What does the bible say about being prepared?
Matt S. (June 14th 2016.)
In this day and age many Christians (including the AMTM team) believe that we are now living in the times of the birth pains described by Jesus in Matthew Chapter 24.
When we hear the word “preparedness” or “preppers”, what image do these words invoke? Do you imagine an armed to the teeth, gun toting, camo clad, wild looking individual who is living in the middle of nowhere, ready to defend family and fort from the onslaught of the New World Order toadies? Or do you see men and women spending every spare cent on making canned goods and storing them behind false walls, getting survival food, buying supplies of antibiotics, and then going on the National Geographic “Doomsday Preppers” program, revealing their preps and locations for all the world to see.
Hmm…. Well I can understand if this is the image you see when the word “preparedness’ is mentioned. This is how the mainstream media portrays many who do claim to be preppers, and I have to admit [some] of these folk do come across as a little crazy at times.
So what if I told you the Bible talks quite a bit about preparedness and has examples of where God has asked people to prepare, (yup! really).
For the Christian “preparedness” or “being prepared” is about so much more than “Beans, Band-Aids and Bullets”. In fact I am not sure that I will be able to cover all aspects of what the Bible says about preparedness, (there is so much of it). However much of what I see as God’s preparedness for us would fall into what we would call “spiritual preparedness”. There are other areas such “mental preparedness”, “physical preparedness” (the body) and “resource preparedness” (food etc). There are probably some other areas that I have missed but these would be the broad categories raised in the Bible.
So where does the Bible talk about God asking people to prepare? [As in “prepper” prepare resource preparedness]
This is an account in Genesis from Chapter 5:32 to Chapter 10:1. So what does this portion of the Bible have to say about preparedness? So basically God saw that things had got out of control and corrupt on Earth, more than likely due to a fallen angelic incursion. So in Genesis 6:14 God tells Noah to build an ark of gopher wood, and God tells Noah how to build it. I mean God could have just gone “poof” and had a ready made ark all set to go for Noah, but nope Noah was instructed to build the ark. The ark was built in preparation for the flood. Moving right along to verse 21 of Genesis 6 God says to Noah (wait for it) “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” Wow! God asked Noah to do some prepping! So there you have it, prepping is in the Bible.
Long story short! Joseph got the rough treatment from his jealous brothers and was sold into slavery and ended up in Egypt. He ended up in prison on false pretences after rejecting the advances of the wife of an important official. He got a rep’ for interpreting dreams and interpreted a Dream Pharaoh had. Pharaoh put him in charge of all the important stuff in Egypt. Joseph listened to God and as per Pharaoh’s dream of 7 good years and 7 bad years, and the advice to save a fifth of the abundant crops, “God had instructed to Joseph to prep”. This prepping saved the bacon (ah maybe not the best turn of phrase for the Israelites) ah skin of the Egyptian people and also those people in nearby lands including Joseph’s original family. Again, God asked Joseph to do some prepping.
If you are a “resource prepper” or not it may be good to ask God if he wants you to do this. I have had many discussions with Christians who think it is weird to prep because only weird people prep, or because God will provide all their needs supernaturally if required and so on. I think that it is worth remembering that it was only a short time ago that many people prepped because you did not have fridges and McDonalds and supermarkets and it is just what people did to survive. However when I ask Christians who don’t prep if they have insurance, or lock their car or house doors, they look at me like I am crazy. I then say well why bother, won’t God provide for you if someone steals your stuff or there is a big disaster and you lose it all? I am then told “now that’s just silly”.
Most of these folk don’t even have a basic disaster emergency kit, they are not poor or destitute and could afford to put away a can of spaghetti or beans or rice or water on a regular basis. But they don’t because it will never happen to them! Really? I now have a picture of an ostrich with its head firmly planted in sand for some reason. Like many people these days they just don’t want to know ‘cos it’s really scary to think otherwise. There are Christian folk who believe that God has not prompted them to prep even after asking him if they should, and I accept this because they have sought God on the matter. I would still be inclined to have a small emergency kit for natural disasters though as this is a common sense thing.
So we have had a picture of two biblical instances of God asking people to prep, but there are more scriptures on this matter.
Proverbs 6:6-8 talks of the ant and how they prepare for the leaner months of winter
Proverbs 28:19–20 says that if you work that land then you will reap the benefits, but if you don’t you will have nothing. (Yep, I get that) and trying to make a fast buck may have some drawbacks.
Proverbs 22:3 says that a person can be prepared by watching for the trouble and avoiding it, but those in the “La-La land, it will never happen to me” mind-set are in trouble.
