SOUND THE SHOFAR TRUMPETS
The horns of the rams were greatly valued. In the Bible lands, the rams horns are considered of great significance. One use of the ram’s horn was as a vessel in which to carry liquids. A wooden plug was driven into the large end of the horn to close it.
Sometimes raw hide covered it to hold it in place. The small pointed end of the horn was removed and closed up with a stopper. This horn was often used then to carry oil. Samuel used his horn of oil to anoint David to become the king. (1Sam. 16:1) Solomon was anointed king by the oil of Zadok’s horn. (1Kings 1:39). Shepherds, like David, used oil from their horns to anoint the head wounds of their sheep.
Another common use of the ram's horn was the making of a trumpet, oft called a shofar. The Law called for rams' horns to be blown at necessary times. Each year of Jubilee began with the blowing of these ram’s horns, i.e. shofars.
Leviticus 25:9 (KJV)
Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
During the Feast of Trumpets there was to be "a day of blowing the trumpets"
Numbers 29:1 (KJV)
And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.
Another famous use of this shofar trumpet was at the destruction of Jericho.
Joshua 6:1-5 (KJV)
1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
The shofar trumpets were used to signal the gathering of the people.
Jeremiah 4:5 (KJV)
Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defensed cities.
DESCRIPTION OF THE RAM’S HORN
The ram's horn trumpet measured often to be eighteen inches long. It was made from a left horn of the fat-tailed sheep. This horn was curved backwards, and forming nearly a circle. To make it the right shape, it was softened by hot water. Then it could be molded into the form to be used by the priests.
THE SHOFAR TRUMPETS OF GIDEON’S 300
In Judges chapter 7, we read the story of Gideon. The trumpets of that time sounded by the 300, announced that they were to break the pitchers, and the ‘lamps’ (smoldering torches) would burst into flame when the pitchers were broken.
Gideon had started with 32,000 in his army. Of that number, 22,000 decided they were afraid, and went home. Of the 10,000 that were left, 9700 proved not to be anxious for the battle, and Gideon told them to go home. There were only 300 left, and there were 300 victors.
The call to ministry today is similar. Many would rather just say ‘grace’ at the dinner table, and then, only if no unsaved are noticing. Some would rather pray only for their own needs. Some will only witness if the person actually begs to be witnessed to. So, the number of ministers of the Lord is small. Like Gideon’s army, many forsake and go home.
This 300 were going up against over a hundred thousand of the enemy. They were anxious to minister for the Lord. They were the ones to have a trumpet bestowed upon them, to use for the Lord.
Today, one third of the world claims to be Christian. In the United States, 70% claim to be Christian. Yet, when the battles come, very few will prove to be warriors in the Lord’s army. The enemy was 135,000 strong. The 300 of Gideon’s army seems totally outnumbered in human standards. The 300 could have looked at how they were so out-numbered, and wanted to flee with the other 31,700 who had already gone home. But their faith was in the trumpet that they had bestowed to them for the battle.
Judges 7:16-22 (KJV)
16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.
18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.
We find some beautiful typology in this story. We too are few who are in the army of the Lord, and are outnumbered in this last day as we battle the devil’s forces.
We live at a time of having an empty pitcher. The pitcher was a ‘kad’ (Hebrew), which was a pail of earthenware. It speaks of the gospel message having been poured out. The devil, over the years, has tried to pollute the pitchers, tried to poison its contents, and tried to dry up its contents. Yet, some have remained true to pouring out the message of the gospel. The three hundred with empty pitchers were the ones who were faithful to pour out the true gospel.
Judges 7:16 calls these pitchers ‘empty’. This is the Hebrew word ‘Riyq’ (reek), meaning ‘poured out.’ Saints have poured out the message.
Now, empty of that message, the pitcher is to be ‘broken’. The word for ‘brake’ is the Hebrew word ‘naw-phats’, meaning to ‘dash in pieces’. The vessel bearing what was poured out is to soon be broken. It is not what that poured out that is broken, but only the vessel. We are the vessel that has been pouring out the message. The breaking process is hard. We could not change our message, and now that it is poured out, we have another great work to do, and to do it, we need to be broken.
