Sunday, December 9, 2012

Is Preparedness Biblical? You decide

Recently, I gave a message a church on whether preparedness was Biblical. Here are my notes:

Is Being Prepared Biblical?

My History:

  • Y2K – prepared all winter of 1998/99, then broke down in mountains, relied on food, when it was gone, God provided
  • Ranch – prepared because lived on isolated ranch and didn’t know if we could get out in the winter. When we left the ranch in February, we had no job. It was the food that we’d put by that got us through
  • When money is tight, there’ve been times I’ve not had money for food, or gas. If it wasn’t for what I’ve put back, I’d be in trouble. I’ve also be able to help others.

Current Events:

  • Katrina – people were without for days waiting for help to arrive
  •  Friend – in Kentucky snowstorm/ice storm without power for three weeks, husband not there, preps were able to help others.
  • Sandy – people even with homes are without power, food, water…but know of some people who believe in being ready who are not suffering, and are in fact, being able to help where they can

What am I talking about? Being prepared…or prepping. I’m not talking about becoming some rabid gun-totin’ survivalist whose motto is “bullets beans and bandaids”. I’m talking about putting by some food, water and a few other things, in order to be ready not only for an emergency but to minister to those God sends our way. I’m also going to show you that being prepared is NOT evidence of fear, but is in fact completely Biblical, with numerous examples already in the Bible.
I like to think of NOAH as the world’s first prepper.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Can you imagine the logistics that Noah and his family must have gone through? Not only was he saving himself and his family, but if the Bible is to be believed, he had to prepare and store food for every pair of land and airborne animal, as well as his family. Not to mention the small task of building an ark to transport them all in. He of course had Divine Guidance of “the what and when” things were going to transpire.

How does Noah apply to us? Jesus, Himself, used Noah as an example for the last days. Since the Holy Spirit is the author of the entire Book, then we can know that the words by Paul in Hebrews is basically a continuation of Jesus thought.

Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
And then there was Joseph, the original food hoarder.

Genesis 41:46-49, 53-57
46And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.
53And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 54And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 56And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

Now we have a 30 year old Joseph. A prisoner and slave standing before the greatness of the throne of Pharaoh, having just interpreted Pharaoh’s dream about the oncoming 7 years of prosperity as well as the 7 years of famine. Joseph by divine inspiration was able to see the coming economic crash, and was positioned at the right place and the right time to save not only the nation of Canaan, but also Egypt, and in fact the whole known world by setting aside food preps.

Yeah, but that’s the Old Testament! Okay, how about the 10 virgins…or at least the five wise virgins.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
(Mat 25:1-9)

How could that be about being prepared? Well, first of all, Matthew 25 is just a continuation of the talk where Jesus had just mentioned Noah in chapter 24. Look at the wise, they took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While “oil” often represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit, God is pretty practical and sometimes oil, just means oil. In those days, olive oil had numerous uses:

·        Cooking, food preparation
·        Lamps – light
·        Medicine – often used in medicine (story of Good Samaritan)
·        Represented the Holy Spirit’s anointing

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (Pro 6:6-11)

Now, many Christians think that putting by some food and water is just being a worry wort, or showing a lack of faith

1Ti 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Pro 27:12)

.So let me ask you something…Do you have insurance on your car? If you own a home do you have homeowner’s insurance?

Why? It’s the law. True. But even Christians that have their houses paid off will have homeowners insurance on it. Why? Because something could happen! A tornado, a fire, a flood…

Even If you don’t believe in preparing for yourself, what about what the Bible says about giving and ministering to others?

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
(Pro 25:21)

Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
(Mat 5:42)

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
(Mat 10:8)

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
(Mat 10:42)

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luk 6:38)

In order to be able to share with others you have to have something ready. Again, we have an example from the Bible.

Lad with Loaves and Fishes

Joh_6:9  There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
Joh_6:11  And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

What else we see here is that as that food was shared it multiplied to feed many. That’s the result of obedience.

Elijah and the Widow
1Ki 17:11  And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
1Ki 17:12  And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
1Ki 17:13  And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
1Ki 17:14  For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
1Ki 17:15  And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
1Ki 17:16  And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

She didn’t have a lot, but again as she was obedient God multiplied the food to feed the three of them until the end of the famine.

Now, I do believe the Lord has directed me to do this, but that doesn’t me I think He’s going direct you to do this in a big way, and I’ve actually had people tell me they’ll just come to my house. Really?

How? We all live miles apart. If you are not prepared to stay in place and survive a power outage in February caused by a major snow and ice storm, how are you going to be able to make it to someone’s house that has prepared?
And…how are you going to feel if you do make it to that person’s house…someone who has sacrificed to put aside some food and water for their family’s survival…and know that you would be taking food from them?

True, God can make that can of spaghetti-O’s stretch to feed a dozen people, but what if you don’t like spaghetti-O’s? You’re stuck.
Even the government says every household should be ready for at least three days. I’m sure the folks in the wake of Sandy are discovering that three days of food is not going to be enough in a major disaster.

Now, I while I may not agree with all the teachings of the Mormon church, I can tell you one thing they do right. They insist that every member of their church have a year’s worth of food, water and other supplies put by…just in case.

But I don’t have thousand and thousands of dollars to buy extra food and water?

I know you don’t. I don’t either. That’s why I use coupons, buy food when it goes on sale, and reuse soda bottles to store both food and water. 

I’m not saying you have to do this…I’m suggesting that you pray about it. Pastor has said repeatedly that things are about to get worse in this country. Personally, I believe America is under the judgment (not wrath) of God, and that Katrina, Sandy, the massive tornado outbreaks that have devastated entire cities are just the tip of what is coming. It’s coming because America has turned her back on God, and like He dealt with Israel in the past, judgment is used to turn the heart of the people back to God in repentance.

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