So what else does the Bible have to say about prepping?
The Bible does talk about being physically prepared in 1 Timothy 4:8 where it says that it is of some benefit to be physically prepared. If you are doing some physical exercise this keeps muscles toned, sleep can be a little better etc. Physical exercise keeps the body in a more healthy state than if you do no exercise at all.
However there is another reason to keep your body healthy as discussed in 1st Corinthians 6:19- 20. As a Christian your body does not belong to you, it is God’s body and that is the best reason to look after it. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit so that’s a good enough reason also.
Some might argue that there is little difference between mental preparedness and spiritual preparedness however I believe that there is a difference even though aspects of both may overlap at times. 1st Corinthians 16:13 talks about being alert, standing firm in the faith, acting like men and being strong. Just as a quick aside for men (you ladies who have had children know about this already), if you want to see mental toughness/preparedness then witnessing a woman going through childbirth says it all.
Cultivate your “situational awareness“. This is about being alert to what is happening in your immediate environment. 1st Peter 5:8 talks of being alert to what satan is doing, this could include him using people to get at you. Proverbs 22:3 could also apply to this situation suggesting that someone who looks ahead will see trouble coming and will be able to avoid it.
I believe that mental preparedness is something of an attitude or an act of will and can be very much contrary to what we are both feeling and thinking. The greatest example of this comes from Jesus. Matthew 26 describes what happens to Jesus prior to his crucifixion. Jesus knew what was coming and clearly was in distress about this, he would have wanted to forgo his crucifixion if it had not been the will of his Father God. This demonstrated a mental toughness/preparedness in Jesus knowing what he was going to but still going ahead despite his knowledge of the suffering to come.
For me personally this is the most important aspect of preparedness. Being spiritually prepared supersedes all other forms of preparedness. The Bible has a lot to say about spiritual preparedness. So just what does God have to say from his word about being spiritually prepared, and how do we apply this to our lives.
Here are some verses that speak to being prepared.
Matthew 24:42-43 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Matthew 25:1-13 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them.but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. “Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. “It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. “Therefore, be on the alert–for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning.
in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. “What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!'”
Luke 12:35-38 “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. “Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
Luke 21:36 “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The bible has a lot say about preparedness and particularly spiritual preparedness. If you look at the verses above, God so often calls us to be alert, to be on our guard, to be watchful, to be prayerful, to be ready.
“Being spiritually prepared encompasses all the other areas of preparedness”.
God asks us to be active in talking to him ,asking him for help, helping ourselves by taking action. The actions we take are putting extra aside extra provisions in case we may need it, or someone else may need it. Just remember folks that it was not that long ago for those of us that live in colonial regions that our forbears did this type of preparing as a matter of course. God asks us to keep in touch with him, learn to know his voice and be ready when he asks us to do something. God asks us to watch out for the enemy the devil, as the devil only wants to do us harm in the sneakiest nastiest way possible. God asks us to be ready and waiting for him but to be active in our waiting. Being active in our waiting means developing plans also. The first thing is to be listening for what God has to tell you to do.
“The Days We Live In”
This is my opinion (and also of the AMTM team) that as mentioned, we are living in the days described by Jesus in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Jesus says that there will be no other time on Earth like these days. This could make pretty grim reading but for Luke 21:36. This brings to mind the “blueprint plan” in Exodus 23 (last half of this chapter) that God spelled out to the Israelites about how he would clear the “Promised Land” of all the nephilim riffraff for the Israelites after they left Egypt. The Israelites sent into spy out the Promised Land chose to ignore God’s promise with the exception of Joshua and Caleb. The result was that Joshua and Caleb were the only ones to go into the Promised Land Numbers 14:30 because they knew Gods “blueprint plan” promise and trusted God rather than their eyes.
I believe Luke 21:36 is a similar promise for us. Jesus is speaking about the same things mentioned in Matthew 24, however in Luke Jesus says “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man“. Jesus says for us to “be alert” at all times. “Pray” that we have “strength” to “escape all these things that are about to take place“.
There will be many who will not pray for this because they do not read God’s word. But I pray for those reading this that they will take Jesus advice, be alert/watchful and pray that they too will escape all these things that are about to take place. So perhaps we, like Joshua and Caleb, should trust in God and His Son to deliver us from those things about to take place. If we look with our natural eyes with those things coming upon the Earth, it may be as described in Luke 21:25-26 “our hearts may fail us from fear”.
Instead “Be Prepared”