Biblical PreppingNot everyone who is a prepper is a person of any spiritual faith. Indeed, I've known many preppers who are atheists ... or at least they were the last time I spoke with them about either prepping or faith. But I am a person of faith—specifically a Christian—and I approach prepping through the same lens of faith through which I view the rest of life.
Like most people who keep a journal, I'm not always very good at it. I'll get fired up and start back at it, and keep it up pretty much daily, for weeks or even months, but I don't think I've ever lasted an entire year before the discipline of journaling fell by the wayside. And when it does, it might be months or even years before I pick up the pen again. I started journaling again 10 days ago, and this morning I was thumbing back through some of my old entries. I ran across an entry from June 29, 2016 that addressed the supposed conundrum between faith in The Father's provision, and doing the work for that provision. Specifically, I am thinking of 2 Thessalonians 3:9-10...
9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. (ESV)
The whole discussion of works aside, there's another angle to this thing...and that is: "will I be ready to stand in the gap when The Father calls me to it?" I carry a firearm every single day—NOT because I do not trust in The Father for my deliverance, but because I want to be ready if he calls me to be the agent of his deliverance. And that is the spirit in which I approach prepping in general.
Here is that journal entry from 06/29/2016 [my interjected comments will appear in italicized square brackets like this]:
This morning, I opened my Bible and reread Psalm 4:2 (but not the whole psalm). [For the purposes of sparing the reader's need to find a Bible and look it up, here is Psalm 4:2 (ESV) - 2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah] Then I opened it to where I had it previously bookmarked, thinking "I'll just bookmark that psalm." Lo and behold, it was bookmarked at Habakkuk chapter 3, titled "Habakkuk's Prayer". I noticed that the word "selah" appears 3 times in this passage, and I thought to myself, "How psalm-like that is." So I thought that maybe I should read this passage before moving that bookmark.
The reason Psalm 4:2 has been haunting me is because it is a question that needs both an asking and an answer. Call me a "prepper" if you like, even though I came to that game late in life, but the reason I do this is because of an unremitting sense of impending doom. No, I am not paranoid. I am merely an observer of human nature and a student of history, and there are just too many parallels between the state of our society today—moral, political, and spiritual—and past societies just before they collapsed. And here we are today, on the eve of probably the most calamitous presidential election in our history, and we've got two rodeo clowns running for office. One is pure evil, and the other is insane. [My views changed between then and the election, and I ended up voting for Trump, because he became less insane, while Clinton became more evil.] So this election does pose the question, "How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?"
If you have the same sense that I have—that this society/culture is about to slide over the edge into some kind of dark abyss of sin and depravity with which it has been flirting for decades—then you can't read that verse [Psalm 4:2], followed by a reading of Habakkuk 3, and not be stricken with fear and worry about what's to come.
But do not fear, and do not worry. Psalm 4 finishes with:
Psalms 4:6-8 (ESV) 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
And the last stanzas of Habakkuk 3 say (after a long list of calamities):
Habakkuk 3:18-19 (ESV) 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
So, in all the confusion and in the midst of worry, I seek my consolation and comfort in this: God is not surprised by anything that is happening today. In fact—just as he allowed Job's torment at the hands of Satan to refine Job's righteousness into pure gold, for His own glory—God is now allowing today's events to take place, and will use them for His own glory. Our finite minds may have difficulty seeing how that is possible, but the mind of God is not limited in any way. He will take what we have broken and defiled, and he will use it for his own glory.
So for my part, I trust in 2 things:
- God will go before me. He will be my strength and my shield. As long as it is in His will for me to survive, nothing can kill me; and when it is His will to call me home, nothing can keep me here.
- Therefore, worry and fear serve nothing, because my (saved) family and I have been granted a rare and unique privilege of being God's witnesses to His work.
So, I go forth and continue prepping, knowing that great nations come and go, and have done so for the thousands of years of biblical history, and knowing that as great a nation as America has been, it is not exempt from the inexorable march of history. It may be exceptional in the sense of the "American Experiment", but it is not exceptional in being permanently resistant to mankind's sinful nature and crapulence. The book of Revelation is not a specifically American prophesy, and nowhere does America appear in its words. Sad as it may be, this country WILL perish some day ... hopefully not any time soon, but it WILL eventually perish. So don't put your trust in the ephemeral.
All kinds of righteous heroes of the Bible endured the fall of Judah and Israel, and their exile to their conquerors' kingdoms. Being a righteous person is no guarantee that one will be spared hardship and witnessing the collapse of their society. It may not happen tomorrow, but it WILL eventually happen. One of those heroes, Joseph, caused Egypt to put up 7 years worth of food because of a prophesied famine, that did indeed happen in his lifetime. His works spared Egypt AND many foreigners, including Joseph's extended family.
So while enjoying the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, DO the work of being prepared for the day on which, in HIS sovereignty, God may call you to be His agent; and give due consideration to what "being prepared" means.