Month 1:3 (Aviv), Week 1:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year 5934:003 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 6 [Red] April 2011
Preparing for Emergency
Reliance on Others May Cost You Your Life
Quite understandably, those of us who are taking the threat of imminent economic meltdown seriously are doing all we can to make sure we have medical, food, water, fuel and currency provisions ready for our families. There is a lot to think about and a lot to do, made all the more harder if you are working on a tiny budget. Others are simply 'trusting in Yahweh', expecting Him to drop manna out of the sky for them or expecting that friends and relatives who have prepared will take them in while they just sit on their backsides.
There are two thoughts in this connection that I want to share with you today. The first is that the latter is not true emunah or faith - it is parasitism. And it certainly isn't ahavah or divine love. If, having done all we can, we find ourselves short, then there are grounds for seeking support from those who have a surplass who can make up their deficit. The trouble is that in such circumstances lots of people 'discover' that they don't have enough and so 'expect' those have some have surplass to help them by default, as though it is the 'Christian duty' of the ones prepared and the 'right' of those who are not. It isn't. Our duty is to help those whom Yahweh directs us to help after we have taken care of our own.
The parable of the Ten Virgins illustrates this point. Five were careless in not providing extra oil for their torches (lamps) so that when they ran out, they demanded that those who had made extra provision share theirs. Do you remember their response?
The answer was NO! Were these five wise virgins failing to be good Christians? Not at all. They had done what they were told to do and they were not going to sacrifice their salvation and Sukkot celebration for those who had been disobedient. We are never to sacrifice our Husband and Master for someone who dishonours Him. Ever.
"No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves" (Matt.25:9, NKJV).
Admittedly this parable is not about emergency storage but about being spiritually prepared for the Second Coming at Yom Teruah. We all qualify to enter into the Marriage Feast of the Lamb solely on our own emunah or faith-merits and cannot 'borrow' from others. This is the message of the Spring Festivals that are all about our one-to-one relationship with Yah'shua. We must attend to this first before concerning ourselves with the spiritual needs of others for one who tries to lead the blind (unregenerated) who is himself blind (unregenerated) is not helping but hindering or leading astray, isn't he? We cannot ourselves be servants to others until we ourselves are first put right. We must first be spiritually conceived (Pesach), complete our spiritual gestation (Chag haMatzah) and be born again (Yom haBikkurim).
The same principle applies to emergency preparedness. It is the husband/father's duty to first of all provide for his family. He must make sure they are sheltered, fed and kept healthy. He would be in dereliction of his duty were he to starve his own in order to help others but, if he has the resources, he should store up extra in case those in need should come seeking, those who are unable to provide for themselves such as the unemployed, windows, orphans, and so on.
It is very important we remember these things because there will, like the foolish virgins, always be foolish believers who have failed to take the teachings of Proverbs and other Scriptures to heart concerning their responsibility to do all they can to provide for themselves and for their families. In other words, they have failed to be self-reliant when they could have been. For such there will be no extra oil - that much Scripture says plainly. So if you are going around with pie-in-the-sky thoughts about expecting Yahweh to lead others to help you in time of emergency when you have the hands and feet to work and make provision for yourself and your family, now is the time to repent! You simply won't be taken care of because Yahweh won't permit the faithful to starve their own because of your own negligence. It will be too late to "go and buy" (v.10) because by then the Bridegroom will have come - or in our illustration, the emergency situation. The shops will be empty or the goods unaffordable because of hyperinflation.
The second thought I have for you today is a vision Yahweh gave me this morning. I saw two doors, one small and one large. There was a straight path leading to the small door but none leading to the large one - just plain, empty ground. Then as I drew closer to the area in front of the large door I saw that there was a shallow pit there that was full of coins neatly stacked in columns at the same height and perfectly aligned. They all appeared to be silver or gold.
I believe the meaning is clear. The small door is the gate that leads to eternal life and the big door the one that leads to destruction:
Without exception, I believe, the 'other way' is the way of mammon or money (which is no way at all, just a pit) because when we are not seeking Yahweh and His Kingdom, whatever we decide to pursue instead always requires money!
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matt.7:13-14, NKJV).
We, who are called to make preparations for emergency, obviously need some money. Yahweh's message is that making physical preparations must always be preceeded by spiritual preparations in emunah (faith), emet (truth) and tavnith (pattern). The way Noah prepared is surely an excellent illustration:
"Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of Elohim (God), flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses" (1 Tim.6:9-12, NKJV).
Emunah is godly trusting - clinging to and reliance on Yahweh for everything. Out of this comes our physical preparedness - the only safe preparedness. If we follow the divine tavnith or pattern of the four weeks in each month, beginning with the spiritual, then the mental, then the emotional and finally the physical (as we discussed yesterday), then our preparations will be correct, whether it be for emergencies such as the impending financial meltdown or generally in the organising of our domestic and business economies. Our lust (eager desiring) should be for the spiritual first and our lust (eager desiring) for money last, for then our eager desiring will be in tavnith and in obedience to the Divine Will. It will not be the baser sort of lust.
"By emunah (faith) Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to emunah (faith)" (Heb.11:6-7, NKJV).
What Yahweh is asking us today is for His people to trust in Him for what is coming and to depend on His for provision in all four spheres of existence. When He provides excess in our 'summer' seasons, this is not 'extra' to simply consume upon our lusts or gorge ourselves with, but for our 'winters'. Emergency preparedness is not, then, about suddenly getting everything together at the last minute but something we should be doing all the time.
When Joseph was told by Yahweh to gather surplass corn in the seven years of plenty it was not so they could banquet but rather so they could provide for the seven lean years of famine and deprivation. Surplass is for winters, not for indulgence, a lesson most people find hard to learn. So when things are going well, store food and supplies for the bad years. Yahweh provides so that we can prepare, not so that we can spend wildly. This requires obedience and self-discipline, a habit that can be acquired by systematically following the tavnith or pattern of the Sacred Calendar on a day-to-day, month-to-month and year-to-year basis.
Such surplass as we are given for the 'winter' (times of emergency) we must dispense with sensitivity to others according to the Ruach haQodesh's (Holy Spirit's) leading and not willy-nilly. In times of hunger all kinds of people will be roaming around for food, and most of them will not be governed by moral scruples when their bellies are empty. Many will be armed. Those who have prepared must therefore act circumspectly and in wisdom (but not telling thre world they are storing, for example) so as not, in thinking they are being generous, end up being robbed and destroying their families. As John Piper once said in a superb sermon, while Yah'shua (Jesus) loves all people he does not love them in the same way. Many believers fail to make that distinction to their cost. He says:
I learned this lesson early on in my ministry when a woman telephoned me in the middle of the night demanding assistance just after someone else had called asking for help. Yahweh told me to go the first person and I told her I had to prioretise the other emergency call. She got quite angry and said as a Christian I had to help her. My reply was, no, I had to help the one Yahweh wanted me to help. She rang off and I never heard from her again. Do you see what I mean about not loving everyone the same way? That woman needed help but not the kind of help she thought she needed - she would almost certainly have refused what Yahweh wanted her to have. Therefore I had to leave her to her own flesh.
"[Yah'shua] (Jesus) doesn't love everybody the same way. The way He loves His sheep, talmidim (disicples) and children is different from the way He loves those who reject Him. Listen to John 17:9 - this is the way [Yah'shua] (Jesus) prays for His own people:
That's who He is praying for. That's a love (ahavah) that He doesn't have for the world. You could call it 'intercessory love'. [Yah'shua] (Jesus) today is in heaven interceeding for you ... He bought this intercession on the cross and He applies His own blood before the Father, interceeding for you, to see to it that you will make it to the end, which is what He said He did for Peter, just as Peter denied Him. Do you remember that? 'I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail and when you have turned - not if you have turned - strengthen your brothers. I know you're going down, I know you're coming up because I have prayed for you that your 'going down' would not be a 'staying down''. That is the authority (toqef) of the prayer of [Yah'shua] (Jesus) for His own. He did not pray that for Judas. If He had, Judas would be in heaven...and he isn't" (Jesus Doesn't Love Everybody the Same Way).
"I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours" (John 17:9, NKJV).
It is the same in emergency situations when people make demands on our supplies when they have done nothing prepared of their own, having refused to listen to the warnings that I and others have made repeatedly over the years to get a food storage program in operation. Now it is not for us to make the judgment as to who is saved and who is not, and who is worthy and who is not. Here we have to have the discernment of the Ruach (Spirit) or we will be deceived and overwhelmed by those filled with the spirit of hate. We are to be sensitive to all possibilities but we are not to be governed by our feelings or by our intellect because they will fail us in the time of crisis. This is why the correct tavnith is so vital. We must learn it during our 'summers' so that it has be utilised in life-threatening situations in our 'winters'. We have to know when to say 'yes' or 'no' - but actually if we have been truly listening to Him, we will not even admit someone into such a discussion, because if we do, and He tells us to say 'no', they may well try to take it by violence anyway.
May you therefore make sure you are on the way walking in all emet, emunah, ahavah and tavnith. Amen.