Volunteer Fire Departments sometimes sound a siren to summon the firefighters to action. On hearing it, they drop everything and rush to the revved-up fire truck.
Israel’s fighters listened for signals from silver trumpets (Num. 10:9; 31:6). The Judges Ehud and Gideon rallied followers with ram’s horn trumpets (Judg. 3:27, 6:34). Trumpets mobilized Israel for war.
Trumpets also called for defense. Nehemiah kept armed men on stand-by while Israel re-built Jerusalem’s wall. His trumpet (shofar) called reinforcements to any place that came under attack (Neh. 4:20).
What does today’s trumpet summons sound like?
• distress calls from a hurting world.
• grating immorality, injustice and oppression we hear blared out by nightly news anchors.
• feeble cries of help from struggling or persecuted churches.
• appeals for assistance from ministries or missionaries who need partners to increase their effectiveness.
Jeremiah 42:7-17 warns us of a deception. In the days following the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, leaders emerged among the survivors who wanted to relocate to Egypt. Surely life in Egypt would be safer and easier, a refuge to rebuild the nation. Egypt represented an easy existence, free from that awful war trumpet—life on cruise control by the Nile.
The prophets understood God’s irony. When Israel faced aggressors, she had to little more to do than stand still and trust God (Ex. 14:13-18). When He sent punishing enemies, safety lay in humble submission (Jer 38:17-18). After Babylon had devastated the nation, restoration still depended on trusting God—not resorting to the comforts of Egypt (Jer. 42:10-12).
We find our greatest spiritual rewards when we live on stand-by, alert to opportunities to do battle for God’s purposes and allowing Him to provide for us and defend us.
The trumpet rallies the church to active faith.