When Trumpets Call
We are swords that may rust if left unused.
How dull is it to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe we’re life.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”
Idle men fated to remain stationary rather than to shine. Pretending that all there is to life is the simple act of breathing. What a sad commentary indeed.
Our God calls us to action. As laborers in His vineyard (Matthew 20.1-16). We are in truth summoned by the Almighty to seek and save the lost. To finish the course. To fight the good fight. All phrases depicting an active life. Not even remotely passive. Sometimes I wonder if Christians today view their walk with Him as an individual journey. Not looking with the eyes of an eagle soaring over the canyons. Always searching. Always moving. We are in essence His instruments for vanquishing the wicked and protecting the helpless. Not lifeless.
None will heed an uncertain trumpet. Nay, the trumpet call is the most inspiring of sounds; summoning men to spurn ease and self-indulgence. It bids us forth to the field where we must dare and do. Yes, our journey is a battlefield from which we are victorious through the Christ, our Lord.
“For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?”
1 Corinthians 14:8 (NKJV)
Who can prepare indeed? We must strive to excel in building up. To sound the trumpets and arrest the attention of men. Calling them as those of old did to repentance. To surrender and lay down their weapons of rebellion.
Sound for the passion, the splendour, the pity
That swept the world for a dead Man's sake,
Sound, till the answering trumpet rings
Clear from the heights of the holy City,
Alfred Noyes, “The Trumpet Call”
Historically, bugles, drums and other loud musical instruments were used for clear communication in the noise and confusion of battle. The tonal combinations emitted from the trumpet call helped provide support for troop morale when faced with an insurmountable foe. Roman legions used them as a tool for tactical command and control. And there are myriads of passages in Scripture depicting their significance for the children of God. The watchmen on the walls of Zion sounded the alarm. Calling for the people to believe and obey. And as watchmen for the Sovereign King our task is the same. Sound the trumpets. And those that hear, heed the warning.
He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.
Our allegiance to the King demands us all as trumpeters to sound the rally cry. To save. Even if there be no one who responds. We have been made watchmen for the spiritual house of Israel. To sound the trumpet. A dreadful blast of fierce warfare and a grueling fate for the rebellious man. And yet, a wonderful blast ushering in the gathering of God’s people. A worldwide exodus from sin leading all the lost harvested to salvation. And to worship the Lord on His holy mountain.
And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
It is a call to action. A call to gather. It is a joyful sound which should spur us to an even greater joy and enthusiastic praises of the Almighty Redeemer.
Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.
Psalm 89.15 (NKJV)
Blessed indeed are those who know the joyful sound! Blessed are we who sound the trumpet call summoning all to rescue their harassed posterity!
Trumpeter, rally us, up to the heights of it!
Sound for the City of God.
It is our duty. ‘Til the sound of the trumpet of the Lord. When time shall be no more.
And we are gathered over on the other shore.