Crystal Writes A Blog

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Blow the Trumpet in Zion


Wake Up! The alarm is going off, and the time has come to arise.

I use an alarm on my phone that allows you to type in whatever message you like, so you can remind yourself of why you have set the alarm. Unless I need to put in a specific reminder, the default message reads, “Wake up, Sweetie.” I did it that way on purpose because I’m not one who likes to be startled awake. Sometimes, it’s hard to pull myself out of sleep mode and realize the alarm is not just in my dream, but a gentle reminder works better for me than a loud blaring alarm.

In our reading today from Numbers 9:15 through Numbers 10:10, we read about the alarms God says to sound before His people. But first, the reading starts out talking about the cloud of God’s presence over the tabernacle. I almost named the blog “I’ve Looked at Clouds from Both Sides Now,” but since the majority of the reading talks of sounding the alarm, I decided to use that as a title–and an excuse to include the inspiring praise video.

God showed the children of Israel when to move and when to stay by the cloud of His presence. If He settled on the tabernacle, the community knew to stay. If the cloud lifted from the tabernacle, the community knew it was time to travel. Whether the cloud stayed for a week, a month, a year, or just overnight, the people camped for as long as it was there. And as soon as the cloud lifted, the people rose up with it.

In addition to knowing God wanted them to travel, the people learned to find the exact time to travel by listening for the sound of the trumpet. God told Moses to make two trumpets of hammered silver. He told Moses they would be used both for summoning the community and for telling Israel when to break camp and move on. When the alarm was used for summoning the community, one blast meant that only the leaders were to gather at the tabernacle, and two blasts meant the entire community was to assemble before the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

God told Moses to sound different alarms for different events. Some alarms told which camp was to begin traveling. Some proclaimed war with an oppressive enemy. Some proclaimed celebration, like the alarm that was sounded at the beginning of each month, called Rosh Hodesh in Hebrew. And some were sounded along with the sacrifices offered before God. The call to assembly was not to be one of alarm. All trumpet calls were to be given by the sons of Aaron, the priesthood, according to the permanent regulation of Yahveh.

Alarms aren’t always fun to hear when they first go off, especially if they are used to wake us from sleep, but sometimes they can signify a great day ahead. We set our alarms for regular events, like going to work, but we also set them for special events, like weddings and graduations. Our purposes in setting alarms may often be different, but our reason–that is to get up and move toward a specific event–is always the same.

God’s word has both warning and inspiration, and both require us to move from wherever we are to wherever He wants us to go. Let us hear the alarm He sets in our hearts, and let us wake up to whatever He is calling us to do, whether it is to sound the alarm to the lost around us, or to sound the alarm to ourselves that we will wake and watch with Him. Blow the trumpet in Zion: The Messiah has come to save and deliver us, and He is coming again to take us home. Halleluyah!

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May 27, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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