Numbers 10:1 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp. And when both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance of the tent of meeting.”
Over the years, as I’ve studied God’s Word and come to a passage that I don’t understand (which is many of them), I pray for God to open my eyes to what He is saying. I often pray this prayer from Psalm 119:18: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” I have great confidence that such a prayer is in God’s will and therefore that He will answer it – in His own time and in His own way. And I’ve seen this prayer answered over and over again.
It’s such an awesome thing to see how God works to teach us. I recently had just such an experience in studying the passage above. It’s a command that was given to Moses that he was to have two trumpets made. These trumpets were to serve the purpose of calling all Israel together for such things as a sacred assembly, to go to war, a religious ceremony, or a celebration of some type. As you know, a trumpet is an instrument that is designed to get our attention. Their quavering sound seems to strike right at our hearts. You know the feeling, such as when taps are played at a funeral or when the brass section of a large band sounds out. At first blush, my thought was, “What in the world does this have to do with anything in my life?” I prayed and asked the Lord this. And this morning the answer came.
I happened to be listening to a message by Alistair Begg over the radio while I was driving. He was talking about sharing the message of the gospel. He mentioned a word that is translated in some versions of the Bible as “preacher.” The Greek word that is used can also be translated “a herald.” So, what is a herald? In the Bible dictionary I referred to it says that a herald is “a messenger vested with public authority, who conveyed the official messages of kings, magistrates, princes, military commanders, or who gave a public summons or demand, and performed various other duties. In the New Testament God’s ambassador, and the herald or proclaimer of the divine word.”
And then I thought about how a herald operated. In Bible times a herald had to first get all the people’s attention. He was conveying an incredibly important message from the king. The herald’s sole purpose was to receive a message from the king and then convey that message to the people who were under the king’s authority. And how would he get their attention? Often it was by the blowing of a trumpet.
What a picture of the authority we as followers of Christ, His very ambassadors, have been given to proclaim the message of the gospel. It is an incredibly important message of life or death sent from the King through His ambassadors to the world. And while people may ignore that message, to their own peril, it is nevertheless the message we are to continually convey to everyone we meet. The Bible tells us that there is coming a time when the King himself will speak in a way that no one will be able to ignore. We are told that there is coming a time when “the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). It is at this trumpet call that the dead in Christ will rise to meet the King in the air. In 1 Corinthians 15:52 we are told “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” And then in Revelation 8 and 9 we are told about other trumpet calls. These are the seven trumpets that will herald in judgment on all those who have rejected the King of Kings here on earth.
You see, in heaven right now, when King Jesus speaks, everyone listens. In the apostle John’s vision given to us in the book of Revelation, he tells us “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’ Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength” (Revelation 10-16).
The trumpets of Numbers 10: what a picture of the great authority and responsibility that believers, Christ’s ambassadors, have to proclaim the message of their great King. And what a picture of the responsibility the whole earth has to listen to this message, for to ignore it, to ignore the message of the King of Kings, will bring consequences, just as those who ignore the proclamations of any earthly king.