Sunday, May 22, 2011


TODAY'S SPECIAL: Hosea 7:8-8:14

TO CHEW ON: "Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1

In the midst of poetic images of cakes and ovens, doves and eagles, treacherous bows and wild donkeys comes a very real sound — the sound of the trumpet.

A Hebrew trumpet (shofar) was made from a curved animal horn. It was the national trumpet of the Israelites and used on military and religious occasions to summon the people (New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1151, New Bible Dictionary p. 855).

The shofar's sound communicated a variety of messages.
  • It was first heard in Exodus when it heralded God's coming down and His presence on Mount Sinai at the time He gave Moses the law (Exodus 19:16, 19, 29 and Exodus 20:18). It said God is holy.
  • The shofar was an important part of God's strategy to defeat Jericho (Joshua 6:1-20). It said God is powerful.
  • In Ezekiel 33:2-9 the prophet's voice became the shofar, warning the city of danger. That would also be the case here in Hosea. This shofar said, God is merciful in His warnings, but He judges sin.
  • The shofar was also used in religious services. It announced the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 25:9) and the return of the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:15). It said God invites and welcomes worship.
  • All these trumpet sounds remind me of another trumpet, called the "last" one. Paul refers to it in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and again in 1 Thessalonians 4:16: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God." This time it says, Jesus is coming again!
As we meet with fellow Christians today wherever we attend church, let's do so with an awareness of the messages of the shofar: God is holy, powerful, and merciful but just. He invites our worship. But in order to welcome the sound of the shofar of His return, we need to be ready. We get ready by accepting His offer of eternal life. (John 14:6; John 3:16).

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your word which communicates truth in multisensory ways. May I live with these shofar sounds in mind today. Amen.

MORE: Sound of the Shofar

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