The broken pitcher is only a vessel. It is only as useful as what it holds. When emptied and finished, it is of no value. It can then be broken, for its work is over. We have presented the gospel, yet, many rebel and sin still.
The breaking of our empty pitcher can seem to be painful. Jesus was broken in Gethsemane, for His work was coming to an end. Jeremiah was in pit, the sewer of a prison, and there surely felt like the broken pitcher. Joseph was put, by his brothers, into a well, and then sold into slavery. Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael were put into a fiery furnace. Job spent two years, destitute of wealth, grieving for his murdered children, nagged by a faithless wife, taunted by prideful friends, and aching from boils upon his body. Paul sat in prison waiting to be beheaded. John was put on a prison island.
None of them were finished, all had ministry to yet do for the Lord. The ones with the empty pitchers of the last days, will be broken, and yet, the smoldering torch within will burst into flame, and more work for the Lord can then be done. Our ‘smoldering torch’ inside the empty pitcher, is the hope of victory that we have. The hope of victory is a reason we continue in ministry. This is not meaningless, nor hopeless work. We know that there will be a victory that will come.
When the pitcher was broken in Gideon’s time, there was inside that . This lamp would burst into flame when the pitcher was smoldering torch broken. When we come to our broken time, we will find the smoldering power of the Lord, will burst into the double portion power time of God.
MANY TRUMPETS TO COME
The events of the last days, all start with a ‘trumpet’. The subject of ‘trumpets’ has been given the poorest of exegesis. What most fail to realize is that there are many ‘trumpets’ to be sounded in the time of God’s working with mankind.
The last trump
I Corinthians 15:52
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’
This event is called the ‘last’ trump, and yet, there are seven later trumpet soundings as judgments in the tribulation. There are multiple trumpet soundings, The seven trumpets of Revelation are trumpets of judgment. There are trumpets of alert, of alarm, of announcement, etc. The ‘last’ trump of I Corinthians is the last of a series of trumpets sounded in the last days, for the army of God.
Last day trumpets
Joel 2:1 tells of a last day call for trumpets to be sounded.
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain, let all the inhabitants tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.”
This ‘trumpet’ is a ‘shofar’ trumpet, that is called to be sounded in the heavenly ‘Zion’. On that ‘holy mountain’, where the throne of God is, trumpets of warning are to be sounded in the last days.
The silver trumpets (hacoceroth) of the temple were used to summon the people. These were straight, not curved metal, and was blown only by the priests. In length they were not quite a yard long. They were sounded for celebrations and gatherings. Yet, in Joel 2:1, this was a ‘shofar’ trumpet, that sounded alarm, warning of war.
The ‘shofar’ originally was used only for warlike purposes, warning of the approach of the enemy. It sounded often throughout the battles. It sometimes sounded recall. It was blown to announce a proclamation of the law. It announced the year of jubilee. It heralded the approach of the Ark of the covenant. It hailed a new king. It announced the time of judgment. These were all types, to be fulfilled in the many soundings of trumpets on heavenly Zion in these last days.
THE SPIRIT WANTS TO BESTOW A SHOFAR TRUMPET TO EACH OF US NOW.
We are now, yes, now, at the time of a ‘trumpet’ to be sounded. The Lord has had a few, like Gideon’s 300, emptying their pitchers, and a trumpet is now to sound to have us break our pitcher. The double portion time is soon to come, and it is time to hear the trumpet announcing the breaking of the pitcher time.
The trumpet is in our right hand, a pitcher to break in our left hand, and a torch about to burst into fiery brilliance is within that pitcher.
Our pouring out of the gospel is coming to completion. The last days are here, and they are ending. The tribulation is about to begin, the rapture will soon remove us. So, as ministers of the Lord, we have a trumpet to sound, and breaking of our pitcher is now to be done, and the lamp of victory will then be lit, shining a light for our latter rain revival time.
