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The Set-Apart Time

September 1, 2008
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As I was praying about all these things and seeking the Lord for His strategy for the future, the image of a canoe came into my mind. No doubt many, like me, have gone canoeing when the water was calm, the sun was shining, and the current so lazy that you could lie back and study the clouds without a care. Other canoeing trips have been quite different, with swift waters, rapids, whirlpools, waterfalls, rocks, and other obstacles. In these circumstances, one cannot lazily lay back. You must paddle hard to maneuver the canoe in the perfect path to avoid all obstacles. I felt the Lord impressing on me that these days are like riding a canoe in very rough waters. I urgently desire to be in total sync with the Lord’s plan for this ride!

In light of all this, the entire Bridges for Peace staff in Israel went to a quiet community in northern Israel for a time of prayer, communion with the Lord, and intercession. Many of our offices around the world also joined in a time of prayer. The Lord was calling us to a “set-apart” time, when we as a staff would seek Him for direction and strategy for the days ahead. It was a time of great refreshing, as the team together sought the Lord. We are still in a season of prayer as we seek to discern exactly how the Lord is leading us.

On Board Noah’s Ark

One of our precious European staff members received the following word from the Lord for Bridges for Peace:

“You have not boarded the Titanic―you are on board the ark. I have carefully instructed My appointed ones to build it. Yes, there will be floods and the landscape will change, but the ark will withstand. You will not sink! You will have provision for the journey ahead of you. In My timing, the floods will subside.”

As we reflected on this word, we could see great parallels.

  • Noah gathered food: “Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them” (Genesis 6:21, RSV). Our northern storehouse and food bank in Karmiel, just 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the Lebanese border, is stocked with food. The amount varies between 300 and 400 tons (272 and 363 metric tons) as we manage the expiration dates with our current distribution.
  • Noah was faithful to build the ark and to store up food. He was ready for the flood. Bridges for Peace has been faithfully obeying God’s call to love and bless the Jewish people now, and to also prepare for the future.
  • Noah took his family into the ark as well as “passengers,” in his case, animals that the Lord sent to him. We believe that we will be cared for in the time of crisis as we care for the Jewish people the Lord sends to us.

Preparing for Israel’s “Set-apart” Times

The cost of living continues to rise in Israel, with food prices more than 30% higher than last year and fuel costs nearly doubling. We currently are paying more than US $8 a gallon (3.8 liters) for gasoline. Unfortunately, income levels do not rise at the same rate. With more than 1,750,000 people living under the poverty line, the need has become acute.

The Bridges for Peace food banks in Jerusalem and Karmiel are feeding needy people in 49 different communities all over Israel. Requests for additional holiday assistance are pouring in from communities from Dan to Beersheva (far north to the south). Rosh Hashanah (also known as the Feast of Trumpets) is at the end of September, followed by the ten Days of Awe, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles). Every one of these events is a “set-apart” time, an appointed time when God asks His people to meet with Him. The word in Hebrew is mo’ed (מועד) and can be translated set time, a specific appointment with God, appointed time, or solemn times.

The  psalmist says: “You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes, the set time [the mo’ed], 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).

The Jewish people are currently preparing themselves for the fall (autumn) feasts, the appointed times with God, as commanded in Leviticus 23. I believe we also need to prepare for the “set time” the psalmist talked about. God is arranging the times and seasons to show the world His glory as they see His care for the nation and people of Israel.

Will you join Him in regarding the cries of the destitute? We want to significantly increase the amount of food we give each month for the people of Israel, to the glory of God. With your help, we can touch many more with the love of the Lord and the message that Christians all over the world are standing with them in their time of need.

Blessings from Zion,

Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO