Letter Re: Food Storage Versus Expecting Manna Falling from Heaven

In response to Heather M., I think your Old Testament examples are excellent, but there are numerous New Testament examples as well, with the best being St. Paul’s admonition in II Thessalonians 3: 6-15

“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.
If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”

And as this past Sunday, was the Last Sunday of the Church Year, the appointed Gospel text – Matthew 25: 1-13 – is an excellent discourse on physical preparedness (the bridesmaids having enough lamp for their oil) being a discipline that prepares us for Christ’ return (the coming of the bridegroom) –

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
” ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
“Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’
“But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

What more can be said about life in general, than the last verse?

Finally, a word of caution about tossing around Lk.22: 35-36, as a “preparedness” quote. Take note of the larger context of Luke 22. This is a condensed version of Jesus’ farewell discourse (John chapters 14-17). Look at where Jesus is going, with vv.35-36, in vv.37 & 38;

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied.

The important part of these four verses, is v.37 – Jesus fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 53: 12 – “And he was numbered among the transgressors.” The disciples (collectively) “need” swords, so that when confronted by the Temple Guards in the Garden of Gethsemane in a few hours, Jesus may be said to be among, ‘armed riffraff’ – “transgressors” – as it were. This is not a “preparedness” admonition, so much as it is, the fulfillment of prophecy. A better place to look to Jesus supporting personal defense/being armed, are those verses that back up what you cite correctly, in Ex.22: 2, regarding our actions towards the thief who comes in the night. Matthew 12: 29, 24: 42-44; Mark 3: 27, and Luke 11: 21, 12: 39-40 all are examples of Jesus commending a man to watchfulness of his household. Of course, even as He cites these temporal examples as good and God-pleasing, He exhorts us to greater watchfulness in spiritual matters, but the point is clear enough. The Gospels and New Testament support temporal preparedness, as a discipline that puts faith into action – spiritual preparedness.
Sincerely, – Your friendly neighborhood Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) Pastor