Jesus said at the last supper, ‘This is My body which is broken for you...’ (I Cor. 11:24). We have been called to ‘take up our cross, and follow Him...’ This is a breaking time for us now. And we sound the trumpet of victory first, and then the lamp will light as our emptied pitcher is broken.
I Corinthians 14:8
“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to battle?’
There are many ‘uncertain sounds’ being sounded in our day. The trumpets of many are sounding calls not sanctioned by the Lord. Some are just distractions to the real trumpet calls. Some are calling people to gain riches, to live in luxury. Some are calling to hobbies, sports, jobs, ego building, etc. The uncertain sounds of such trumpets, are not being sounded in Zion, they are earthly trumpets that distract from some hearing the real trumpets from God.
Like the 31,700 in Gideon’s day, many are hearing the trumpet call to go home, to take it easy, to avoid rushing to battle. Only 300 heard the trumpet call from Zion in that time. Few are hearing the call of God’s trumpet today. Most are hearing trumpets of ‘uncertain sound’. They do not know that the messages they are heeding is not from God.
“Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat... drink... put on...
Behold, the fowls... sow not... heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Shall He (God) not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith! Therefore take no thought, saying what shall we eat...? Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have needed these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you... Take no thought for the morrow.”
The distractions of ‘uncertain’ trumpets is to be avoided. The prosperity preachers distract from the war trumpet of God. If we heed the ‘uncertain’ trumpets, the day of the Lord will come upon us ‘unawares’.
“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (Greek = baruno, weighed down) with surfeiting (Greek = Kraipale, nausea after overeating) and drunkenness (Greek = methe, intoxication) and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares (Greek = aiphnidios, suddenly). For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.”
The most of Christians in our day, are going to be caught unawares by the trumpet call. Most of Gideon’s army did not want to become intercessors, so they were sitting at home, unaware of what was happening on the battle field.
The torch lamp that bursts into flame will bring a new ministry, and we will alert some more as we wave our torches.
The 300 of Gideon, cried out as they stood there. They said; The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.’ In that same way, now God’s sword and ours will become one sword.
The battle will soon take on a new dimension. The pitcher will be empty and then broken. The torch will burn brightly. The Light of the Spirit will put fear in the enemy. The victory will be imminent. God’s glory will be upon us, shining as the lamp illuminated the 300 as they surrounded the 135,000.
The devil’s forces will be in disarray. The 31,700 who miss this victory time will be still hearing ‘uncertain sounds’, and missing this victory.
The intercessors of this age, are like unto the 300 of Gideon. Fewer in number than the whole of the army, but are those who are willing to empty their pitchers, sound the trumpet, and claim the victories of their intercessory prayers.
How amazing it was, on that dark night, for the sudden blaze of three hundred torches, followed by the blast of three hundred trumpets, and the shout of three hundred brave soldiers.
Origen said that these three hundred were like preachers of the Gospel; and their trumpeting message of the gospel of Jesus. Their lights representing the righteousness of Christian living.
Tertullian noted that the Greek letter tau, which looks like a T, or a cross,
is the symbol in Greek noting 300, and found significance in that type, that the 300 were symbolic for the last day preachers of the cross. The last day preachers of the cross do empty themselves with preaching Jesus, we break our emptied pitcher, and let the smoldering gospel message shine forth in power. The trumpeting of our message in these last days, is to be a conquering over the devil, without any military force. The tau is the sign of the cross; and the trumpets, the symbol for our proclaiming of the coming of Jesus in power to soon rule and reign in this world. The burning torches in the pitchers, represent the power of the Holy Spirit, as He shines forth with gifts and bestowments of power for this last day ministry.
The time of this last day fulfilment of this is an appointed time. The moon of our day is concealed, darkness is pervasive in the minds of the world. Yet, we are to be ready, as the 300 cross preachers of the day, to break our empty pitcher of preached gospel, let the Spirit’s power be shown, and blow forth the last day message, and shout in victory for Jesus.
The shofar trumpet is a bestowment of the Spirit upon those who will not like the thousands of Gideon would prefer not to be involved, but would rather bravely take the trumpet, and proceed through this dark world, and be anxious for the last day revival of proclamation of the gospel.