There is a lot of fear-mongering going around. How are Christians supposed to react to things that are out of their control? If the food supply is poisoned or if mass inflation is happening, can Christians count on God?
If the food and medicine are poison, believers must trust that God is a supernatural being and the covenant believers have with him gives them supernatural protection from deadly things in our food or medicine. Remember how Paul shook off the venomous snake in Acts 28:5? Apparently, snake venom is not a threat to a believer filled with the holy spirit as it says in Mark 16:18. In addition, even in the old covenant, God supernaturally healed the Israelites after they were bitten by venomous serpents in the wilderness, and did so by having them look at a bronze serpent on Moses’ staff (Numbers 21:4-9). Jesus references this bronze serpent when talking about salvation from sin through him in John 3:13-15. He compares believing in him to the Israelites looking at Moses’ bronze serpent.
When it comes to inflation and economic woes God has solutions for that as well. In 1 Kings 17, there was a drought because of Israel’s sins and it lasted 3 years. In the midst of that God sent the prophet Elijah, who was on the run from the King, to a brook where God had ravens steal food for him to eat (v1-7). Then when the brook dried up he sent him to a poor widow in Zarephath, Sidon, and told Elijah that she would take care of him (v8-10). When he got there the woman said she was so poor that she and her son were going to eat their last meal and die, but Elijah said he if he feeds her first, God will make sure they never run out and it was so (v11-14). God made sure they never ran out of food (v15-16). Tragedy struck and her son died, Elijah prayed and God resurrected him and she testified that she knows for sure that there is a faithful God in Israel (1 Kings 17:17-24).
In 2 Kings 6:24-33, there was a famine that was so bad that people were eating their children. Deut 28:53-57 warns that this could happen when the Israelites got into sin, and in 2 Kings 6-8 the Israelites are being led by a wicked king. However, God shows them mercy and miraculously changes the circumstances in a day. War appears in the blessing and curse side of the Deut ch. 28 conditions of the covenant. The difference was that they would lose battles under the curse and win them under the blessing. God doesn’t cause the wars humans do, but how he responded depended on if his people were keeping their side of the covenant. The curse would reverse if the Israelites repented (2 Chron. 7:14).
2 Kings 6:24 (NLT) Some time later, however, King Ben-hadad of Aram mustered his entire army and besieged Samaria. 25 As a result, there was a great famine in the city. The siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty pieces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver. 26 One day as the king of Israel was walking along the wall of the city, a woman called to him, “Please help me, my lord the king!” 27 He answered, “If the Lord doesn’t help you, what can I do? I have neither food from the threshing floor nor wine from the press to give you.” 28 But then the king asked, “What is the matter?” She replied, “This woman said to me: ‘Come on, let’s eat your son today, then we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate him. Then the next day I said to her, ‘Kill your son so we can eat him,’ but she has hidden her son.” 30 When the king heard this, he tore his clothes in despair. And as the king walked along the wall, the people could see that he was wearing burlap under his robe next to his skin. 31 “May God strike me and even kill me if I don’t separate Elisha’s head from his shoulders this very day,” the king vowed.
Then in 2 Kings 7:1-2 Elisha prophesies to the King of Israel that God will turn the economy around in one day. The king’s right-hand officer scoffed at the idea, and Elisha said because of his unbelief he will die and not benefit from it.
In the rest of the chapter, four unclean men (lepers most likely), went into the enemy Aramean camp. God caused the army to hear the sound of an army and they thought the Israelites hired foreign armies to rescue them so the soldiers fled. The four unclean men found the camp empty and all of their food and supplies were left behind. They plunder for themselves and felt guilty for keeping it a secret so they when and then told everyone else. The king sent soldiers down the trail to make sure it wasn’t a trap, and they confirmed that they were free from the siege and the supply trail went all the way to the Jordan River (2 Kings 7:3-15).
Israel was saved and restored, and the faithless officer who scoffed at God’s promise died.
2 Kings 7:16 Then the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the Aramean camp. So it was true that six quarts of choice flour were sold that day for one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain were sold for one piece of silver, just as the Lord had promised. 17 The king appointed his officer to control the traffic at the gate, but he was knocked down and trampled to death as the people rushed out. So everything happened exactly as the man of God had predicted when the king came to his house. 18 The man of God had said to the king, “By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost one piece of silver.” 19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” And the man of God had said, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!” 20 And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate!
Furthermore, Jesus said not to worry about what we eat and wear because the kingdom provides for the covenant people in Matthew 6:24-34. When God provides the food he will provide safety and protection from deadly things in it because he loves us. Matthew 7:7-11 says we can ask God for things we need he will take care of us, and that would include protection. Then he says if earthly fathers will give their children bread instead of stones when they are hungry, then how much more does he love his people?
Picking up on this, Philippians 4:6-7 says, “6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
This doesn’t mean we can live reckless lives doing whatever we want. We will reap what we sow and we must sow into the holy spirit in order to reap eternal life, but sowing into the flesh leads to destruction (Gal 6:7-8). There are even some denominations of believers that handle snakes to test the holy spirit’s power. We are not supposed to test God. Jesus points this out when Satan tries to tempt him to test God in the wilderness. In Luke 3:9-13 Satan takes Jesus to the Temple’s roof and tells him to jump off and even quotes Psalms 91:11-12 which says “He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.” Jesus rebukes him by quoting Deut 6:16 which says, “You must not test the Lord your God”. Testing things is for the scientific method in regards to understanding the natural law. However, we don’t need to test God to see if he will rescue us, that shows a lack of faith. Faith is about trust, you don’t need to test someone you trust. Hebrews 11:6 says without faith is impossible to please God. Hab 2:4 is quoted in Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, and Heb 10:38 and it says “the just shall live by faith”. We will not be counted as “the just” if we don’t trust God. Remember even when we are unfaithful, He remains faithful (2 Tim 2:13).
In conclusion, believers can trust God to keep them safe from anything and everything, so they should not be in a constant state of fear of everything, this is the opposite of faith. We can pray over our food and trust that God will warn us to avoid dangerous food or medicine, and trust he will take care of us if we do ingest anything dangerous unknowingly. He will keep us safe by protecting us from its effects or healing us if we are harmed. He will provide for us in famine and he can even reverse a famine. There are all kinds of unknown and unseen dangers in life, so we should trust that God will keep us healthy and whole because of his covenant when it comes to unseen and unknown dangers. We can only use practical wisdom for things we can avoid and control, but we can trust God to fill in the rest.
Isaiah 54:16 “I have created the blacksmith who fans the coals beneath the forge and makes the weapons of destruction. And I have created the armies that destroy. 17 But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
Mark 16:16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink ANYTHING poisonous, it WON’T HURT THEM. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
1Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”