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There seem to be different parts to your trumpet call…

Yes, there are. I want to talk particularly about two parts today. We talked before about the alarm or teruah. Today, two more parts, two more traditions and a story. The first part or word of this traditional call is described kind of like “booo-WAAAAAAAAAH” and often lasts 3-4 beats or seconds. This is a gedola and is often interpreted as being a call to wake up or to arise. At one event we took part in, there was a wonderful shofarist who at one point in the program could hardly contain himself as God told him to blow. He blew powerfully, just that first little “word”, and then blew it again. The large crowd was awed by the power in that blast, but when a woman stood to the microphone and sang equally loud and equally long, “a-WAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE----a-WAAAAAAAAAAAKE”, many of us on the platform began to shiver and shake. It is one of the most powerful of my memories.

The next little word is like the first, but it is three shorter versions, each about 1 second or beat long, kind of like “boo-WAAH---boo-WAAH---boo-WAAH”. These are called “the sighs”, and almost seem to be God’s lament that we do not hear His wake-up call.

Will we hear? Will we pray that others will hear?

Please pray with me, “Blessed art Thou...O Lord our God…”

One of my favorite verses is I Peter 2:9, but I’d not thought about it in terms of being a "shofar verse" before, but there it is! What do people normally do at night? They sleep, right? And during the day, most people are awake. We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light for the express purpose of showing forth His praises! aaa-WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!!!

Please pray with me: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God…”

Why do you blow that really long blast anyhow?

I’m glad you asked! I have a treasure for you this morning. In Joshua 6:5, in the middle of the story of the march around Jericho, where God is instructing Joshua about how to do this thing, He tells Josh that the priests with the trumpets are going to march around with everyone else, seven times, blowing their trumpets, but look at the very end of the story: "It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat…” Part of the tradition behind that long blast is to remember the event and to commemorate the way in which God gave them that city.

Has God given us this city, our Jericho? When we hear the long blast, pray that God will indeed make His word come to pass and that we will be given the city!

Please pray with me: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God…”
<COLOR color="navy">Palm Sunday Thoughts

If you've ever watched a movie about ancient or medieval times where a king was involved, you know that trumpets were used to herald the entrance of the king. Those were usually silver "herald" trumpets, long and straight, without valves. They are not unlike the shofar in how they blow, and again, the trumpet is used to convey a message, this time of a royal arrival.

With your Holy Ghost imagination, picture the scene as the people awaited the entry of Jesus of Nazareth into the city, the entry of "The King of the Jews". Can you hear the whispers? Can you hear as those whispers gradually become a welling cheer as the King comes on the scene? <SIZE size="1">"The King is coming!" <SIZE size="2">"The King is coming!" <SIZE size="3">"The King is coming!" <SIZE size="4">"The King is coming!" <SIZE size="6">"The King is coming!"

The King that was coming was being proclaimed as Messiah, but He came in a way that was totally against all that the Jews had anticipated. They wanted earthly power and displays of greatness. Instead, they saw a "mere" man, on the back of a yearling donkey. While the masses welcomed him, the religious leadership sought ways to destroy him. After all, how dare he claim to be Messiah when he does not meet any of our expectations for how Messiah should come!

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King--KING!!!--KING of the universe, Who has commanded us to hear the shofar's blast.
The first trumpet in the Revelation

<QUOTE author="Revelation 1:10">
Revelation 1:10 Wrote:In the Spirit I found myself present on the day of the Lord, and I heard behind me a loud voice which resembled the blast of a trumpet. (Weymouth translation, 1912)
Can you imagine St. John the Apostle, likely in his 90s on an island in the Mediterranean? See him praying and being totally consumed in the presence of our Lord, so intent, so focused in prayer, that he's just not prepared for The One Who's coming up behind him? Praying and suddenly John's world is totally interrupted by a shofar blast! "YO! Yochanan!!" That would get MY attention! Like driving along under an overpass and having a train or semi horn go off as you intersect?! Certainly makes my heart go fast. In John's case, that trumpet blast was the voice of the living Lamb of God, the Alpha and Omega, our Messiah, Jesus. Later in the Revelation, Chapter 4, "The Voice like a trumpet" spoke again. Both times were explicit instructions, one to write, one to accompany "The Voice".

We've talked before about the shofar call being a spiritual experience. Here is John the Beloved, startled out of his sandals the first time, Hearing Jesus in a whole new way, with His "Heavenly Voice" more than His earthly, shepherd-to-the-sheep voice, giving John spiritual instruction through the trumpet blast. In Barnes New Testament Notes, Barnes talks specifically to the Jewishness of this trumpet: "The Hebrew word employed commonly to denote a trumpet—shophar—means 'bright and clear', and is supposed to have been given to the instrument on account of its clear and shrill sound, as we now give the name "clarion" to a certain wind instrument. The Hebrew trumpet is often referred to as employed, on account of its clearness, to summon people together..."

When Abba speaks to us, whether through the written Word of God, through the words of prophets, pastors, or any wise counsellor, or the impressions in our own spirits through symbol, sound, or substance, will we be quick to follow John's example of falling at His feet as though dead? Will we be "instantly in the Spirit" and transported to the "up here" that Messiah has for us to see? How shall we respond to the trumpet's call?

Blessed art thou, O Adonai our G-d, Who has commanded us to hear the trumpet blast!
Why do you sometimes blow the shofar while covering yourself up in that prayer shawl?

