And in that day a great trumpet will sound, and those who were perishing in Assyria will come forth with those who were exiles in Egypt. And they will worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
woman a sinner," who bathes the feet of Jesus with penitential tears. The apostle makes an almost overwhelming demand on us when he says, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." How souls yearn for this sealing of forgiveness is seen in David's prayer, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation." The subject may be treated under two divisions.
I. DIVINE RESTORATION ASSURED IN EXAMPLES AND PROMISES. These assure us that it is God's way of dealing, and so they become a persuasion to hope even in our penitence, and in our prayer for forgiveness.
II. DIVINE RESTORATION REALIZED IN ACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Not always outward circumstances; only so far as these may have been affected by the sin. Always in inward circumstances of mind and feeling. - R.T.
I. THE PERIOD to which this promise or prophecy refers. That day. In the prophetical parts of Scripture, this phrase is often to be understood of New Testament times.
I. We make TWO EXPLANATORY REMARKS.
The great trumpet shall be blown.I. THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL IS HERE COMPARED TO THE BLOWING OF A TRUMPET.
1. This figurative expression may allude to the trumpet which sounded upon Mount Sinai, at the solemn promulgation of the law. And though the ministers of Christ must not blend the law and the Gospel together, yet they are not Gospel ministers who do not preach the law, both as a ministration of wrath and as a rule of duty.
2. The words may allude to the trump of jubilee, which was sounded throughout the land of Israel at the end of every forty-nine years, proclaiming redemption and liberty to all prisoners and slaves, and causing the following to be a year of national festivity and joy (Leviticus 25:8-13). This interesting period having been prefigurative of our redemption by Christ, of our deliverance from the curse of the law and the dominion of sin, and of our introduction to the glorious liberty of the children of God, it is with great propriety that the proclamation of the Gospel is compared to the trump of jubilee.
3. Trumpets were also used on other occasions, which may bear some allusion to the proclamation of the Gospel. The Jews had an annual solemnity, which by way of distinction was called the feast of trumpets, and which introduced the new year (Leviticus 23:24). And these demonstrations of joy, like the rest of that typical dispensation, were only the shadow of good things to come; all had a reference to the promulgation of the Gospel.
4. Whatever be the immediate allusion in the text it is evident that the principal design of a trumpet is to sound an alarm; and such is the direct object of the Gospel ministry.
5. The preaching of the Gospel is compared to a "great trumpet." Great things were contained in God's law, but still greater things are made known by the Gospel.
6. The great trumpet which was sounded by the first heralds of salvation, continues still to proclaim the same good tidings.
II. THE EFFECT WHICH WAS TO FOLLOW UPON THE SOUNDING OF THE GOSPEL TRUMPET. "They shall come which were ready to perish." Men as sinners are in a perishing condition. But those only who see and feel their perishing condition actually "come."
1. This "coming" implies repentance towards God.
2. Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; for with this, all true repentance is invariably connected.
3. All that come unto God by a Mediator, will also come to Zion with their faces thitherward, openly professing their attachment to Christ, and devoting themselves to His service. The text, indeed, seems to be a prophecy of the union that should take place between Jews and Gentiles, under the Gospel dispensation, when they should be formed into one body, and equally participate in the blessings of salvation. The trumpet of the Gospel is still sounding in our ears, proclaiming the great jubilee, the day of salvation, and inviting us to seek the Lord in this welcome and accepted time. Have we embraced the invitation, and answered to the call?
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
1. The prediction primarily refers to the proclamation of Cyrus for the deliverance of the Jews from captivity.
2. This prophecy has an ulterior reference to the times of the Messiah, and the inbringing of the Jews in the latter days.
II. We consider THE GREATNESS AND GRANDEUR OF THE GOSPEL here represented by a great trumpet. Trumpets were of very common use among God's ancient people. They directed their journeys, animated them on the march, reused them to arms against the invader, and sounded the dreadful onset to battle, proclaimed the tidings of victory, and summoned the people to divide the spoil. The chief use of the instrument is to give strength to the human voice, that warnings or invitations might be more extensively heard. No kind of wind instrument was in more general use, and therefore no symbol could have been selected with which they were more familiarly acquainted. Their solemn assemblies were convened by its sound; and surely the greatness and the grandeur of the Gospel is hereby strikingly and significantly symbolised.
