their preparation.
Paul gives a worthy recap of what it was like being sent into the world:
“I have been in travels often; in dangers from waters; in dangers from robbers; in dangers from my race; in dangers from the heathen; in dangers in the city; in dangers in the wilderness; in dangers on the sea; in dangers among false brothers. I have been in hardship and toil; often in watching’s; in hunger and thirst; often in fastings; in cold and nakedness; besides the things outside conspiring against me daily, the care of all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:26-28)
Paul also gives us insight to exactly how God often provides for our needs:
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you did well to share with me in my trouble. And as you Philippians know, at the beginning of my gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in this matter of giving and receiving except you alone. For even in Thessalonica on more than one occasion you sent something for my need. I do not say this because I am seeking a gift. Rather, I seek the credit that abounds to your account. For I have received everything, and I have plenty. I have all I need because I received from Epaphroditus what you sent – a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, very pleasing to God. And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. May glory be given to God our Father forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:11-20)
Just like the Church in Acts, God provided for Paul through the help of the people of Christ. It takes people willing to act and perform their function to the utmost.
God uses people to help His people.
Now Paul says something very interesting at the end of the verse, “And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. May glory be given to God our Father forever and ever. Amen.” How could this be? The man asking for help is telling them that God will provide for them all their needs. When you get the impression that God wasn’t “providing” for Paul’s needs in the “mystical” sense that the churches today preach, that somehow it just “happens”, he had to resort to asking for help from other people. First, this is how God helps- people helping people. And finally, I believe Paul was referring to the following verse:
“The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the LORD, and the LORD will repay him for his good deed.” (Proverbs 19:17)
Paul was telling them that since you helped me in a time of need, God will make sure you receive help in your time of need- most likely through people. This often is accomplished by those who have full storehouses. Be it a well funded bank account, or goods on hand as necessary for life, or those with something to impart with a small storehouse. Either way, it’s hard to provide for the needs of the saints when you yourself do not have it in the first place.
The Preppers Bible – Blessing Of The Store House
The idea of planting and gathering, and then storing in silos has been around since the dawn of time. It’s only a recent creation of the modern world system for you not to harvest crops and store them for the year, or have a root cellar full of provisions. Now the world teaches you to only provide for today, and depend upon the world to provide for tomorrow. When Biblically speaking, this misses the mark when it comes to the blessing of the store house. The Western style of living of shopping daily, running out of something, then running out to replace it- is the opposite of planning for the future. Actually, the amount of faith imparted to the world system of commerce is very high, to the point of servitude and worship.
The Blessing of the Storehouse
“Rescue me, and deliver me from the hand of foreigners’ sons, because their mouth has spoken vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood; so that our sons may be like plants grown up in their youth; and our daughters may be like corner-stones, polished like a palace building; and our storehouses may be full, furnishing kind to kind; and our flocks may breed thousands and ten thousands outside; and our oxen may be loaded; there is no breaking in nor going out and no crying in our streets. Blessed are the peoples who are so; blessed are the peoples to whom Jehovah is their God.” (Psalms 144:11-15)
Here we find the cry for the blessing of full storehouses and plentiful crops and livestock. This blessing is sought after. It is no strange thing to want to secure for yourself a more sure future. This is permissible under the guidance of always seeking the kingdom of heaven first.
The Preppers Bible – Manna
Let’s take a look at the Miracle of Manna: Bread From Heaven
Walking through a desolate desert with no natural provisions, the Israelites had to have a miracle to survive.
“When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” (Exodus 16:15-16)
*After natural provisions become available, God stopped raining down manna. At this point they had to gather and store the fruit of the land.
“The children of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan.” (Exodus 16:35)
Manna was given when there was no earthly provisions available, yet as soon as there were earthly provisions available that could be gathered and stored, then the Manna stopped.
What similarities can we find in these two types of provisions? First and foremost, no matter what, they still had to work at gathering. Failure to partner with God through personal effort would have spelled out disaster. Actually, you would be hard pressed to find any miracle in scripture that didn’t take combined efforts between God and Man.
The Preppers Bible – Warnings & Balance
You must put forth effort!
- “Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows,” (Galatians 6:7)
- “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6-11)…
- “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.” (Proverbs 28:19)
DON’T PUT YOUR TRUST IN YOUR PREPS!
“He then told them a parable: “The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop, so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21)
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, or trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy;” (1 Timothy 6:17)
Here we are told that no matter what, not to put our hearts to our preparation as the key to our well being. God is the key. His blessing is what sustains us. If we have a little or a lot, it is nothing without the blessing of God upon it all. Do your part, what you can, and trust God for Everything.
Don’t stress and worry about life!
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34)
He is not saying “don’t attend to these needs,” yet “don’t worry and stress and faint over them.” As we see in this verse, you are required by God to attend to them.
“But if someone does not provide for his own, especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.” (Proverbs 13:22)
Your Fellow Man
“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does God’s love remain in him?” (1 John 3:17)
“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:15-17)
The Preppers Bible – ?? DAILY BREAD ??
Let us remember that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and it was translated into Greek, Latin, and English. As we look at the word “Daily,” we must understand that Jesus coined this expression. Most likely taken from Nazarene slang. It has been translated to “daily”, but has deeper meaning than “daily”.
“Give us today our daily bread,” (Matthew 6:11)
Let’s take a quick look at some commentaries on the verse:
Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
“Give us this day our daily bread — As the original word, επιουσιον, here rendered daily, is not found anywhere else; neither in the LXX, nor in any Greek author, nor in any other part of the New Testament, save in the parallel passage in Luke,”
John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible
“Give us this day our daily bread. The Arabic version reads it, “our bread for tomorrow”; and Jerom says, that in the Hebrew Gospel, used by the Nazarenes, he found the word מחר, which signifies “tomorrow”:”
So, when we read this verse, it is best translated: “Give us today our bread for tomorrow!” The idea being that God not only provides for your current moment, but for your many tomorrows. With Noah, we find God giving him his daily bread by telling him to store it up. We find God giving the daily bread to the Israelites by telling them to go and collect. We find God providing daily bread to the church in Acts years in advance. Etc. Etc… It all boils down to this: If there are natural provisions to gather, then gather. When there are no provisions to gather, trust God for the miracle.
The Preppers Bible – ~RECAP~
As we see, it takes a balanced heart, mind, and spirit to accomplish the goal of preparedness. To fill the storehouse with the blessings of God- but put our faith in God, not His blessings. Just as Noah would have been foolish to trust in the Ark, instead of the God that instructed him to build it- We must partner with God through faith to accomplish His will. If that means gather, then we gather. If that means to wait for a miracle, then we wait. But woe unto the one who does not know the season.
Let’s close with the following proclamation:
“For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to search, and a time to give something up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; A time to rip, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
“Commit your deeds to Yahweh, and your plans shall succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)