Monday, March 8, 2010

Is Prepping Biblical?

After reading lots of preparedness, food storage, and survival websites and blogs the question began to form in my mind - Is prepping (short for preparedness) actually Biblical? Is prepping equivalent to not trusting God to take care of you? How much prepping is too much?

In the poll results from last week, apparently no one thinks that prepping is a waste of time or unbiblical. Zero. Not one person voted for these two categories. I'm assuming some may have thought about it, but hesitated since so many others had voted differently. If you were one of them, don't feel bad. Following the crowd isn't always right. 

On the other hand, most felt that prepping was a good idea, just in case (21 votes), and most are storing 3-6 months worth of food and supplies (26 votes). A few go-getters are able to stash away an entire year's worth (6 votes). Wow! Truly an accomplishment.

And prepared for what? People prep for all kinds of reasons. In case of a recession, a depression, an economic crash, a job loss, an illness, natural disasters, wars, famines, and the list goes on.

But what is Biblical when it comes to being prepared? Wouldn't it be good to know what God thinks and not just what we think? Then you can choose to proceed or not proceed with confidence.

Actually, we can see examples of both in the Bible. 

Examples of Preparedness in the Bible

Joseph, after being sold into slavery and eventually imprisoned in Egypt, rises to second in power over all the country. Why? Specifically, God wanted to use him to save the Hebrew people from a seven year famine that was going to affect the people of several nations. He actually had Joseph save extra grain during seven good years in order to prepare for the severe famine that was to come for the next seven years. You can read about this in Genesis 37 through the end of the book of Genesis.

In the New Testament (Matthew 25:1-13), a symbolic example of being prepared spiritually is given in the parable of the Ten Virgins. Five of the virgins didn't prepare, they didn't have extra oil for the long wait, and as their lamps grew dim, they realized they needed more. The other five had prepared and were not hindered in meeting their bridegroom. Although there's a lot more to this passage, I'm really summing it up fast in order to point out that the parable, although symbolic, appears to approve of being prepared with supplies. I think this is especially true if you have been blessed with the time and resources to prepare and instead of squandering them, you wisely do so!

Examples of Not Preparing in the Bible

There are really more examples of people not being prepared in the Bible than actually those that were prepared, but I wonder if this is because it wasn't the norm while preparedness was more of a way of life during Biblical times. Food wasn't readily available at a supermarket, so people had to think way ahead for food supplies. Hunting, fishing, raising their own food, storing wheat... this was normal. Walking in faith that God would provide at the very moment of need was not!

In Exodus 16, God provided for the Hebrew people in the wilderness for forty years, by giving them manna and quail each day. While he brought them to Egypt by having Joseph store grain, He brought them out of Egypt by providing for them one day at a time.

In I Kings 17: 1-16, we see how God provided for Elijah in two different ways, but both were at the exact moment he needed food. First, God sent ravens to bring him bread and meat each morning and evening. Later, He sends Elijah to the house of the woman in Zarephath and she makes a bread cake for him each day until the famine is over from a jar of flour and oil that God miraculously kept filled. 

Jesus sent the disciples out in Matthew 10 without any provisions but the clothes on their back. He instructed them to find those willing to provide for them in return for preaching and healing the sick. 

I could go on with more examples, but I think you get the point. 

In both categories, God provided. Sometimes God provided in advance. Sometimes He provided at the moment of the actual need. But it all came from Him. And it still does! 

Unfortunately, many who store up food and supplies miss this point and end up becoming fearful, stingy, and paranoid. (Yes, those are ugly words, but sin IS ugly!). However, we can prepare Biblically and maintain a godly attitude.

Because I don't like super long posts (and this one is long already), I'll talk more about prepping with the right way another day. Please know that I hope this doesn't come across "preachy". I'm writing this as much for myself as I am for you, the reader! I've needed to work this out in my own mind for a long time. 

If you will, share your own thoughts on this subject. It might help someone else work it out in their own mind! And don't forget the new poll - "Tell Me About Your Homestead".


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