1. The greatness of the Gospel will appear from the dignity and moral grandeur of its Author.
2. From the gracious tidings it proclaims.
3. From the objects it hath already accomplished and is destined to achieve.
III. We notice that THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL IS THE GREAT ORDINANCE OF GOD FOR THE SALVATION OF MEN. "The great trumpet shall be blown." Its sound shall be long and loud, that the proclamation of "the glad tidings of great joy" shall be universal. Conclusion —
1. Let Christians appreciate their advantages and highly prize the Gospel (Psalm 89:15).
2. Let Gospel despisers fear, and flee for refuge to the hope set before them in the Gospel (Hebrews 2:2).
3. Let all rejoice in the glorious results already secured and yet to be achieved by the preaching of the Gospel.
(W. M Queen.)
II. THE GREAT MEANS that God promises to employ in New Testament days for accomplishing His design among the Gentiles. "The great trumpet shall be blown."
1. The Gospel intimates to all that hear it, the offering of a great sacrifice.
2. The Gospel contains an indication of a joyful and solemn feast.
3. The Gospel is the appointed means of gathering a solemn assembly. As me silver trumpets were used for gathering the assemblies in Israel, so the Gospel is employed, according to Christ's appointment, for gathering a Church to Himself.
4. The Gospel is the great means of directing the march of the armies of the spiritual Israel, through the wilderness of this world. When the priests sounded an alarm with the trumpets, the tribes of Israel were to decamp, and set forward in their journeys, in that order which God had appointed.
5. The Gospel is the great means of calling forth the armies of the living God to that spiritual warfare in which they are engaged under Christ, — of directing their motion in the day of battle, — and of animating them to continue the combat, amidst all the dangers and terrors with which they often find themselves surrounded. The silver trumpets were also to be used to blow an alarm when Israel was called to go to war against any enemy that should oppress them in their land.
6. The Gospel proclaims an universal jubilee to all that hear it.
III. THE PERSONS UPON WHOM THE SOUND OF THIS GREAT TRUMPET SHALL TAKE EFFECT are described by two circumstances.
1. They are persons ready to perish. The original worn is still more emphatical — there shall come "the perishing in the land of Assyrian" All mankind are, by nature, in a perishing condition. Situated in desert land, which affords no provision but empty husks, we faint for spiritual thirst and hunger, and are ready to perish for want. Led captive by a cruel enemy, we are ready to perish by the weight of our chains. Enslaved by a tyrannical master, and employed in the vilest drudgery, we are ready to perish through fatigue and weariness. Sunk into a fearful pit, and struggling, without a possibility of extricating ourselves, in the miry clay, we must quickly perish without supernatural help. Above all, being condemned to death by a just sentence of the Court of Heaven, we are every moment in danger of perishing by the hand of justice.
2. They are outcasts. There seems to be here an allusion to the situation of the Hebrew children in Egypt, who, by Pharaoh's inhuman decree, were all to be cast out into the river.
IV. THE PLACES FROM WHICH THESE PERSONS WERE TO BE GATHERED, by the sound of the great trumpet, are also two. "The land of Assyria" and "the land of Egypt." These two countries are mentioned as examples: and what is here said of them has been verified, and will again be verified in all other countries resembling them. Perishing sinners have been gathered from every quarter.
V. THE END TO BE GAINED by the blast of this trumpet among them. This also is set before us in two particulars.
1. They shall come.(1) They shall come to Christ by faith.(2) They shall, come to the holy mount at Jerusalem. Jerusalem was of old the place of God's solemn worship. Every person who feels the efficacy of the Gospel becomes a genuine citizen of the New Jerusalem. And from that time forth he takes pleasure in attending upon God's ordinances; accounting a day in His courts better than a thousand.(3) They come to God Himself who dwells in the holy mount.
2. As they come, they worship. This imports —(1) Their cordial renunciation of all idolatry and false worship.(2) Their careful and diligent observance of all those ordinances by which God has required Himself to be worshipped.(3) Their carefulness to perform every act of worship in the manner that the Word of God has prescribed.
II. THE CHARACTERS IN WHOSE EARS AND HEARTS THIS GREAT TRUMPET IS TO BE BLOWN.
III. THE EFFECT WHICH THE BLOWING OF THE GREAT TRUMPET PRODUCES UPON THEM.
(J. C. Philpot.)I. SEE HOW A COMPARISON OF SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE WILL ENABLE US TO UNDERSTAND THE WORD "TRUMPET."
