My Christian friend said, “I don’t believe anything is going to happen in September. I don’t believe all this stuff.” And, in the words of another Christian friend with a tone of extreme cynicism, “I don’t believe it! I’ve wasted my time and energy the past two months being anxious over nothing. Nothing’s going to happen. I don’t believe all that about the blood moon and all that’s supposed to happen.” And with that she quotes verses about our Lord supplying all our needs – ALL – with body language and a clear attitude that said “ALL my food, ALL the supplies I’ll ever need.”
I didn’t bother responding. I knew it would be a waste of time. But that conversation set me to thinking and it is that which I want to share.
When someone whips out a Scripture verse to ‘prove’ their stand on something, it’s almost as though now that they have pulled out the “Big Gun” (God’s Word), that is supposed to be the end of the conversation. After all, we do know that one does not argue successfully against Scripture. And it is true, He does say that He will supply all our needs. What ISN’T said is the ‘HOW’ of the meeting of our needs. We also know He works in wondrous ways:
“For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.” (Psalm 86:10)
No argument there! He said it, He meant it, and I believe it. It’s been a proven truth in my life all these years.
So, where does the apex of God’s Word, total sold-out faith in God’s provision, and the times in which we are living meet? Where do they come together in harmony without a compromise of any or all of the whole?
My mind goes back to the days of Noah. At that point of time in the history of mankind, a crisis of the worst of magnitudes was on the horizon, second only to Adam and Eve’s fall. God, Who found Noah to be a righteous man, had a plan of action by which Noah and his immediate family would be spared from the impending destruction of the then known world.
It was not only Noah and his family who were the recipients of God’s favor (Genesis 6:8), but the creatures He had made as well: two of every sort, male and female and two of every sort of creeping thing of the ground (Genesis 6:19-20). It is interesting that, according to verse 19, Noah was to bring the animals into the ark but in verse twenty, we find that “of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every short shall come in to you to keep them alive.” It was teamwork – God and Noah.
In addition to all on board, God had Noah gather up PROVISIONS for all – not just for the duration of the boat ride, but for “post” boat life.
“Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them" (Genesis 6:21).
Nowhere do we read where Noah was “fearful” of the devastation that was shortly coming upon the earth. God alerted Noah to the impending doom not so as to scare him, but so that he could prepare for it.
As we move on through Biblical history, we find another man making preparations for the preservation of life of both man and animal. Joseph, in charge of Pharaoh’s agriculture program,
“… stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured” (Genesis 41:49).
This was before the famine hit the land. This preparation was not just for the people of Egypt, but:
“… all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth” (Genesis 41:57).
We do not read of any “fear” for the difficult days that were about to befall all the “known” earth at that time, but only of “preparation.” This alert (warning) to prepare was from God and implemented through Joseph for the preservation of life.
And now, moving 1900 years or so into the future, in Matthew 25 we read about 10 others who were in a state of preparation… more or less.
While “waiting” for the announcement of the arrival of the bridegroom, five of the ten ran out of oil for their lamps. No planning ahead, no extra supply or reserve of oil in case there was a delay of any kind. They were caught empty handed and as they dashed off in an attempt to find a supply of oil, the announcement was made that it was time to meet the groom. The five who had planned and “prepared” ahead of time, moved forward in confidence and assurance.”
Should preparation for the soon to arrive judgments that are coming upon this earth be seen as a lack of faith and trust in God as our Provider? I dare to challenge that way of thinking. I do not believe that one negates the other. Quite to the contrary, I believe they go hand in hand: faith WITH works.
Noah had much work to do to build the ark and to gather up all that God commanded him to take along with him and his family. Joseph definitely had his work cut out for him. And the five virgins who bought their “extra” supply of oil for “just in case” there was a delay while waiting for the announcement of the bridegroom, wanted to be ready. There was no anxiousness, no anxiety, no fear as they simply “prepared” for that which they knew was “on the way.”
Are we to be no less “prepared?”
If one looks at this from a strictly secular point of view, ignoring the God factor, the reality of wars and wickedness that is epidemic worldwide, the political corruption that controls the nations and the economic crashes, what is left by which to accurately evaluate the true condition of this planet? What are the “facts?”
The facts are: drought, hurricanes and typhoons, torrential rains that flood rivers, erupting volcanoes and massive earthquakes, polluted oceans, rivers and waterways, the death of sea and bird life by the multiplied millions all over the world, the death of land animals because of a lack of vegetation, explosions of chemical plants in various places around the world that send toxins into both air and water and on and on the list can go.
Food crops cannot be grown because of either flooding or of intense heat that kills not only all plant life, leaving nothing but parched earth, but people and animals as well because of intense temperatures never before recorded in history. Food is simply not available in many areas and as resources for food are dwindling and already, in many areas simply not available…people are starving. This is a reality.
So, I ask my question once again. Should preparation for the soon to arrive judgments that are coming upon this earth be seen as a lack of faith and trust in God as our Provider? Or is He making us aware so we can have provisions not only for ourselves but also for others?
What greater way to show His love for humanity, even in this immeasurably wicked age in which we are living, than that of reaching out in His Name to feed not only bodies but souls and spirits with the Good News of God’s love, all with the extra food and supplies we have “prepared” for such a time as is on our horizon?”