The Feast of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets

Home Church Service 9/4/2021

These sermons began as devotionals for my family as we met during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. We have now begun to include our friends and the devotional has now become a full sermon. We are also recording our service and will begin posting those videos in the near future.

When my family and I meet for worship, we like to discuss what we are learning, in the moment. Sometimes that happens right after the message and at other times we will address something during the message. This message was designed to be interactive, discussing what we are learning right after I have addressed each point of the message. You will find the questions at the end of each section. In most formats they will appear in bold. Use these questions as a guide to meditate on the points Paul is making. Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and above all, be honest with yourself and the Holy Spirit. After all, He knows any way!

Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. ‘You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’ ”                                                           (Leviticus 23:23-25 NASB)

What New Year’s Day traditions do you have that you celebrate? Is it a family meal? A special outing? Is it an after-holiday snooze fest? For me, growing up in the 70’s, New Year’s Day always began with the Rose Bowl Parade. The Parade lasted just long enough wake up, eat breakfast, knock off the cobwebs from staying up late to watch Dick Clark and get ready for the bowl games that started at noon and lasted late into the night when the Rose Bowl was played in Pasadena, CA.

This month, the Jewish people will celebrate their New Year, found in the month of Tishrei on the Jewish calendar. Tishrei corresponds to September or October on our calendar because the Jewish calendar consists of 48 weeks whereas ours has 52 weeks. We will examine this day in a bit more detail in a few moments, but first let me share with you a few of the traditions celebrated in Israel. At the family meal, two candles are lit, a prayer is given, and a special blessing is said over the wine or juice. Round challah bread is used to symbolize a crown and the sovereignty of God as well as the circle of life, and on the first day of Rosh Hashanah the people practice casting off – that is, walking to a moving body of water and emptying their pockets or tossing breadcrumbs into the water. This symbolizes casting off sin.

The Lord spoke to Moses instructing him to speak to the sons of Israel. On the first day of the seventh month, they are to have a holy convocation, The Feast of Trumpets – blowing the trumpet as a reminder to do no laborious work and to present an offering to the Lord by fire.

God told Moses to speak to His people, reminding them the first day of the seventh month is a day set apart to God. The Feast of Trumpets is a holy day of rest – a sabbath when the trumpets are blown, and we give back to God the Father.

In this message we seek to answer the question, “Why should Christ followers be aware of and celebrate The Feast of Trumpets?”

The Feast of Trumpets is one of seven holy days established by God to reveal His plan of salvation to all generations.

1). The Feast of Trumpets marks the beginning of a New Year for God’s people.

The sounding of the trumpet is a reminder of a holy day to God, a call tp repentance and a warning for the people.

On Tuesday, September 7, 2021, Rosh Hashanah begins. Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year” or as we might say, the Jewish New Year. This is but one of three feasts the Lord has established and commanded the Jewish people observe in the month of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. In the coming weeks we will explore the other two feasts – Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement and The Feast of Tabernacles.

There is much more to this feast than just simply celebrating the beginning of the New Year. This day is meant to be a holy convocation – a sabbath day of rest set apart to God. It is a day of memorial, marked with the blast of a trumpet. The trumpet is the shofar, a ram’s horn, sounded from the highest points of the city, announcing the beginning of the day. For ancient Israel the trumpet blast could mean a number of things: it could be a call to action, as in preparing for war; it could be a call to march on an enemy; or it could be a warning of a coming enemy.

In our context the trumpet blast heralds the coming of a New Year, but more importantly it sounds the call of repentance. Ten days from the beginning of Rosh Hashanah comes the Day of Atonement. We will take a closer look at this Fall feast next week. This day is a day meant to be a reminder, both to Israel and to God – for Israel it is a reminder of the covenant and the need for repentance, while it is a reminder for God of His covenant promises. When the Scriptures tell us God is “reminded” or “remembering,” it means He is about to take action on His past promises.

This day was also to be a day of worship – central to Jewish worship is the sacrifice or offering made to God. In this case the offering is to be made by fire. Fire has been understood to symbolize purification or cleansing. Since the need for repentance is of major importance, it only makes sense a sin offering, by fire, would be made during Israel’s worship of Yahweh.

As for the warning aspect of this trumpet, anyone who would work on this day would find themselves cut off from the nation of Israel and the blessings of God. Worse yet is the one who refused to repent of their sin. Not only would they find themselves cut off from the nation of Israel and the blessings of God – they face certain death in their refusal to repent.

For many Jews, this is also a day of celebration of when the earth was created. This day then, also includes reviewing the thirteen attributes of God. This helps to prepare for the coming holy days – the Days of Awe or the ten days leading up to the Day of Atonement. Most Jews point to the words God spoke to Moses after the golden calf incident when they review these attributes, the following is just one version of the words spoken to Moses. “I am God before people sin; I am God after people sin, if they repent; I am all powerful God; I am compassionate; I am gracious; I am slow to anger; I am abounding in lovingkindness ( the New Testament equivalent of grace); I am maintaining lovingkindness to 1,000 generations; I am forgiving premeditated sin; I am forgiving sin committed in rebellion; I am forgiving sin made by mistake; I am acquitting the repentant.”

Questions for discussion/reflection:

As a Christ follower, how does God remind you of your need for a Sabbath rest?

As a Christ follower, do you sense God sounding a warning blast from the trumpet?

