There is a lot of controversy regarding what the Bible says about prepping and hoarding food. While some may argue the Bible promotes being prepared and therefore justifies hoarding food, others argue that you should trust in the Lord to provide for your needs.
The Bible advocates for the preparation, stewarding our resources to take care of our family’s. However, the Bible also warns against prepping and hoarding food as this may be interpreted as not trusting that God will provide for your needs.
There is a fine line between planning as a steward of the food you have received and hoarding out of fear that you will not have enough in the future. It is valuable to distinguish between the two, as prepping aligns with Biblical principles, whereas hoarding potentially may not.
4 Bible verses about prepping and hoarding food in a positive light
Here are four Bible verses regarding prepping and hoarding food which can be interpreted as potentially advocating for prepping and hoarding food.
1. Proverbs 21:20
“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down”
- Proverbs 21:20 can be interpreted to imply that it is wise to store up your food and foolish to consume food with no thought to the future.
2. Proverbs 28:19
“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty”
- Proverbs 28:19 can be interpreted to advocate for being hard-working so that you can have food in abundance. This verse warns against chasing fantasies as it is likely to end in poverty. This verse can be construed to indicate that the Bible takes a positive outlook on having food in abundance.
3. Proverbs 6:6-8
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.”
- Proverbs 6:6-8 indicates that it is wise to gather food and prepare food in advance in times of plenty to ensure you have food in the future.
4. Genesis 41: 34-36
“Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”
- Genesis 41: 34-36 shows the value in storing up food during plentiful years in preparation for potential times of famine.
- However, this verse should be interpreted with caution as the context of the verse indicates that the people were aware of guaranteed times of famine in the future and planned accordingly. Planning with knowledge of a certain future event differs from hoarding in fear of a potential future event.
4 Bible verses advocating for planning
Here are four Bible verses that advocate for planning which can be interpreted as advocating for prepping and potentially hoarding food.
1. Proverbs 21:5
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
- Proverbs 21:5 is a verse that can be seen as advocating for planning, indicating that it is diligent to plan as planning will lead to abundance, whereas being hasty will lead to poverty.
2. Proverbs 27:23
“Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds.”
- Proverbs 27:23 is an Old Testament verse that can be extended to relate to the state of your food supplies. This verse can be interpreted to indicate that believers should keep track of their food supplies and their financial position to purchase food as it is the diligent thing to do.
3. Proverbs 22:3
“A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
- Proverbs 22:3 indicates that if you foresee difficulties and do not prepare for them, you will suffer consequences. The verse very clearly indicates that it is wise to be alert of potential difficulties and prepare for them.
4. 1 Timothy 5:8
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
- 1 Timothy 5:8 serves as a warning to believers who do not provide for their relatives. In terms of physical provision, providing for one’s relatives can mean providing food, water, clothes, and shelter.
- While it is not expressly said in this verse, this verse can be linked to prepping food as it is an essential part of ensuring you are able to provide for your relatives.
4 Bible verses about prepping and hoarding food in a negative light
Here are four Bible verses regarding prepping and hoarding food which can be interpreted as advising against prepping and potentially hoarding food.
1. Matthew 6: 19-21
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- Matthew 6: 19-21 can be interpreted as a warning to believers that while one should prepare for the future, believers should not hoard their treasures on earth but rather focus on their salvation to ensure they have treasures stored up for them in heaven.
2. Luke 12:16-21
“And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And He said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”
- Luke 12:16-21 speaks of a parable shared by Jesus, indicating that hoarding food to prepare for the future can be fruitless because you may perish before you get to use what you have stored.
- This parable can be construed to mean that while you can plan to prevent yourself from stressing about food in the future, you should rather prioritize planning that it is well with your soul in preparation to meet with God.
3. Proverbs 16:9
“In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
- Proverbs 16:9 indicates that while it is human nature for believers to plan for their life, God may have a different path for their life. This verse offers caution to those who depend heavily on the plans they have made, indicating that God’s plans supersede human’s plans.
4. Matthew 6:9-13
“This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”
- Matthew 6:9-13 discusses what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. In this verse, Jesus instructs believers to ask God for their daily bread.
- This passage can be interpreted as Jesus telling believers to rely on God for their daily food. While it does not expressly warn against prepping, it is clear that if you ask for your daily meal, God will provide.
6 Bible verses that provide comfort in times of uncertainty
Here are six verses that can provide comfort in times of uncertainty to ease the need to prep and hoard food.
1. Matthew 6:25-27
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life?”
- Matthew 6:25-27 reassures believers that they are valuable to God, and indicates that He will take care of their needs. This passage cautions against worrying about the future as it will not time to your life. Additionally, it encourages believers by stating that God will provide food for them the same way He provides food for the birds of the air.
2. Matthew 6:31-33
“Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
- Matthew 6:31-33 is a comforting verse that clearly indicates God’s awareness of believer’s needs. This verse shows that God knows you need food and drinks and will provide these things for you if you seek Him.
3. Philippians 4:19
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 4:19 states that God will supply every need. Every need includes your need for food. This scripture can be interpreted to indicate that it is not necessary to hoard food as God will supply your need for food.
4. Malachi 3:10
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
- Malachi 3:10 instructs believers to tithe so that there can be food in the house of God. This verse can be interpreted as stating that if you tithe fully, God will bless you abundantly so that you lack nothing.
- Importantly, the verse also states that there should be food in the house of God. This can be seen as God recognizing the need for food and wanting His people to be fed. Therefore, this verse highlights that God wants you to have food. Additionally, this verse indicates that He will bless you abundantly if you sow into His house.
5. Philippians 4:6
“Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
- Philippians 4:6 consoles anxious believers, indicating that if they make their requests known to God in prayer and gratitude, He will answer their prayers.
- This verse can provide comfort to anxious believers concerned about future food supplies as it indicates that if you display gratitude for what God has blessed you with and make your needs known in prayer, He will meet your needs.
6. Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6 can be interpreted to indicate that if believers place their trust in God, He will provide for their needs. This verse can be applied to food hoarding and interpreted to indicate that it is not necessary to hoard food, as God will provide for your needs.
It is evident from these passages of scripture that prepping is aligned with the Bible. These verses can be interpreted to mean that it is Godly to prepare so that you are able to look after yourself and your family. The Bible regards that prepping as good stewardship of the food God has provided. However, the Bible indicates that hoarding can be a sign of mistrust in God’s provision and emphasizes that God will meet all your needs if you put your faith in Him.