Great question! Part of the ministry that Helena and I have been given is to remind the church of her Jewish roots. No, we are not Jewish, nor are we judaizers, trying to convert Christians to Judaism or to convince them that they must observe Talmudic interpretations of "the Law". As I’ve shared many times, our goal is not to convert anyone to Judaism or to a Messianic expression of his or her faith in Jesus Christ, but it is, however, important to me (and I believe to God Himself) that we Christians understand that everything that we do and everything that we believe as people of faith has its root in Judaism. So much of what Father instructs in what we call the Old Testament is not aimed at the Jews alone. Much of it is specifically pointed at Abraham’s descendents. Since we are called the "seed of Abraham", and since Paul makes it clear that both Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus are grafted into the same root system, the same life giving “sap” flows through both sets of veins!

Why do I cover myself? The wearing of the tallit or prayer shawl is a long tradition for shofarists. The shawl is really a Jewish man’s prayer closet! By wearing the prayer shawl, the shofarist’s hope and trust is that you will hear God’s calling and not see man’s playing. And as we have prayed in weeks past, we are praying for others to hear and to heed God’s calling. It is a prophetic act, one done in faith, that even without physically hearing the horn’s blast, they will hear it in their spirit and respond.

Please, pray with me: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has commanded us to hear the shofar’s blast.”
Psalm 100 & The Shofar

Our psalm for today's service was actually my very first experience with the Psalms when I was a child. That simple set of verses impacted my little heathen heart even then, so it's kind of special to me.

And here it is again! And in a very different context.
Quote:Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands!
Or some would prefer "all you nations", strongly implying all the people groups on the planet, not merely the ground and certainly not merely the nation Israel. This is also shout joyfully, call loudly, shout for joy. One version says, "Shout praises to the Lord, everyone on this earth!"

There is a time for piety and for quiet reverence. The various words of praise tell us that plainly. However, there is also a place for loud, raucous, extreme, exhuberent expressions of praise. When this empty vessel of a shofar is raised to the lips, there is the hope or even the promise of a joyful noise being made unto the Lord and unto all the lands, calling them into joyous celebration of our God and Who He wants to be in our lives.

And look how this psalm ends:
Quote:For the LORD is good;

His lovingkindness is everlasting

And His faithfulness to all generations.
We are part of that "all generations" that the psalmist names, just as we are part of the "all ye lands" mentioned in the first admonition to praise Him.

Dare we not obey?
What IS a shofar, anyhow??

I'm glad you asked! Your basic shofar is really and truly the horn of a ram. That's the kind of J-shaped horn, not the American mountain goat curly-q ram that many think of. That was expanded many, many years ago to be the horn of any kosher animal except that of a cow. They did not want to use a cow's horn because any possible conjuring up of images of golden ox type idols just did not seem prudent. They did not want to offend God!

Most shofars today are the horns of rams (he-sheep or he-goats). One of the major symbolisms within Judaism is the memory of YHWH Yireh (Jehovah Jirah, to you Ken Copeland fans). Abraham was obedient in taking his son Isaac up the mountain "to worship", meaning to offer sacrifice. They got to the top of the hill and Isaac, being a quick study and about 33 years old, says to his dad, "The wood I see. The fire I see, but where is the lamb for sacrifice?" Abraham said a most amazing thing. Only in the good ole King James English translation is this so dramatically put. In Genesis 22:8 Abraham answers Isaac by saying, "God will provide Himself a lamb..."

We know the story, but the little bitty details. God did indeed provide Himself as a lamb in Jesus, the Lamb of God. In Abraham's case, God did not provide a mere lamb, it says in Genesis 22:13 that a RAM was caught by his horns in the thicket. The word lamb means exactly what we know it to mean, a young, unweaned sheep or goat. There might be an age stipulation in today's world. Abraham expected that God was going to take Isaac, Abraham's lamb, as a burnt offering. Instead, God recognized that Isaac was in the prime of his life and provided instead a RAM in the prime of its life. Isaac was redeemed and given new life. Some see that as a foreshadowing of being born again. The ram's horn became a powerful symbol of God's redeeming power in the face of severe adversity. When the horn is blown, God's redeeming power is brought to the mind of those people who understand the symbol. Blow the horn with intention, remembering that God did indeed provide Himself a Lamb!

Some of the Jewish fathers also saw the shape of the basic shofar, that J-shape, as being symbolic of repentence, the first step to redemption. It's kind of like a bent knee or bowed head of Abraham, as he purposed to obey YHWH, even if it meant the sacrifice of his beloved son. Quite a picture, isn't it??

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has commanded the blowing of the shofar!
Really good stuff, Dean. i have enjoyed the reading so much!

I had to laugh though - I just played your three sound shots again and my cats got really spooked! They rushed around the room looking seriously alarmed and kept coming to me for assurance! It was so funny!
I would like some input as to shofars in a personal setting. Much of what you have discussed has been in a corporate setting. Do shofars have a Scriptural personal basis? I purchased my shofar recently for a couple of reasons. First of all - I have always loved the sound of the shofar - it moves my spirit - it feels like "deep calling to deep" to me. For some reason, when I hear it, it almost always lifts my spirits. There have been times that God has used me as a human shofar - and the only reason for that that I can come up with in my mind is that there were no people available with literal shofars to blow for the Lord. I have wanted to learn to blow one for a long time. I do not necessarily want to blow it in a corporate setting - just more for in my home - more for me - though that may sound selfish. Usually when I want to blow it is when I am feeling oppressed or heavily weighted down - I feel like blowing the shofar helps to break down walls -like the walls of Jericho - sets captives free - like how I may feel under certain circumstances - and that it can do warfare in the heavenlies in ways that perhaps nothing else can. Though I cannot necessarily point to Scripture to back up what I sense. I would like your input Dean, and anyone else's who has some ideas.
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