As a Christ follower, what is God calling you to sacrifice today?

As a Christ follower, which attribute of God are you most aware of today?

Reflection only: As a Christ follower, is there an area where God is calling you to repentance?

The Feast of Trumpets is one of seven holy days established by God to reveal His plan of salvation to all generations.

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

                                                                         (Revelation 11:15-19 NASB)

2). The Feast of Trumpets marks the beginning of a new Kingdom for God’s people.

The sounding of the trumpet will be a warning that the end of the current age has come.

Earlier I mentioned that the sounding of a trumpet was used as a warning. The passage from Revelation I just read is the sounding of the last trumpet of this age, thus signifying the return of Christ. However, in chapters 8&9, there are six other trumpets sounded, each a warning, to those people left on earth, of a coming judgment. The first five of these trumpets affect the trees, plants, grass and water sources on earth, but the sixth trumpet directly impacts the people of earth, killing one-third of those who remain. This, however, will not impact the people of God found in Christ Jesus.

It is the seventh trumpet we are most concerned with and the one that is directly related to the Feast of Trumpets – this is the trumpet that announces the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth. This seventh trumpet announces that the kingdom of this world, ruled by Satan and his demons, has now become “the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ.” Now is the time when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom and rule forever. One use of the trumpet that I have not yet mentioned is key for understanding this passage from Revelation and the return of Christ. The trumpet blast was also used to herald the coronation – the crowning – of a new King. In this case, King Jesus.

There is much that is recorded after the sounding of the seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation, but we must remember John is presenting, in written form, all that he saw as he saw it taking place. Some of what John records may have been taking place at the same time, but John could only see one scene at a time. But that is another study for another day. Key to our study today is the worship of the beast that turns to worship of Christ. Chapter 19, the chapter that describes Christ coming out of the clouds, begins with a multitude shouting Hallelujah!

Those who surround the throne of God fall down to worship God and rejoice and give glory to the Lamb and the marriage supper that is being prepared. This is the day of the Lord’s return; this is the day in which we have placed all our hope, and this is the day we have waited patiently to arrive. This is the beginning of the “summing up of all things in Christ” we talked about last week. This is not a day for those who are found in Christ to dread, this is the day of our redemption – the day we are truly and forever set free!

Think of it this way, the trumpet blast is the voice of God trying to capture the attention of “those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying.” God has commissioned His prophets and obedient servants “to raise their voice like a trumpet” and declare the sins of the people (Isaiah 58:1). The Feast of Trumpets is the sound of the shofar and a cray from heaven to REPENT! Now is the time we must have our ears finely tuned into the voice of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, hearing them speak through the Word and Commandments.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

As a Christ follower, are you living your life like a trumpet, declaring that you belong to Christ?

As a Christ follower, how are you preparing for the final trumpet to sound?

As a Christ follower, are your ears finely tuned to the voice of God?

The Feast of Trumpets is one of seven holy days established by God to reveal His plan of salvation to all generations.

Everyone has their own New Year’s Day traditions. Mine as I was growing up included watching Dick Clark welcome in the New Year, eating breakfast while watching the Rose Bowl Parade and the watching the bowl games that started at noon that day and lasted late into the night when the Rose Bowl was finally played in Pasadena, CA.

In Israel they too have their own traditions that include a family meal with a prayer and special blessing on the wine or juice, a round challah bread and the practice of casting off – casting breadcrumbs into the water as a symbol of casting off sin.

What can we do as we move forward? First, always be prepared. Be prepared for warfare. Though we do not fight the flesh and blood kind of warfare, it is war, nonetheless. We fight by knowing the Word of God and having it hidden away in our hearts. Be prepared to march – against and enemy, to a higher ground, to follow the movement of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Be prepared to take action of any and every kind. Most importantly, be prepared to welcome the newly crowned King of Kings!

Secondly, always remember. Remember the promises God has made in His word. Pray those promises back to God the Father. Remember to be faithful. If you expect God to be faithful in keeping His promises, then you must be a faithful and obedient servant. Remember the power of Christ in your life. This is the power that changed the course of your life from certain death to a glorious future of eternal life. Remember where God has brought you from and what He has brought you through. No One can refute the story of your life in Christ.

Thirdly, always be repentant. Have a heart that is humble and open before God. Confess and repent of premeditated sin. Accidental sin and sin committed in rebellion. We are not perfect, but we are forgiven if we remain repentant before the Lord and confess our sins to Him. James reminds us, that God is faithful to forgive if we are faithful to confess! A heart that is humble and open before God will always find forgiveness, mercy, grace and the love of God.

Fourth, listen for the voice of God. It can be found in Scripture through His commandments or His promises. Have an open heart and mind and ask for the Spirit to guide you during your reading of the Scriptures. You can also find the voice of God in music. Music seems to be a powerful, universal language. As long as the words confirm and agree with Scripture there is no end to the power contained in music. And the voice of God can be found in others. You can never tell when words of wisdom, coming from God, will flow from the mouth of another.

Finally, your worship matters. Who you worship matters as much as how you worship! Make certain you are not worshiping this world, the material goods and possessions you have accumulated or the ruler of this world. Your heart should always and only worship the One who has called you into fellowship, God the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Make sure your worship is God honoring and Christ centered, whether in your personal worship, small groups or corporate church worship.

We do all things for the glory of God through Christ our Lord.

Amen and Amen.

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