by: Rebecca J. Brimmer, International President and CEO
When my husband and I first moved to Israel, we were astonished and delighted to learn that most of Israel’s holidays were from the Bible and commemorated major biblical events. Truly, these holidays are “holy days.” These biblical feasts (moed) include Shabbat (Sabbath), a weekly meeting with God; Pesach (Passover); Feast of Unleavened Bread; Shavuot (Pentecost), Rosh HaShana ( Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
In Exodus 23:14-17 the three pilgrimage festivals: Pesach, Shavuot,and Sukkot. During these three feasts, all Jewish men were commanded to come up to Jerusalem to worship God as a congregation. We have also been interested to find out that most Israelis, even those who define themselves as “secular,” or not religious, keep the biblical feasts, even fasting for 25 hours on Yom Kippur from all food and liquid. I believe that one of the reasons God instituted the feasts is that He wanted to have His people meeting with Him on a regular basis and He wanted them to reflect on His actions and understand His character. .
Frequently in Scripture, we see the term “tent of meeting.” The word for “meeting” in this phrase is moed, and it refers to the tabernacle. The tabernacle was a place to meet with the Lord, a place of sacred encounters with the Most High God. Scripture says that Moses’ face glowed after meeting with Him, so much that he had to cover his face (Exod. 34:30). Now, that is an awe-inspiring concept. Although I have never seen someone’s face glowing to the extent that Moses’ did, I have seen people changed after a meeting with God and it often shows on their countenance. Some Christians go to church with the anticipation of meeting with God. Sadly, many come for other reasons: social interaction, duty, or tradition.
God has always desired to meet with His people. In Genesis, at the very beginning of His interaction with mankind, we see that He created Adam and Eve and put them in a garden where He met with them. Throughout the Scripture, we find accounts of God meeting with men and women.
God also has a “set time” for the nations to show favor to Zion. The psalmist says: “You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes, the set time [moed], has come. For your servants take pleasure in her stones, and show favor to her dust. So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of earth Your glory. For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer”(Psalm 102:13–17).
Since the late 1800s, we have witnessed the Lord bringing the Jewish people home and building Zion. During that same period of time and continuing till the present time, we have seen amazing archaeological discoveries. Many people are “taking pleasure in her stones and show favor to her dust.” This is the time when God is calling His people to arise and have mercy on Zion (Israel). It is the moedtime to favor her. The Lord is building up Zion! Soon He will be appearing in His glory! It is His desire that the nations fear the name of the Lord and that world leaders see the glory of God! I find it very interesting to note that this Scripture also says that God will regard the prayers of the destitute. At Bridges for Peace, we feel privileged to be called of God to answer some of those prayers by providing food for many thousands of people each month.
Each year, I go away for two weeks of spiritual retreat. I put the dates on the calendar and eagerly anticipate these “set times” when I am alone with God. Throughout the Scripture, we find accounts of God meeting with men and women. Why not set a time to meet with Him? I am sure He wants to meet with you.
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