Do You Hear The Trumpets?
For some period of time now we have been asked this question:” Do you hear me”? You are listening but do you hear me? Listening and hearing are 2 different activities. We can listen all day to music, lectures, Bible Studies, etc, but are we truly hearing? Do we understand? Do we get it?
AMOS 3:6-7 – “If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it? (7) Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets”. Are we hearing what the prophet is saying? What is our individual attention level? Are we tuned in? Are we “with the program”, as some say?
Recent teachings on the subject of OBEDIENCE prompted me to do further Bible study into this serious subject. The Lord revealed an interesting comparison of some men He dealt with that involved obedience, trust, faith, and just hearing from God. Obedience is being sounded as a trumpet to our ears. Are we listening? Are we really hearing the trumpets?
2 things often occur in a totally dark room: (1) a person looks for light of some kind and/or (2) the person listens for sounds. Darkness can be a painful situation. God does not leave believers in darkness.
Much of the world lives in partial or total spiritual darkness. I believe God arranged the Feast of Trumpets to begin in darkness. We observe the new moon at Trumpets and over the next 14 days we see the moon become full at the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Fall Holy Days speak to us if we truly want to hear the trumpets sound. If we hear the trumpets blowing we know this means a warning, event, announcement, the voice of God, victory or a coronation. Something is about to happen.
Trumpets are used in scripture 17 times to begin a battle and 2 times to stop a battle. NEH 4:20 is encouraging if we believe what God is saying: “At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally us there. Our God will fight for us”.
· 14 for rejoicing, praise and thanks
· 13 in connection with the ark, covenant, priests or Temple
· 6 about the coming of Christ
· 6 about the coronation of a king
· 3 about atonement and offerings
· 2 for the “voice of God”
· 2 for victory, 2 for encounters with God, 1 as a warning signal
Israel listened carefully for the shofar as that sound told them what to do, when to go, when to assemble and other instructions. The shofar has 5 distinct soundings but many commands. God speaks to us today through His written Word, His prophets and apostles, words of knowledge and wisdom or even the tiny voice of a little child.
1 SAMUEL 13:8-14 reveals some interesting points about obedience, which is the primary response God looks for in a believer. We know the story of Samuel and Saul, the sacrifice and resulting loss of the kingdom rule. I believe that Saul offered the sacrifice on the 8th day (new beginnings). Scripture says he waited 7 days as he was commanded, but Samuel did not appear on time as Saul felt he should. Saul took it upon himself to make the sacrifice and immediately we see his disobedience before the Lord. I believe that a spirit of fear entered Saul as the opposing armies were gathering. The people under his rule beginning to tremble and some were scattering away. We need to discern this when we see the enemy coming towards us, and not give way to fear and intimidation.
V 12 makes 2 interesting points: (a) Saul did not seek the favor of God and (2) he “forced” himself to offer the sacrifice. The fact Saul did not seek God brings up the comparison with Nehemiah, who always sought God on all issues before he acted. NEH 2:4 “When the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven”. Vs 20 Nehemiah responded to the taunts and ridicule of his enemies by saying “The God of heaven will give us success”.
2 CHRON 20 tells the encouraging story of Jehoshaphat and Israel facing the mighty armies of the Ammonites, Moabites and Meunites. From a fleshly standpoint Jehosphaphat said in verse 12 “For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” We also are careful to not only see our physical situations but most importantly we focus on the spiritual and know that we know our God will provide the answer we need and also deliver us in all situations.
Jehoshaphat saw this situation and he released it to the Lord – something Saul failed to do. When he did this Israel did not have to fight but only to sing and praise the Lord, to receive victory and the spoils. I wonder about Saul and how he handled the obedience issue. He didn’t do very well. His kingdom was torn from him, a kingdom that would have been established by the Lord for Saul’s entire lifetime.
Nehemiah went on to victory; the wall was built, awesome changes made with the people, and the fall Holy Days restored to the people. Jehoshaphat and the people received a great victory, returned to Jerusalem with great joy and the land rested in godly peace. Saul ended up with a demonic spirit to torment him and later killed in battle. What a contrast in the way these men responded to God on the issue of obedience.
I read an interesting article on Obedience and how it relates to JOSHUA chapter 6 and the walls of Jericho. There are walls everywhere in our lives, some for good purposes, some for not so good. There are walls there nonetheless. God has a wall or shield or protection around His children, for those who are obedient to His voice and word. Thank God for that wall.
Jericho was a very old city and a major roadblock to Israel on their journey to conquer and live in the Promised Land God had given them. It loomed very big to the eyes of the Israelites. Joshua already knew the city was theirs, that victory was already a fact. The people did not know this. Most Christians do not know that victory is already theirs. They struggle with life’s issues, they do not really believe what God says; They fear and see the walls rather than the victory. Too many fight the issue of obedience for fear they will have to give up something; change their life-styles, and for many believers this is just too uncomfortable and demanding.
QUESTION: “How does a Christian accomplish complete obedience to God?”
Jericho was a large city established long before Joshua was born. Its walls were nearly 25 feet high and up to 20 feet thick. A definite symbol of military strength and power. Many of the Cannanites were like the builders of the great ship Titanic – they believed their Jericho was invincible like people who believed the Titanic was unsinkable. God told Joshua “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men” (JOS 6:2). The people saw the mighty city of Jericho and then realized that they had no military equipment with them. Their focus was through physical eyes. Joshua focused through “spiritual eyes”. He heard the Lord, without any hesitation, doubts or questions. He heard the trumpet, Joshua’s faith, obedience and patience had already been tested and he had passed those tests, and was qualified for leadership. He had lived a life based on obedience, which brought him God’s mighty power, provision and protection. No way he would ever doubt the Lord as he and the people faced Jericho.
Interesting is the fact that God told Joshua the battle was won before giving him specific instructions. Take heed of this when doubt slips into your minds. We know we have the victory. We just need to continue believing and following as God leads.
The battle plan was absolutely simple. It was so simple that some might call it psychological warfare, as the people marched around the city in silence. Is there a lesson for us here? CAN WE REST IN THE LORD, BE SILENT AND KEEP MARCHING? Think about this next time a situation arises that challenges you.
On the 7th day things really happened. Israel marched around Jericho 7 times and on the 7th time the priests let out one long loud blast on their trumpets. This was the signal for each person to shout and then watch God. They shouted, the walls crumbled, they walked in and took the city.
Ask yourselves this question: “Would I, as a believer, be willing to do something so simple as to march around a city wall if God asked me to? Do I have what it takes to be totally patient, absolutely faithful and fully obedient to Father God? The battle has been won, Satan has been defeated, and God reigns. Is there anything more?
Each Holy Day assembly in Israel was called by the blowing of the shofar. God continues to call believers to hear His voice, which is like a trumpet. Many are listening to many voices in the religious world. But somewhere in the mix is that true trumpet voice of God that is only going to be heard by a person who is seeking the Lord with all his heart, being totally obedient to everything God says.
DO YOU HEAR THE TRUMPETS?
Free in the Lord Ministries