Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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The Feast of Trumpets

Season:  7 Feasts   Buy

Dannah Gresh: Erin Davis gets excited thinking about the day Jesus will return with the sound of a trumpet! 

Erin: I long to hear the trumpet blast! So many days I say, “Today is a good day, Jesus! There’s still time today.”

Dannah: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of You Can Trust God to Write Your Story, for February 24, 2021. I’m Dannah Gresh. 

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: If you’ve ever had the experience of reading through the Bible cover-to-cover, and I hope you have, I hope that you do it many times in the course of your life . . . We’ve all known what is to get through the book of Genesis with all those wonderful stories and then the book of Exodus and God’s people getting out of Egypt and out of slavery. 

And then we land in Leviticus. We all know what it is to get just stopped and thinking, What in the world is all this talking about? What in the world does it mean? Does it really matter?! And then you kind of just want to skip over that and get to Numbers and Deuteronomy. Don’t look at me like you haven’t been there. We all have!

But there’s such beauty to be had in the book of Leviticus as we see how it connects us to the gospel, to the New Testament, and most importantly, to Jesus. Erin, I love how you have been taking us through Leviticus chapter 23 and the seven feasts that the Old Testament Israelites observed.

Do you remember when it was that those feasts in Leviticus 23 first caught your attention and you thought, I want to go deeper in those.

Erin: I was in a brainstorming meeting with my women’s ministry team, and we were trying to figure out our fall event, you know that rhythm that women’s ministries so often have? And I said to the team, “I want to take us to the Old Testament.” 

And Amy Hall, a trusted member of my team who loves the Bible said, “What do you think about the seven feasts?” 

And I didn’t know where they were in Scripture. I’m not sure that I knew there were seven feasts specifically. And rather than making me want to shy away from the seven feasts that was the thing that made me want to press 

Because I thought, Here I am the Women’s Ministry Leader and I don’t know about this passage of Scripture she’s talking about, and I know there are others. So that’s how we chose to study the seven feasts. 

Nancy: Well, the Scripture tells us that these things that were written of old were written for our instruction and our encouragement. We’re supposed to learn from these; we’re supposed to be encouraged by them.

Can you imagine us getting to heaven and God saying, “I gave you this magnificent picture of the gospel and of Jesus, but you never read it? You have no idea what it was about!” So you’ve been opening this up for us. You’ve done it in a wonderful 8-week study on the 7 Feasts: Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament.

We’re making that resource available to our listeners for a donation of any amount to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts this week. And we’re taking time in this series to let you unpack just what those feasts are about.

Today, we’re going to be looking at the Feast of Trumpets. When you hear that you may think, Well, I’m not very musical. I can’t play a trumpet. Why in the world would I be interested in that? Erin’s about to tell us why we should be interested in this Feast of Trumpets.

So Lord, these can be hard things to understand, but would you open our eyes, open our ears, open our hearts. Help us to receive with joy all You have for us in this session today. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Erin: Well nothing exhausts me quite like the battle with sin. I’m worn out by it. I’ve had it up to here with my pride, with my selfishness, with my idolatry, and I’m deeply grieved by the way my sin affects others—my husband, my siblings, my sons, some of my dearest friends, some of my fellow Christ followers. They are all walking around with shrapnel inside their hearts, because of my sin. 

I was feeling extra disgusted with my sin tendencies one day while cruising down the highway at 75 mph. My steering wheel was streaked with tears, I was so frustrated. In this case I was frustrated with the way that I had treated my family before I had to get in the car and go somewhere. 

I cried out to the Lord, out loud, and I said, “When Lord? When will I win against sin and be holy like You’re holy?” This phrase bubbled up in my heart, and I’ve got to be honest, it startled me. The phrase was this, “In a moment.”

And if I am going to be honest with you about what I felt in that moment, I thought I was about to get hit by a semi. Because I know that the reality is that as long as I live in this body, as long as I live on this side of heaven, I will remain a sinner.

And the seven feasts are reminders that Jesus died to pay the price for my sin, that He rose to give me victory over sin, and that He sent the Holy Spirit to help me go to war against sin. But the sanctification process is much too slow for my taste. I want to live sin free right now. 