II. THE BLOWING OF THE TRUMPET.
III. THE RESULTS OF THAT BLOWING.
(J. H. Crowder, M. A.)I. THE GRANDEUR OF THE GOSPEL. — "The great trumpet." It is elsewhere called a great light — a great salvation There is a grandeur in the glorious Gospel of God which soars far beyond all finite excellency and conception.
1. The period of its introduction is called "the fulness of time."
2. The Gospel regards immediately the soul and eternity — the only two things in the world which are absolutely great.
3. The Gospel abounds with exceeding great and precious promises; it unfolds blessings that are incomprehensible in their nature and excellency.
4. Everything, compared with the Gospel, is trifling and mean.
II. THE DISPENSATION OF THE GOSPEL. The great trumpet is to be "blown."
1. Who is to blow this trumpet? Men, and not angels. There is a difference here between the administration of the law and the dispensation of the Gospel.
2. How is this trumpet to be blown? Common sense says, in such a way as to answer the design of its being blown. There must be no ambiguity in our preaching. It should be blown courageously.
III. WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF THOSE TO WHOM THE GOSPEL IS ADDRESSED? "Outcasts, and ready to perish." This is the figure; and what is the fact? "Remember that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise; having no hope, and without God in the world." You are not heathen; but turn to Scripture, and you will find that you are all by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
IV. Its ATTRACTION must be noticed. "They shall come." Whatever knowledge the heathen had, they were utterly unable to carry it into effect, both for want of evidence and want of authority. None of them could speak in the name of that God who calleth the things that are not as though they were. Hence, we find complaining that he was unable, by all his instructions, to bring over the inhabitants of a single village. Now, go to Thessalonica, to Corinth, to Colosse, to Ephesus; survey the character of the inhabitants before they received the Gospel: it is largely described by the apostle; we cannot suppose that the devil himself could make or wish them worse. Yet the apostle stands forth, and says, "Such were some of you; ye were sometimes far off; ye were dead in trespasses and sins"; but, "you hath He quickened. Our Gospel came unto you, not in word only, .but in power also; the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." Accordingly, the Gospel is expressed evermore by images which indicate its efficacy. It is called a two-edged sword — leaven, which commences its operations in the centre, and extends them to the circumference until the whole is leavened — seed, which, though it looks dead, yet fills the earth with its fruit, thirty, sixty, a hundred. fold. This success God Himself has ensured, or we could not reckon upon it. The Gospel never leaves people as it finds them: it enlightens their understandings; it prevails on their wills; it purifies their affections; it makes them new creatures. How can we honour the Gospel so much as by showing what it can do? The trumpet is blown; but it is heard — it is answered — they "come."
1. How do they come? With weeping and with supplication; they come eagerly, hastening, running, flying like doves to their windows when they behold the approaching storm.
2. From whence do they come? From the dark dens of ignorance — from the lurking holes of hypocrisy — from the false refuges of pharisaism — from the service of sin — from the bondage of Satan.
3. To whom do they come! Christ is the only resource. What is faith, what is religion, but the soul in motion to Him, and negotiating all its affairs with Him!
V. THE EFFECT OF ITS INFLUENCE. "They shall come and worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem." We ever find this dedication of themselves to God, in connection with the spread and influence of the Gospel. "All the ends of the world shall hear, and shall turn unto God; all nations whom Thou hast made, shall come unto Thee and worship Thee; from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, in every place men shall offer incense and a pure offering." The "holy mount" means the Church of God. And in this mount all who partake of Gospel grace, worship. They do so habitually, in the shop — in the warehouse — in the field; for "where'er they seek Him, He is found." They do so in private. All these worship God in their families too. In His sanctuary also. CONCLUSION —
1. This Scripture has been fulfilled. Myriads in Heaven have exemplified its truth, the numbers that rejoice in it in our day are wonderful; but soon there shall he vaster accessions still. A nation shall be born in a day. Have you heard the sound of this trumpet? Have you obeyed?
2. If the sound of this peaceful trumpet is despised, I must remind you that another great trumpet will be blown. Ere long shall be heard the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God.
3. But, here are some who are alive to the text. You have heard the sound of this trumpet; you have come. What are you doing? Surely, you are giving thanks unto Him who has called you out of darkness into light; who has made you meet for the inheritance of the saints. Surely, you are endeavouring to bring others into the same condition.
