Some of the Bible’s most beloved characters were prepared for disaster; however, their preparation was not rooted in a need to survive at all costs. Instead, their preparation was done from a sense of faithfulness to God and ministry to others:
- Noah prepared a shelter. He built an ark in preparation for a global flood that God was sending as judgment (Gen. 6).
- Joseph stored food. He prepared for famine during Egypt’s years of plentiful harvests, thus ensuring that Egypt had enough grain to feed not only itself but its neighbors (Gen. 41).
- Moses essentially told the Israelites to prepare bug-out bags. They were to eat the Passover meal prepared to travel at a moment’s notice because their salvation was at hand (Exo. 12:11).
Despite a similarity in methods, these men stand apart from today’s preppers because their reliance was not on their instincts and the thoroughness of their preparation but on God’s faithfulness. They did not prepare because they had an inexplicable sense of doom. Instead, they prepared as an act of faith in response to God’s revelation.
While it is prudent to be prepared to weather temporary seasons of disruption and difficulty, preparing for the apocalypse is another matter. Even if a time of severe judgment lays ahead for our nation, in the absence of God’s clear revelation concerning America’s future, doomsday preparation may contravene our faith in God’s provision and encourage us to mistakenly place our confidence in the assets we have stored. Jesus cautions, “‘Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store you treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matt. 6:19–21).
Contrary to the mindset of many of today’s preppers, Jesus says, I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing” (Luke 12:22b). Furthermore, He encourages His followers, “‘Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven!’” because, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Luke 12:33a, 34).
Preparation is biblical (Prov. 22:3), but doomsday preparation apart from God’s special revelation is not. It is rooted in a mindset of fear that is not from God (2 Tim. 1:7) and that undermines Jesus’ instructions. Therefore, the only doomsday prepping we should be doing is preparing to stand before our holy God (Matt. 7:21–23; Rev. 20:11–15). We simply cannot allow a sense of dread to excuse anchoring our hearts to tangible assets that perish. Instead, let us use our resources and energy to store up treasures in heaven while stocking away just enough on earth to safeguard ourselves, and possibly others, against temporary difficulties.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Biblegateway.com.