That night I pulled out my Bible. It seemed like I had heard that phrase “in a moment” somewhere before in the pages of Scripture. I flipped to 1 Corinthians 15:51–52, and suddenly, there it was. The answer to my question of when I will shift from sinner to saint.

Let me read us 1 Corinthians 15:51–52, 

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment [there’s that phrase,“in a moment”], in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

When? When will we be changed? In a moment. And how will we know that the moment has come? It will be announced with a trumpet blast. We’ve been walking through the seven feasts of Israel; they’re all recorded in the book of Leviticus chapter 23. 

Today we will consider the fifth feast, the Feast of Trumpets. Before we do let’s flip even further back in our Bibles all the way back to Genesis 22.

Let me tell you or remind you of the story of Abraham and Isaac. It’s described in these verses. I hope the story is familiar to you, but it's just so deep. We can keep mining it and mining it and mining it, and still find treasure.

God had asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. This was a foreshadowing of the moment of when God the Father would send His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on our behalf. Now, in Abraham’s case, his son was spared. God mercifully provided a sacrificial ram instead.

Let me pick up the story at Genesis 22:13, 

And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.

As we consider the significance of the Feast of Trumpets, we’ll discover that it points to the moment when human history comes to its final crescendo at the blast of the final trumpet. And as you read about it, your mind might naturally conjure the image of our modern trumpets. Trumpets are used often throughout the Bible, and we tend to think of maybe that trumpet you played when you were in marching band. But more likely, God’s people blew a shofar, or a ram’s horn. 

So, literally from Genesis to Revelation, God uses the horn to declare His salvation. Here it’s the ram’s horn in the thicket. We will look at the horns that God’s people blasted toward Jericho, and the fourth feast where the trumpets point forward to the Day of the Lord, when the trumpet blast will be the pronouncement that God’s people are saved from sin and death once and for all. 

Before I read you the description of the fifth feast, here’s one more little nugget of truth that I hope will become one of your heart’s greatest treasures, Jesus observed many of the seven feasts during His time on earth, but not the Feast of Trumpets, at least not yet. 

We’ll see why as we read about feast number five inLeviticus 23:23–25. Let me read us Leviticus 23:23–25: 

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.’”

Now, again much of the feast feels foreign to us, but this one is actually pretty simple. They’re to have a day of rest. They are to present an offering. And what sets this feast apart from the others is that they are to announce it at the blast of the trumpet. 

Trumpets symbolize many things in Scripture. I wish we had the time to unpack all of the symbolism we see between horns and the Word of God, but all of them are filled with hope for God’s people. 

In the book of Exodus the trumpet blast symbolized the power and presence of God. Throughout the psalms the trumpets were used as calls to worship. Listen for example to Psalm 98:6, “With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!”

Now, I can’t think of a time when trumpets were used in worship in my church. But here in the Old Testament they were very common instruments used to celebrate what God had done. This is an invitation to make some noise, in celebration of who God is. 

In Joshua 6, we find trumpets blasting again in maybe another familiar story. Listen to Joshua 6:8–16, 

And just as Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. 

Picture it! The trumpets are blowing continually in this procession of God’s people as they are heading off to war.

But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” So he caused the ark of the Lord to circle the city, going about it once. And they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp. Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. 

That’s repeated in Scripture so we get the picture, the horns are blowing and blowing and blowing and blowing. 

And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days. On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city.”

Seven trumpets blaring continually for seven days. For the people inside the walls of Jericho, it must have been an intimidating sound, like one continual foreboding wail. For God’s people it was a battle cry. 

As long as the trumpets were blaring, their eardrums were reverberating with reminders that God had promised them the victory. Joshua 6 is much like the seven feasts, like all of Scripture in that it points to something greater. 

We are going to fast forward in our Bibles to a greater trumpet blast, but as we do I want you to keep some pieces of the story of the fall of Jericho close to your heart. Note takers, this is you cue, jot these down:

  1. God’s people triumph over their enemies—not in their own power but in God’s.
  2. The trump blast was the signal that the victory was won.
  3. Upon hearing it, the children of God entered the city and began their reign as rulers of the Promised Land.

