The setting is Mount Sinai. It is now three months since the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt.
There are intense discussions between the Lord and Moses. He reminded them how He brought them out of Egypt and made this statement: ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’
It’s one thing to be a treasure to someone, but what sort of resources does he have? And so the Adonai says: ‘For all the earth is Mine’; that‘s right, the entire planet!
The children of Israel said this in response to the marriage offer: ‘All that the Lord has spoken, we will do.’ This is the equivalent of our current wedding practice to say: ‘I do’
Then on the 3rd day in the morning, ‘there were thundering and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the shofar was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled’ How many people were in the camp? Well, as many as 603,550 men on foot left Egypt, so if one adds the wives and children it must have been at least 2 million people.
Have you ever heard the sound of a shofar? If not watch this clip to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6iNXRVN-WE
Remember that sound, it is like no other. Look out for the ‘tekiah’, ‘shevarim’, ‘teruah’ and ‘gadolah’ sounds.
The event described above is the first time we read about it in the Bible. The shofar or ram's horn is mentioned over 80 times in the bible as either a ram’s horn or trumpet. Along with the harp, the shofar is the most spoken of musical instrument in the Bible. While the harp is used to calm and soothe the spirit and soul, the shofar is constantly used to grab hold of the attention and spirit of the people. The harp is a consoler while the shofar is a preparer.
Interest in the instrument has grown considerably in Christian circles over the last few decades. We see that reference is made to the instrument every time something significant happened in Biblical times, for example:
· The ram's horn, the shofar, is a reminder of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac and God's provision of a ram as a substitute
· * The Torah was given to Israel with the sound of the shofar from heaven
· * The shofar was blown at the start of the year of Jubilee on Yom Teruah
· * The trumpet was blown to announce the beginning of the festivals
· * Israel conquered in the battle of Jericho with the blast of the shofar
· * The shofar was used for the coronation of kings
The most important modern use of the shofar in religious ceremonies takes place on Rosh HaShana/ Yom Teruah, when it is sounded in the synagogue to call the Jewish people to a spiritual reawakening as the religious NewYear begins on Tishri 1.
However, the importance of the instrument does not stop there. It is a sound that we will hear again on a much larger scale. The sound will originate in the heavens and pierce through to the natural realm. Like at Mount Sinai, it will be so loud that we will tremble. Paul tells the community of faith in Thessalonica that: ‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the shofar of God.’ At this time the believers in Messiah who died shall rise from the dead. Literally. ‘Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds’
The relevance for us today is that the blowing of the shofar is a warning and a call to repentance. A warning is not the disaster itself, but a call to avoid it!
Safety has become a huge priority in our day - the Hebrew word for safety is ‘Yeshua’
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