The Sounding of the Silver Trumpets - Part 2
T. Holliday, Ottawa, Canada
The trumpets described in Numbers 10. 1-10 were to be blown on seven occasions, representing movements which call for spiritual exercises and discernment, covering the complete life of the believer. These occasions will be considered in the present article. First, the trumpets were blown for
The Calling of the Assembly, v. 2. God has a right to call His people together; to ignore this is to rob God of His due. Often in these days, some believers take these things up on a voluntary basis, namely they go as far as they think fit, but this attitude is contrary to God's thought and disobedient to His command, God has definite appointments for His people, such as the seven set feasts, Lev. 23; three times each year all the males had to appear before God, Exod. 23. 17. They were to come together to hear God speaking to them, and to offer to God His bread and His food. Similarly today, God calls His people together just as distinctly as He did in Israel's day, and He promises His presence when His people are thus gathered. We hear the sound of these silver trumpets in the New Testament, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is", Heb. 10.25. The Lord has promised "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of diem", Matt. 18. 20. He also instituted the memorial feast, saying, "this do in remembrance of me", 1 Cor. 11. 24. In Acts 20. 7, we find that the disciples came together on the first day of the week to break bread. What a privilege it is to come together thus to remember the Lord; as a holy priesthood to offer to God our appreciation of His dear Son; to join in the service of praise that Christ, as the Chief Singer and Minister of the sanctuary, renders to God. Alas, how little we touch upon what is for God on these precious occasions; how much time is taken up with our salvation and blessings rather than with the Blesser Himself. The firstfruits of the land are sadly absent, because we know so little of dwelling in the land. Second, the trumpets were blown for
The Journeyings of the Camp, Num. 10. 2, for which an alarm had to be blown. This is because we are all in danger of settling down. Thus the Spirit of God sounds the clarion note, "Awake thou that sleepest", Eph. 5. 14. This call is given to the assembly possessing the highest truth, but truth in itself will not keep us. Again we hear the Spirit's word, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth", Col. 3. 2. True Christianity involves continual movement; either we are going forward or going back. Thus even towards the close of his journey, Paul wrote, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after", Phil. 3. 12.
The Spirit of God always presents ministry suitable for the present time, as we read, "the Spirit speaketh expressly", 1 Tim. 4. 1. Seven times in Revelation 2-3 we find., "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches". Many believers can speak of where they were forty years ago, but the great thing is, where are we now? Have we kept moving with the cloud, or holding back? Third, the trumpets were blown in case of
War in the Land, Num. 10. 9. This is not in an evangelical sense as in Deuteronomy 20. 10-11; there they were to offer peace to the city, but no such offer is to be made to the enemies in the land. In Ephesians, it is a question of maintaining the territory acquired according to the purpose and counsels of God. The enemy will constantly attack this position, trying to rob the saints of the enjoyment of their inheritance. In fact, the more we seek to maintain the heavenly position, the more will we be the object of the enemy's attack. But we can sound the alarm note, and remind God that we belong to Him, that we depend on Him to undertake for us, and that He has promised to save us from our enemies. In this connection, consider the magnificent victory granted to Jehoshaphat in the day when he called upon God, 2 Chron. 20.6-12. Likewise, the psalmist quoted the words of God, "call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me", Psa. 50.15. When bidding farewell to the elders from Ephesus, Paul saw what would happen after his departure; the cowardly wolves were lurking in the darkness, ready to leap over the barrier that he had so long held closed, and from within men would arise speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after themselves, but Paul had a resource: "I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified", Acts 20. 32. Fourth, the trumpets were to be blown
In the Day of your Gladness, and in your Solemn Days,
Num. 10.10. Whether in joy or in sorrow, it is good to acknowledge the claims of the love of Christ as seen in redemption. Always remember that God is right in whatever He does or allows. If we belong to God, then He has a right to do as He likes with us. Job said, as the avalanche of sorrow rolled into his soul, "shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?", Job 2. 10. You thank God for your joys; do you thank Him for your sorrows? Thus David did not forget God in the day of his distress. When Zadok would take the ark with David as he fled from his son Absalom, David said, "Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation. But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him", 2 Sam. 15. 25-26. Alas, how often we forget God in the days of our gladness, and then have no faith to turn to Him in our solemn days. But how good it is to know that we belong to God, who works everything after the counsel of His own will, and makes all things work together for good to those who love Him. The acceptance of all things from the hand of God, and the submitting of ourselves to God's ways, will enable us to know something of the sweetness of the Lord's path as seen in Psalm 16. 6. : "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage". Note that these were the words of the One who was designated the "man of sorrows". Fifth, the trumpets were to be blown
In the Beginnings of your Months, Num. 10. 10. The Christian's path, like the shining of the moon, is made up of phases, namely new beginnings each month. These arise as we are affected by the light of Christ, thereby introducing new exercises. Many changes take place in relation to our practical, everyday life. How much trouble would be avoided if we consulted God in relation to every new move in life, such as taking up a business, profession, trade or any form of employment, a change of address, choosing friends, entering into marriage relationships, and so on. The cloud, the silver trumpets and the commandment of the Lord covered every movement of an Israelite; all had to be considered in relation to the tabernacle. Similarly every Christian should seek guidance from the Lord for every new move in life, and all should be considered in relation to the fellowship to which we are called. As to marriage, it should be "in the Lord". This implies those walking in subjection to the Lord, and in obedience to His Word; in other words, both should be in the same fellowship. This principle is found in Numbers 36, in relation to the question raised by the sons of Joseph concerning the daughters of Zelophehad who were to marry "whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry", v. 6. Great weakness and confusion is brought into assemblies when husband and wife are not in the same assembly; there is also a loss of joy to themselves, whereas, if governed by the principles of Numbers 36, they would move happily together and in fellowship with God's people. This should be a matter of deep concern for those who have oversight to counsel, guide and instruct others in the right ways of God. Sixth, the trumpets were to be blown
Over your Burnt Offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings, Num. 10. 10. The burnt offering speaks of Christ as the One who came to do God's will and glorify Him. The peace offering stands in relation to our fellowship with God and with one another - enjoying, as it were, common thoughts with God concerning Christ, and knowing the secret of the preciousness of Christ to God. What a difference it would make in our coming together on the first day of the week, if we were all exercised about giving God His portion. He feels it when we do not give Him His place. God said to His people of old, "ye have robbed me", Mai. 3.8. The remedy for lack of blessing is given in Verse 10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it". Seventh, and finally, the psalmist wrote,
"Blow up the trumpet in the new moon', Psa. 81. 3. The "new moon" for Israel is when she comes into the full light of the "sun of righteousness" who will arise with healing in His wings, Mai. 4. 2. For Christians, it is the coming of the Lord. We hear the silvery notes in Romans 13. 11, "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed". The note of alarm is also heard in Hebrews 10. 25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together ... as ye see the day approaching". The more we are walking consciously in the light of the Lord's coming, the more we shall desire to acknowledge the claims of the love of Christ as seen in redemption, by giving Him His portion, and by ministering to His pleasure.
May we have enlargement of heart more fully to recognize the claims of redemption in our every movement, and to know something of what it means to possess fulness of joy so that the great service of praise may increase in volume, until that day when the whole universe will be vocal with His praises.