Let’s go back to 1 Corinthians 15. Paul wrote this letter to Corinthian believers. Chapter 15 has one big idea, the Resurrection. I’m going to guess that the Corinthian believers had some questions about how the Resurrection was going to work, thus Paul’s need to address it. And who could blame them?

He talks to them first about Jesus’ resurrection, and he reminds them that’s of foremost importance. But then he talks about the fact that they will be resurrected. I have questions too, like: What will it be like? When will it happen?

We don’t get to know the “when” but we aren't left to wonder what it will be like. Our Bible is chock full of beautiful descriptions of the Day of the Lord—Old Testament, New Testament all over our Bibles describes the Day of the Lord. 

I am going to read you a favorite of mine; it comes from Revelation 11:15–19, 

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, 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 shall 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 thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

I hope that you’re getting excited about all of the connections between this verse and the one we just read in Joshua 6. Jesus is coming back for us, and when He does His return will be unmistakable.

My fearful heart sometimes worries I’ll miss it or that I’ve missed it already. There will be no missing it. It will be awe-inspiring; it will be earth-shaking; and it will be loud. Signaled by the blast of the seventh trumpet.

Way back in Leviticus 23, God was scheduling a reminder of the supernatural hope we have in Him. Every single year when the Israelites blew the trumpets, those sound waves were moving forward in history to the moment when all of God’s children would live in the Promised Land, finally and forever sin free.

Let’s think about Jericho again for a moment. That trumpet blast meant that God’s people had triumphed over their enemies. When the final trumpet sounds, it will mean that because of Jesus, we have triumphed over our two terrible enemies—Satan and sin. That’s what the trumpet will mean. 

At Jericho the trumpet was the symbol that spiritually speaking the battle was already won. God had already promised that the children of Israel would emerge victorious, and on the cross our war with sin and death was finished.

My pastor will sometimes stand at the pulpit and say, “The war with cancer was won at the cross. Your struggle with your prodigal child was won at the cross. The brokenness in your body was won at the cross.” I can just hear him say those statements over us forever. It’s true there are skirmishes, but the battle’s won. 

The final trumpet will be a declaration that we can live in Christ’s victory forever. Upon hearing the final trumpet blast toward Jericho, the children of God entered the city, and they began their reign as rulers of the Promised Land.

And what will happen to us upon Christ’s return? I can never read Revelation chapter 21 without crying, and I don’t apologize for it, because it’s so precious. Revelation 21:1–3,

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”

What will happen to us when the final trumpet blasts? We will enter the city, the new Jerusalem that Jesus has prepared for us, and we will reign in righteousness with Christ our King. 

Listen to the prophet Joel’s words about that final trumpet blast. This comes from Joel chapter 2,

Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near (v. 1). 

From Joel’s prospective it probably didn’t seem near. And yet it is, a trumpet blast is coming. And friends, it is near. Compared to eternity, the time between now and the blast of that final trumpet is a blip. I like to say, “It won’t be long now, because Christ is coming for His bride, to rescue us and lead us to a place free from sin.”

Did you know there were only a couple of commandments for the Feast of Trumpets? Blow the trumpet, don’t work, and give God an offering. That’s it! It’s that simple. The trumpet’s going to blow, and we’re going rest in all that He has done for us. 

On that day the children of God will celebrate the Feast of Trumpets with Jesus. I long to hear the trumpet blast. So many days I say, “Today is a good day. Jesus there’s still time today.” But it’s coming. I don’t for a nano second doubt that the Feast of Trumpets for the children of God is coming. But for now we wait in hope. 

Today, right this very moment, I want you to consider the Feast of Trumpets. I want you to hold on to this, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52). 

Nancy: What a beautiful hope we have pictured for us in just a glimpse there in that Old Testament passage, Leviticus chapter 23, the Feast of Trumpets. You know, Erin, as you were talking, I’m thinking what glorious anticipation that sound of the trumpet is for us who know Christ! 

But also, what a cause of terror and dread it should be for those who don’t know Christ. In fact, as you were unpacking these different trumpet sounds throughout Scripture, I thought back to the people in the days of Leviticus.

They hadn’t experienced Joshua or Jericho yet or the New Testament. The trumpet sound they were familiar with was the one back in Exodus 19 where this loud trumpet sound at Mount Sinai symbolized that God was near, and the mountain trembled, and the people were terrified, and they had to keep at a distance from God as the law was given.

