There was an online headline that caught my attention recently: Chaos Fears Have Preppers Stockpiling Food! The article was addressing the sharp increase in the number of people who were prepping by stocking up on their long-term food supplies for as little as a month, up to a year or more. Why would people do this? As the article explained, it was due to the uncertainty after the election. Would something catastrophic happen to the financial markets? Would the grid go down? Would terrorism increase? Who knows? But in the words of the Boy Scout motto, it is always good to Be prepared.
While there are certainly many uncertainties in this life, there are also things that are certain which we should definitely be prepared for, and they fall into two realms: the physical and the spiritual. We can find examples in the Bible of both. I can hear some of you asking me through your screens, “Preppers were in the Bible? ” Absolutely! Let’s take a look at a few…
- Joseph was a great example of a prepper on a truly massive scale. He knew for a certainty (from the Lord) that seven years of famine were coming to the land of Egypt and would extend its fingers of starvation into surrounding countries as well. So, as second in command of the land of Egypt, Joseph began a massive food preservation project of storing up grain for seven years during a time of bounty which could then feed the masses through the years of famine and save countless people from a slow death of starvation. (Genesis 41)
- The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is also a fine example of one who made proper preparation. In verse 21, we read that she didn’t fear the cold and snow because her household was clothed in scarlet. In other words, she provided her family with sufficiently warm clothing for the harsh winter long before the first breath of frost ever blew.
- In Matthew 25:1-13, we read a parable which speaks about the wisdom of five virgins waiting for a bridegroom to appear and open the doors for a wedding feast. What made these five virgins wise? They were well prepared. Even though the bridegroom was delayed until midnight, they had no cause to fear that they would be left outside in total darkness. They not only had plenty of oil in their hand-held lamps, but they also had a reserve amount of oil to refill their lamps in case it was needed. This parable actually speaks to being prepared in both the physical and spiritual realm, so let’s turn our attention to some other spiritual preppers in the Bible.
- Ezra, the skilled scribe, was a spiritual prepper. In Ezra 7:10, we read that Ezra “prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it…” He had such a heart for God and knew His word thoroughly because he made diligent preparations to learn, to grow, to love and to follow faithfully.
- When the nation of Israel was rent asunder into two kingdoms, there were some faithful Jews living in the northern kingdom who rejected the idolatry established by king Jeroboam. Instead, they journeyed far from home into the southern kingdom to the city of Jerusalem in order to worship the one true God. We learn in II Chronicles 11:16 that they were able to do this because they “set their heart to seek the Lord God of Israel.” Surrounded by idolatry, they prepared themselves spiritually to serve God faithfully.
Are You a Prepper?
So, how does all of this apply to you and to me? I believe we can see principles set forth in scripture as well as examples of people who prepared physically and spiritually. As far as preparing physically, we can be certain that there will be times of uncertainty. Maybe you live in an area (like me) where you have a fifth season of the year – hurricane season. Whether a storm is a category 1 or 5, whether it strikes you directly or brushes by, it is always good to make some common sense preparations for your family such as stockpiling food, water, batteries, and candles. You can even preserve meat by canning it for long-term storage. There may be times of financial stress that affect your family and it is helpful to have some preserved food set back to ease the burden. It is also a blessing to others in times of sickness, job loss, etc. to have extra food stored up which can be shared.
The most important certainty we face is eternity. How are we preparing ourselves and our family to face it? Are we preparing our hearts to seek the Lord like Ezra, dedicating ourselves to learning God’s Word and then to do it? Are we looking well to the ways of our household by feeding our family spiritual food each day to nourish their souls and help them to grow strong in the Lord? We should never have to experience a spiritual famine when such a feast is within our reach each day. Prepare your heart to seek the Lord.