And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,…
cf. Numbers 10:1-10; Exodus 19:19; Psalm 89:15. The first mention of the trumpet is in Exodus 19:13, 19, in connection with the giving of the Law. "When the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount" (Exodus 19:13). It was God's method of summoning the people to covenant privileges. It was further used for the calling of assemblies, for the beginning of journeys, for alarms, and at the new moons and festal seasons, when it was blown over the sacrifices. Those who knew the significance of the sacrifices could rejoice in the trumpet-sound which proclaimed them complete. No wonder it is said, "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound" (תְּרוּעָה; literally, "sound of a trumpet"): "they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance" (Psalm 89:15). The analogy of faith, therefore, warrants us in taking the Feast of Trumpets as symbolical of God's message of mercy to man. The gospel preached is God's trumpet, summoning men to the privileges and duties of the Christian life. This suggests -
I. THE GOOD TIDINGS ARE OF A FINISHED SACRIFICE. It is only when the sacrifice of Jesus is the foundation of the appeal that man is arrested, trumpet-like, by the gospel. The Lamb has been slain, the atonement complete, and, consequently, poor sinners are summoned to joy. It would be no such joyful message if we were summoned to establish our own righteousness instead of submitting, as now, to the righteousness of God. It is a present salvation, on the ground of the finished sacrifice of Jesus, which constitutes the fountain of the purest joy. No such joyful trumpet-tones were ever heard by human ears in other religions as God gives when he says, "I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
II. THE GOSPEL TRUMPET SUMMONS US TO REST. On the Feast of Trumpets "ye shall do no servile work therein." It was a summons to sabbatic rest. And truly the gospel is a call to put off the servile spirit, the obedience which comes through fear, and to enter into God's rest. "We who believe do enter into rest." Christian experience is sabbath rest after the worry of worldly experience. We lay down our burden, and pass into Divine peace. The Saturday evening of experience is when, through grace, we put away our worldliness, our feverish anxieties, our low and selfish ideals, and the sabbath morning experience is rest in God's love and bounty.
III. THE GOSPEL TRUMPET SUMMONS US TO PERSONAL SACRIFICE. If the servile work is to be surrendered for sabbath rest, we must go forward to the duty indicated. "But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord." For this is the gospel plan - acceptance and rest on the ground of a completed sacrifice, and the personal dedication as a living sacrifice in gratitude for such unmerited favour. From the one Great Sacrifice for us we proceed gratefully to such personal sacrifice as God's honour and glory require. The love manifested in the sacrifice of Christ "constrains us to live not unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us and rose again" (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15). Self-righteousness is not self-sacrifice; rather is it proud bargaining for that which God offers as a gift. But, when the gift is accepted, self is in the acceptance crucified, and a life of devotion becomes self-sacrificing indeed.
IV. THE GOSPEL TRUMPET IS TO BE SUCCEEDED BY THE TRUMP OF THE RESURRECTION. All who in their graves of sin hear the voice of the Son of God, and who, through hearing, live (John 5:25), are destined to hear another joyful note from the same trumpet: "For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life" (John 5:28, 29). This is "the voice of the archangel and the trump of God" through which the dead in Christ shall rise (1 Thessalonians 4:16). "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: (for the trumpet shall sound,) and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). Such are the summonses which God gives to men to privilege, to peace, and at the last to everlasting felicity. The preachers who give no uncertain sound, but proclaim with trumpet-tongue the gospel, are the heralds who are preparing for the day of the Lord, with its everlasting rest and light and love! - R.M.E.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,