They couldn't approach a holy God, and that trumpet sound reminded them, “Stay away! You’re sinful! You can’t come near.” And so, the people who were celebrating this Feast of Trumpets every year, they remembered that sound that told them, “Yes, you’re covenant people, but you’re under the law—law you can’t keep. You’re separated from God.”

So, how precious was it when in the fullness of time God sent His Son Jesus to fulfill the demands of the law, to live that righteous life we could not live, and to say, “Now you can draw near. You can anticipate the sound of the trumpet of Christ returning!”

We read that passage in Joel, that Day of the Lord where the trumpet would sound. That’s not a trumpet to look forward to. The Day of the Lord is a day of judgment, it’s a day of wrath, it’s a day of God pushing sinners away forever from those who refuse to repent of their sin and believe in Christ.

So, yes, the trumpet sound for those who know and love and believe in the gospel will be beautiful. It’s a sound we await. We need to remember that for those who are far from Christ, it’s a sound that when it comes, it will signal a day of judgment and wrath.

If you’re not in Christ, you ought to be terrified when you think about that coming Day of the Lord. But it’s not too late to believe the gospel, repent of your sin, and come to Christ for salvation!

And if you’re already in Christ, which I assume most of us are listening to Erin teach today, remember how many people there are around us who the next time they hear that trumpet sound will be forever lost, banished from the presence of God.

Doesn’t that give us a good reason to share the good news, the gospel of Christ. You can draw near to Christ. He has paid the price for your sin, and you can look forward to that sound of the trumpet!

So that sound of the trumpet is a symbol, a sound of both judgment and salvation. Which will it be for you?

Thank You, Lord, for the salvation that we have in Christ, for the beautiful sound that trumpet will be for us. But also, give us a heart for those for whom that trumpet sounding will be a day of irreversible eternal judgment and wrath. O God, call sinners this day to repentance, to faith, that they may with us anticipate that coming of the Lord to take His own home to be with Him forever. I pray in Jesus name, amen.

There is way more to this feast of the trumpets. Actually, there’s not a lot said about it in Leviticus, so we have to draw inferences from other passages of Scripture. In the study you’ve written on the seven feasts, Erin, you unpack it more and give us a chance to do that with you. Give us a word of encouragement to people why they might want to pick up this study.

Erin: Well, of the seven feasts, the Feast of Trumpets is hands down my favorite. You’re right, if you’re just reading through Leviticus 23, there’s just a few sentences there for this feast. But you really don’t have to do a lot of digging to see that it points forward with hope. I want to think about the Lord returning all of the time, and that’s what this feast does for me now. Because I see how it points forward, and that’s what I hope it does for others.

Nancy: “Sound the trumpet!” God said to His people in the Old Testament through His prophets. Erin, you’ve sounded a trumpet, or a pre-trumpet kind of, that gives a prelude to the magnificent trumpet that will sound when Christ returns. We want our listeners to have a copy of this study. 

It’s an eight-week Bible study. It will get you in the Word, which is what we want to do for our Revive Our Hearts listeners. As you study the seven feasts in the book of Leviticus—these were part of the Jewish rhythm, the Jewish calendar—you’ll help us find Christ in the sacred celebrations of the Old Testament.

We’d love to send you a copy of Erin’s book on the seven feasts when you make a donation of any amount to support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts, a ministry that’s helping prepare people to be ready for the Day of Christ, the return of Christ. There’s nothing more important we could be about!

Your prayer support and your financial support help make that ministry possible. You may be thinking, My small gift, it won’t make that much difference. I couldn’t really do that much.” You do what God puts on your heart, and it will make a big difference, because God takes those “loaves and fishes” that we’re able to offer up, and He multiplies them to feed many people.

You can make your gift online at ReviveOurHeart.com, or if you prefer you can call us at 1–800–569–6969. When you make your donation, make sure and let us know that you’d like Erin’s study, 7 Feasts, and we’ll be glad to send that to you.

Thank you so much for your support of this ministry. We have just a couple of feasts left to study in this series. You don’t want to miss those, so be sure and be back with us the next time for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth reminds you that Christ has already won the war! It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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About the Speaker

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many …

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