Spiritual preparedness should be the first order of business in our lives. When we are prepared spiritually, then everything else will fall into place after that including mental and emotional preparedness, and finally physical preparedness. The main focus of the Hoshana Rabbah for more than 20 years has been on spiritual preparedness. That end we have written and published thousands of articles and made nearly 600 videos. Today, however, we want to focus briefly on physical preparedness. What can we learn from the Bible about “prepping”?
The foundation of preparing for lean times goes back to the beginning of the human experience. Hunter-gatherer civilization spent much of their time preparing for the coming winter season when food was scarce. Those who grew up on farms, like me, know all about gathering in the harvest and preserving it and then storing it up for the coming winter months and into the next year while waiting for the new harvest of fruits and vegetables to come in. Even the Boy Scouts, which has been around for more than a hundred years and has been preparing boys to become self-sufficient and capable men, has as its motto: Be Prepared. More recently, in America, the U.S. Homeland Security Department, the American Red Cross, many local state and city governments along with local utility companies have been urging people to be prepared and to have at least 36 hours or even 72 hours of food, water and other supplies in case of an emergency. This is old news. However, what happens if the whole economy collapses, or the power grid goes down, or law and order breaks down, or there is a war? Then what will people do?
As we are about to learn, the concept of preparing for the coming season or for hard times is a principle that is found throughout the Bible, with numerous passages dedicated to preparedness planning and survival.
Noah was prepper for hard times—by Elohim’s command. He did not wait for the rains to start before building the ark. Needless to say, Noah did not run to the grocery store at the last minute to buy food nor did he run to the local boat dealer to buy an ark as the rain was starting to fall. He prepared for 120 years! Those who people around Noah who were unprepared physically and spiritually were wiped out.
Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. (Gen 6:14, 21–22 cp. 6:3)
Joseph was also a prepper. When YHVH gave Pharaoh the vision of seven prosperous years followed by seven lean years, Joseph did not sit down, wring his hands and say, “My oh my, what do we do now?” He got to work and prepared, thus saving the Egyptians and Israelites from starvation during a severe famine (Gen 41:1–36).
Nehemiah the repairer of the Jerusalem’s wall was also a prepper—He prepared his workers for a possible attack from their enemies who were intent on thwarting the Jews’ attempt to protect themselves by building a wall. He instructed each worker to strap on his sword while working so as to be ready for a possible attack at anytime. We might refer to this as situational preparedness.
So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me. (Neh 4:16–18)
Similarly and nowadays, this is like having locks on our doors, wearing seat belts while driving, carrying a spare tire or first aid kit in our cars, having a watch dog or burglar alarm, purchasing insurance or having money in the bank for an emergency or if we get sick or when we are too old to work. We are preparing for some calamity that might come upon us unexpectedly or for just planning for the future. These things are all common sense.
The Biblical Prophets
In ancient times, the inhabitants of walled city stationed guards and watchman on the walls to keep watch for a possible attack from the enemy, so that the people could be forewarned and thus prepare ahead of time. Similarly, the Bible likens YHVH’s prophets to watchmen on the wall to warn the people of impending calamity if they failed to repent of their sins.
Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, “Listen to the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not listen.” (Jer 6:17)
Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me…(Ezek 3:17)
Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,“Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. (Ezek 33:1–7)
Provide For Your Family by Preparing for Hard Times
This concept of preparedness is nothing new; in fact, long before the word prepper or survivalist became part of the modern lexicon, the Bible encouraged the wise man to study the dangers ahead, and then take precautions to protect themselves and their family from those threats. As noted earlier, I learned nearly 50 years ago en route to becoming an Eagle Scout that the Boy Scout motto was, “Be prepared”.
The Bible is clear that the role of a dutiful and responsible man is to provide for his family. This would include preparing for hard times as well.
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim 5:8)
The Bible on Preparedness
The Wise man takes food storage seriously. Even during short-term disasters, food supplies can be cutoff in an instant. If that happens, you’re going to have to live off only the supplies you currently have in your home for weeks, maybe longer. During a long-term disaster, your food supplies, and your ability to acquire and preserve new food are going to be determining factors in whether or not you make it through.
Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep—So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man. (Prov 6:6–11)
The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing. (Prov 20:4)
Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread. (Prov 20:13)
There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it. (Prov 21:20
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished. (Prov 22:3)
The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed. The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. (Prov 26:13–16)
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished. (Prov 27:12)
He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough! (Prov 28:19)
There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; (Prov 30:24–25)
For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. (2 Thes 3:10)
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. (1 Cor 16:13)
You need to be alert, and don’t let society dull your senses
Most people around us are like zombies—the walking dead; they are clueless about what is going on in the world, and have been largely brainwashed into believing the baby food pap that they are constantly being fed by the powers brokers and influencers of our time. The saints, on the other hand, have the Word and Spirit of Elohim to guide them through these dark times because they are the children of the light. As such, they are called to be alert and awake, so that the things prophesied in the Bible for the end times don’t take them by surprise. YHVH Word instructs us,
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. (1 Thes 5:1–7)
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. (Rom 13:11–13
A Final Word on Sensible Preparedness From Yeshua
Let us never forget to keep a balanced approach to preparedness. While preparing for hard times, our main focus must never leave YHVH Elohim, Yeshua the Messiah and his Set-Apart Word as contained in the Bible. As such, Yeshua instructed us,
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matt 6:25–34)
Some Common Sense Principles to Surviving the End Times Economic Difficulties
Much could be said on the subject preparing for even marginally upsetting economic difficulties, much lest cataclysmic time. Whatever happens, let us keep in mind several basic, common sense principles that not only will help us to survive but thrive—if not physically, then at least spiritually— during economic hard times. These include:
- Stay informed about local, national and international world events. Being forewarned about what is coming is the first step in being forewarned, so you can be prepared for it. Do not bury your head in the sand as if the status quo will continue as it has up until this time (read 2 Pet 3:1–13; especially note verses 3–7). Then pray and seek YHVH on what to do in response to those things that will affect you.
- Get of debt. If you can’t afford to buy something without going into debt, then likely you don’t really need it. If you must to go into debt, be prepared to pay it off quickly, or be certain that the thing that your are financing is making you more money than the debt is costing you.
- Live within your means. Don’t spend more money than you make.
- Live frugally and learn to live with less. Reduce your consumption and lower your standard of living a bit if necessary, and be grateful and content with what you have.
- Set aside money and provisions for difficult times. Wise people prepare for hard times not out of fear but out of common sense, prudence and thinking ahead.
- Become a little more self-sufficient if possible. For example, plant a vegetable garden and stock up on things that you need and that may be in short supply in difficult times.
- Get physically fit and adopt a more healthy lifestyle. You don’t want to be sick and weak when economic hard times or emergencies come.
- Build relationships with other like-minded people that you know and trust and who have the same beliefs, values and understanding as you. Being involved in a community in times of difficulty may mean the difference between life and death.
- Build family relationships. Your family will likely be your most trusted human asset and trusted support group in difficult times.
- Open your mouth (as led by the Spirit of Elohim) and let your voice be heard to all of those around you about the end times in which we are living, about the hope of the gospel, about the need to get right with Yeshua, and how faith in him and the Bible is man’s only hope.
- Pray that YHVH will give you boldness and faith in him to stand strong against the tidal wave of evil and the Spirit of Antichrist that is sweeping across the planet and carrying everything away with it that is not anchored down to the bedrock of biblical Truth. Do not fear the evil one, for we have the victory through Yeshua the Messiah. (Read Rom 8:31, 37; Phil 4:13, 19; 1 Tim 1:7; 1 John 4:4; Rev 12:11.)
- Family and faith are the two things that will carry you through these evil times. Strengthen these areas of our life like your life depends on them, for they do!
- Most importantly: draw closer to Yeshua the Messiah. Study his word, the Bible. Pray, seek him, make him a part of every aspect of your life. Obey and love him by keeping his commandments. Turn from sin and walk in his ways that bring life, blessing and provision even in hard times.
22 Ways to Get Out of Debt and Spend Less Money
- Reduce or totally eliminate streaming services and cable subscriptions (e.g., Netflix, Disney, Hulu, Prime Video, HBO, etc.)
- Stop eating out in restaurants; cook your own meals. Take your own lunch to work.
- Stop using Ubber eats.
- Wean yourself off of expensive coffees; make your own coffee.
- Don’t run to the doctor for everything; learn to treat yourself. Improve your health by eating clean food and eliminating junk food, so you don’t have to run to the doctor for everything.
- Don’t buy new when you can buy good used. Save yourself the depreciation.
- Don’t finance anything. Pay cash for everything unless it’s an appreciating item that will make you money.
- Get rid of expensive toys that you can’t afford to keep and maintain.
- Review your cell phone bill. Eliminate expensive services you don’t need. Don’t give expensive smart phones to your children. Less expensive flip phones are sufficient.
- Make a shopping list for food and stick to it. That way, you buy only the things you need, not want, thus saving money.
- Track your spending. You might be spending more money on unnecessary thing than you think.
- Make a budget and stick to it.
- Focus on paying off expensive credit card bills instead of on saving money.
- Practice intermittent food fasting. Skip a meal or two whenever you can. This is a good health practice to give your body a rest, you will lose weight, shrink your stomach, and eat less food thus saving money.
- Move into a smaller home.
- Stop impulse buying. Wait and ask yourself if you really need that. If so, look around and wait until you find a better price.
- Rent out a spare bedroom in your home.
- Improve the energy efficiency of your home to save energy costs.
- Learn how to fix things around the house. There’s a YouTube video on how to do every kind of DIY (do it yourself) project.
- Experience staycations instead of vacations. Use the money that you’d spend on a vacation to fix things up around the house, so that you’ll enjoy being at home more.
- Sell everything that you don’t need or that doesn’t bring you joy.
- Have a buy-nothing week.