As many alarming events occur around the world, in a time of great financial uncertainty, war and rumors of war, disturbances in the natural earth, and persecution of believers in various places, many Christians are reflecting on Yeshua’s (Jesus’s) words in Matthew 24, when He talked with His disciples about the signs of the times leading to His return.
Watch―Be Ready―Be Faithful
I also have read and reread this passage lately. In verse 42, Yeshua tells us to watch because we don’t know what hour the Lord is coming. In verse 44, He tells us to be ready. Then He tells us to be faithful. My adrenalin pumped as I read the words in Matthew 24:45 in light of the ministry of Bridges for Peace: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?” Yes, God has raised up Bridges for Peace to give food to the people of Israel in this “due” season.
Yeshua continues in Matthew 25 with the same concepts: to watch, be ready, and be faithful to do the Master’s business. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins (vv.1–13) graphically portrays the need to be watchful and ready. The parable of the talents (vv.14–30) teaches us to faithfully take care of the Master’s business using the talents He has given us.
Judgment of the Nations
Finally, we read about the judgment of the nations and the criteria by which they shall be judged. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (vv. 31–32). This is reminiscent of another passage in which God says He will judge the nations. “For behold in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they scattered among the nations; they have divided up My land” (Joel 3:1–2).
God is going to judge the nations, and it involves the treatment of His people and His land Israel. In the Matthew 25 passage, we read of the reward for the sheep nations: “…‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me’” (vv. 34–36). When asked when this was done, Yeshua answered, “…‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (v. 34).
Back to the Basics
In times of difficulty, our priorities are sifted. What will we eat? How will we protect ourselves from the elements? Other things become unimportant. Bridges for Peace is faithfully providing the basics to the people of Israel (Those Yeshua calls the least of His brethren). We just received this letter from an Orthodox Jewish man who runs many soup kitchens in Israel. Bridges for Peace provides some of the raw ingredients used in the 14,000 meals they serve each day.
I think you know me well enough to know that I am sincere when I tell you that I feel terrible and embarrassed to send you this email. However, I have no choice. Let me explain. Not only is the economy in a big mess worldwide, but it is starting to be felt in Israel. Today’s Jerusalem Post reports that Israel has the worst poverty in the Western world, with a quarter of the population living in poverty [emphasis added]. Everyday there are articles.of layoffs and many more coming in 2009. To add to our problems, more recipients are turning to us for help―an increase of 40%. It is scary. There is much to worry about.
You would think that would be enough, but there is more. We have been devastated here in Israel with the weakness of the dollar. All my food products are purchased in shekels. We have lost close to 30% of our purchasing power [emphasis added]. A bigger devastating blow is that the prices on basic items to prepare our daily hot meals have gone through the roof: rice, corn, bread, chicken, etc.
I am now serving over 14,000 meals a day. We decided at an emergency meeting that although we do not have the heart to cut down on our recipient list (no one at the meeting wanted to take that task upon themselves of informing some of the needy people that they can no longer come to pick up their meals for themselves and their children), we decided that we will have to cut down on the size (and weight) of the portions of the hot meals we serve. For example, a schnitzel that we used to serve weighing 150 grams (5.3 ounces), we will now serve 90 grams (3.2 ounces). The same with the rice, vegetables, and so on.
I think you are feeling my pain and what I am going through. This is why I am turning to you. I hope you forgive me. I honestly wish I did not have to ask you. I do not enjoy doing so. Thanks for your understanding. Please help. And please help in a generous way. I’m sorry if I’m making you feel uncomfortable, but it is relatively minor compared to the plight of the poor and needy. I hope I have your understanding. Your friendship means a lot to me. Please let me hear from you.
Now is the time (the due season) to feed the people of Israel. As you watch the signs of the times developing around you, I trust that you are making your heart ready, and that you will faithfully respond to the call to feed and provide for the natural brethren of Yeshua, the Jewish people. We have determined that Bridges for Peace will be there, feeding, providing warm blankets, and ministering God’s love to the people of Israel until the coming of the Messiah. Please join with us in the Matthew 25 work that is so close to the heart of the Master.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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