1. Need I stop to prove that out of God we are in exile? Who here is at home in his sins? Does he not wander about looking for a home? You have been expatriated. You are in worse than Siberian exile. The chains are harder. The mine is darker. The climate is colder. The gloom is ghastlier. "Lost in the land of Assyria! "If a man has missed his way, the more he walks the more he is lost. He starts off and goes ten miles in the wrong direction. Nor can you find your way out of this spiritual confusion. Lost, and without food. Lost, and without water. Ingenious little children sometimes tell you how, with a few letters, they can spell a very large word. With three letters I can spell "bereavement." With three letters I can spell "disappointment." With three letters I can spell "suffering." With three letters I can spell "death." With three letters I can spell "perdition." S-i-n, Sin. That is the cause of all our trouble now. That is the cause of our trouble for the future.
2. But upon this dark background of the text a light falls. Amidst the harsh discords there sound the sweet and thrilling notes of a great trumpet. A trumpet, God. made, yet needing no giants to use it, but suited to faint lips and trembling hand and feeble lungs; so that sick Edward Payson, leaning against the pulpit, might hold it, and Frederick Robertson, worn out with ulcers and spinal complaints, might breathe through it. This Gospel trumpet is great in its power. On a still night you may hear the call of a brazen trumpet two or three miles; but this is so mighty that it is not only heard from heaven to earth, but it is to arrest the attention of all nations.(1) This trumpet is great in its sweetness. In some musical instruments there is noise and crash and power, but no fineness of sound. Others can not only thunder, but weep and whisper and woo. Like that is the Gospel trumpet. In all tenderness and sweetness and sympathy it excels.(2) The Gospel trumpet is a trumpet of alarm.(3) It is one of recruit. War is declared. Who is on the Lord's side? There is no neutral ground.(4) The Gospel trumpet is one of assault. "Let the wicked forsake His way," etc.(5) This Gospel trumpet is also one of retreat. It is the part of good generalship sometimes to blow the trumpet of retreat. There is no need of your trying to face certain temptation; you are foolhardy to try it. Your only safety is in flight.(6) This Gospel trumpet is one of victory.(7) One of reveille. We, who are the soldiers of Christ, cannot always be marching and fighting. The evening will come; the shadows will gather; and we must go to the white tents of the grave. There we shall sleep soundly. But the night will pass along, and the first thing we shall hear will be the trumpet call sounding the reveille of the resurrection; and we will come up and fall into a long line of light, the sword of Christian conflict gleaming in the unsetting sun. The roll shall be called, and we shall answer to our names; and then we will go to the morning repast of heaven.
(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)
I. THEIR URGENT NEED. They are described as "ready to perish." The word is literally "lost." The idea is that of a lost sheep. Or of a lost child who has left his home and wandered into the fields, or into the woods, and been overtaken by night and darkness. There is no one to care for him, no one to guide him, no one to shelter him. He is left to himself. A hundred things may happen that may be death to him. Without knowing it, he may be on the point of falling over a precipice or into a river. Now, a child or a man who has gone astray from God is ready to perish too. Still more is it true of everyone who is not a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is true, alas! of many even in this highly favoured land of ours. It is true of the Jews. And what shall I say of the heathen.
II. THE HELP WANTED. What is to be done to meet this terrible state of things? If it were a dying man — a perishing child — we should ask, Is there anything that will save the dying one — any medicine or food — anything we can give — anything we can do? And that should be our question about the perishing millions all over the world.
1. The sounding of the trumpet may be regarded as typical of the preaching of the Gospel, by which both the outcasts of Israel and the "ready to die" of all nations are to be saved.
2. But there must be someone to sound the trumpet. It cannot sound of itself. It must be "blown." And who are to do this, but those who have heard it and complied with its call themselves, and who, with hearts full of love and thankfulness, can sing, "Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound"? It is as much our duty to blow the trumpet as to hear it.
3. How, then, are we to blow the trumpet? None of us are too young or feeble to sound the trumpet ourselves. In our own way we can tell the story of redeeming love.(1) The best that any of you can give is yourselves. He gives by far the largest contribution who gives himself.(2) But where you cannot give yourselves you can do something by giving your money.
III. THE SUCCESS PROMISED. "They which were ready to perish shall come." The return from the Jewish captivity was wonderful in its own way; but more and better is in store, for "all Israel shall be saved." Already many Jews and Jewesses have been converted to Christ. And as regards the heathen world, the history of the progress of the Gospel in recent times reads almost like a chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. And yet it must be owned that anything like a complete fulfilment of the promise is still a thing of the future. What is to be done? The great trumpet must be sounded as it never has been.
(J. H. Wilson, D. D.)
(J. H. Wilson, D. D.).
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