Donald Shoemaker, the former Charis pastor who led the social concerns committee for the Charis Fellowship for many years, has found he has time on his hands, so he’s prepared the April newsletter for Donald Shoemaker Ministries. The lead story is of interest for these times. If you’d like to subscribe to his newsletter, send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read the complete April newsletter online.
Store shelves in my area are stripped of water and, for goodness sake, TP (toilet paper).
Hoarding (and its twin evil “price gouging”) is common during times of crisis.
Does the Bible have anything to say about hoarding?
Bible Insight—Hoarding Necessities During a Crisis
One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
People curse the one who hoards grain,
but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.
– Proverbs 11:24-26 New International Version
A time of crisis like the present coronavirus outbreak brings out both the best and the worst in people. Many are generous; not a few are selfish hoarders. Hoarding is accumulating more than enough for one’s foreseeable needs in a time of crisis. Hoarding can also be an effort to drive up prices so one can make a killing by taking advantage of others in need.
I’ve seen long lines of carts loaded with water bottles and with TP and more. For some, this is simply prudence. Maybe so, but overall it seems too excessive for simple prudence. It’s often a form of hoarding—putting “self” first and showing it by keeping more of life’s necessities than necessary and thus depriving others of basic items they need.
In The Lord’s Prayer we read and pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Implicit in this petition is our need to be sure our neighbors also have their daily bread—the sustenance needed in food and in other provisions that makes for a sufficient lifestyle.
If we sincerely pray this petition Jesus gave us, we’ll be sure not to hoard. Instead, we will be generous to others in their hour of need.
Scalping is odious enough when it’s done to make a killing from coveted tickets for sports and other events. It is even more odious, AND EVIL, when the basic needs of life are hoarded and others are made to suffer need or pay exorbitant prices.
Proverbs 11:24-26 is quite clear. God honors the generous. God abhors the hoarder and, in the end, that person will not prosper. People likewise will honor the generous and curse the hoarder. Today as well as long ago.