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Friday, April 22, 2011

The trumpet call

1-3 God spoke to Moses: "Make two bugles of hammered silver. Use them to call the congregation together and give marching orders to the camps. When you blow them, the whole community will meet you at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting..."
(Numbers 10:1-3)

The instructions to Moses were to make two bugles (or horns) of hammered silver.  These were to be used to communicate with God's people that it was either a time for worship, warfare, or to move on to their next place of occupation.  Whenever the horns were sounded, Israel was to hear clearly the instruction God was giving.  Depending on the sounding of the horns, the people would be "clued into" God's will for their lives at that moment.

Today, we don't have such a "clear" example of "hearing" God's will for our lives, but the three "calls" of the horns still apply to us.  The first "sounding" of the horn was a call to worship - a call to assemble together as a people.  The first thing we need to recognize is that God wanted them to hear and to respond to the horn.  His greatest desire for his kids is that we learn to hear his voice and then respond to it with a submissive and committed heart.

The call to assemble brought God's people together - into proximity with each other.  They were together for a specific purpose - to worship God.  God's hope was that they would come with a kind of expectation in their heart that would serve as his opportunity to meet with them in that time of their assembly - a time when he'd reveal some of who he was to them.  That is still the call to worship today - come with an expectant heart and you will not be disappointed.

The second call was to warfare - to come together for battle against a perceived threat.  Effective warfare is a result of two things - hearing the call to mobilize and listening to the directive of the one giving the orders to.  It is pretty apparent that the use of the trumpet could be one way of God getting the attention of a large group of people, all spread out in various directions.  Today, think of his "trumpet" as being the spiritual leaders he places before us.  They issue clear cries for warfare - attempting to gain the attention of God's people and to get their hearts into a position of alertness.  It is that alertness of heart that makes us ready and responsive for the battle ahead.

Whenever this sounding of the trumpet was heard, the people knew two things:  
  1. They were to be "on alert".  This was a time to tune into the battle plan, to understand the enemy and to be aware of the dangers around them.  
  2. The time of conflict was upon them.  There is strength in numbers.  When the call went out, the people gathered.  Imagine the strength that came to them when facing the conflict when they realized that they were not in the battle alone.
The last call was that of movement - getting up from where they were camped and marching on to the next place God would have them partake of.  This is certainly an unusual call of the trumpet, but necessary nonetheless.  It is often with great fear, and many times, with great resistance that we finally get up and move on to the next phase of development God has for us.  When we are "camped" in one spot, we are often comfortable with what we have come to accept as our "surroundings".  Spiritually, this type of "comfort zone" is dangerous - because it keeps us from growing.

So, regardless of the "call" we hear today, we need to be ready for the sounding of God's trumpet calls in our lives.  Hearing ears, readied hearts, and willing spirits are needed in order to respond.  One last thing....Israel relied upon the sound of the trumpet to know what came next for them.  We'd do very well to listen intently for the sound of God's voice before we make any move in our lives!