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You did not go up to the gaps or restore the wall around the house of Israel so that it might stand in battle on the day of the Lord .
Ezekiel 13:5 HCSB
How disciplined and obedient are we really? Think about it for a moment before you proceed.
Do we prepare in advance for chaos, or do we react in a panicked state of mania once “hell” has broken wide open upon us? Many of us are reactionaries, not planners and preppers.
We know that our homes need upkeep, repairs, and reinforcement— yet we put it off because it’s not a huge priority. Until something happens to the home, then we’re frantic and desperate, and of course, we are complaining as though we took no part in the lack of planning and preparation. We heard the Voice repeatedly tell us month after month, season after season, to fix or replace something, yet we ignored that Voice. Absolute disobedience.
We smirk and make snide remarks about doomsday preppers and others who prepare for calamity, yet who were and have been the only ones prepared in 2020 when we were hit and devastated by a global pandemic?
They have planned, prepared, and trained for it. They have taught generations of their family how to prepare for a season or period of devastation. While we teased and chided them as being paranoid and delusional, they saw a vision that, based on our trending nature of destruction, conflict, and chaos, that life as we have comfortably known it would cease to exist for a period of time.
They planned for disorder and looting and built living quarters for their families to sustain them for two or more years. Some of them even practice long stints of isolation to prepare for being separated from society for extended periods of time. All while we rolled our eyes in cynicism.
This modern-day pandemic experience has been a good trial run for them because they could see how outsiders reacted to store shortages, mass unemployment, business closures, hospital deficiencies, city and state shutdowns, and the temperament of not only the residents but of the political, community, and business leaders.
This is only a trial run. You’re ignorant to believe that this is the worst scenario we will ever again experience in our lifetime. Yet, looking at the news and social media, there are huge chunks of our population in the US alone that obviously don’t care; they’re more concerned with socializing than with learning, planning, and preparing for the future.
Many of us didn’t learn a thing, except that folks don’t like being told what to do, suggested what to do, or being inconvenienced in any way. We also learned that in a crisis, there is a small segment of the population that will price gouge and leverage your desperation for their personal and financial gain. We also learned that we don’t keep enough household supplies and nonperishable foods on hand in our homes to last us months or longer.
I bet many of you started envying those mass couponers that you see on TV. The ones with years worth of products stocked up in their homes, garages, and custom-built storage shelters. Yep, I, too, used to ask myself why a family of two to four needed as many items as so many of them kept stocking. But after watching the shows highlighting couponers, I began to see the why. I also saw that in their bargaining preparation, they also accounted for the products they would donate to local churches and charities and the amounts they would set aside for other family members, friends, and neighbors who may need help.
The majority of couponers aren’t wealthy. They’re just great at using the gift God gave them to calculate and analyze how to apply coupons to gain the most value. They are disciplined and committed. They are forward-thinking. They are planners and preppers. And I can guarantee you they didn’t have to go to the grocery store one time in 2020. Many of them have enough supplies and food to last them several years. While the rest of us were rationing it and we still haven’t understood the lessons that we were being taught.
Noah was obedient and did as God instructed, and while his neighbors and friends looked at him like he was out of his mind, even telling him he was, he continued preparing and getting his family ready. When the floods rushed in and began wiping people out, imagine the thoughts of so many people who knew Noah, and the moment they had the realization that he was right, it was too late.
Noah was a prepper. We celebrate Noah, yet we roll our eyes at modern-day preppers. We better start paying attention, learn our lessons, apply what we learn, listen and obey God’s guiding words. Or expect to be wiped out by whatever Earth-created or man-created force.
The Bible passage above shares God’s disappointment that the people chose to be disobedient and chose to do other things instead of preparing and protecting the House of Israel. It wasn’t a priority for them. Idol worship was. Socializing was. Revising history and giving glory to other gods for the blessings that God gave them. That was more important to them. Ezekiel kept telling the people what God said, and they kept doing their own thing.
Remember what we talked about over the past few days about our relationship with God, about what the temple represents in this relationship with Him. They literally rejected God by not protecting the temple. They rejected their relationship with Him by not protecting the very thing that symbolized their relationship with Him.
Think of Jeremiah’s struggles. He, too, would tell the people what God said, and the people chose to do things their way. Yet when things would blow up, they would rush to Jeremiah to help make things right with God. There are numerous examples like this in the Bible. All are lessons to be learned and taught so we don’t repeat them. Yet we keep repeating them like imbeciles.
When you read the Old Testament, part of you questions why the Israelites kept messing up and faced punishment for their sins and disobedience. The other part of you is quickly checked and silenced by the reality that we do the same ignorant things thousands of years later, and unlike them, we have online access to the written records to try and avoid these things. Our arrogance and pride would be hilarious, if not so heartbreaking.
I’m grateful that God doesn’t get totally frustrated by us and just decide to wipe us out and start over fresh again. He has the power to do so, but He spares us. He shows us mercy. He’s keeping the promise He made to Noah. He sacrificed His son for us. That’s love.
Could we do the same? Would we do the same, having the power to punish or show mercy?
Honestly, no. We’re quick to punish and destroy. Look at our social media timelines. Look at our actions smeared across the newspapers. That’s why He keeps molding us.
Take a few moments to consider what you need to do to listen, plan, prepare, and be disciplined in whatever assignment or task God gives you. If you aren’t tuned in, then you will most likely be left out. We all must do better.
Father prepare me for days ahead, for struggle and strife, for challenges and complications. Show me how to see opportunities in each situation. Protect me from myself and from those who would plot to harm me. Forgive me for my pride and disobedience, for my fear and doubt, for my frustration and conditional faith that sometimes creeps in.
Father let me learn a lesson once without need for repetition. Help me to prepare my mind, heart, body, home, family, and life for battle. Whether the battle is spiritual, financial, medical, or anything else—help me to be ready so I don’t have to frantically rush to get ready. Help me to resist the enemy and see temptation’s lure as leading to nothingness and nothing worthy of giving attention to. My true health, wealth and victory can only come from You. In Your Name I pray and praise. Amen.
And with that family, I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others.
Copyright 2012-2022. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com