Summary: This message shows the prophetic significance of the Feast of Trumpets
The Feast of Trumpets
Text: Leviticus 23:23-25
Introduction: We come now to the fifth feast of Israel, the Feast of Trumpets. This is the first of the autumn feasts, and its significance relates not to Christ’s first advent, but in some way to His Second Coming. The autumn feasts picture events yet future, but they still centre around Israel and her relationship to the Messiah.
The interval of time between the last of the spring feasts (Pentecost or Weeks) and the first of the autumn feasts (Trumpets) corresponds to the present Church Age. In other words, we are presently living between Israel’s fourth and fifth feasts.
Now you will find many commentators who will equate the feast of trumpets with the rapture of the church. The Bible says of that hour “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Some assume that the “trump of God” spoken of in 1 Thess 4 is the prophetic fulfilment of the Feast of Trumpets, but this is not so, and I will tell you why.
All of the feasts relate to Israel. The rapture is for the church, only for the church, Following the catching away of the saints, the world is subject to seven years of Great Tribulation, and during that time God is again focusing upon Israel so that He might His covenantal obligations to them and give them the land He promised them with its eternal King. So Trumpets is about something other than the rapture, something with respect to Israel.
Now there are a number of key factors involved in this feast. First of all we must think about when it occurred. Leviticus 23:24 says it was to be observed, “In the seventh month, in the first day of the month.” On the Jewish calendar that month is Tishri, and it marks the beginning of the Jewish civil year. It is an interesting day in the tradition of Judaism. They call it Rosh Hashanah, lit “Head of the Year” and they believe that this day is the anniversary of creation, and as such God takes stock of the world He made. So it is viewed as a time when God begins His annual judgment of humanity.
It marks the third occasion when Jews were necessitated to go up to Jerusalem for worship. Although there are seven feasts, they were marked in three clusters. They went up to Jerusalem at Passover and stayed through to first fruits. Then they went up for Pentecost and finally they went up in autumn for the third time to observe the feasts of trumpets, atonement and tabernacles.
The feast of trumpets was preparatory to the Day of Atonement. Between trumpets and atonement there is a period referred to in Hebrew as “Yamim Nora’im” literally the “Days of Affliction or Awe”. This is a time of self-examination in preparation for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. So the feast of trumpets occurs on 1st day of the seventh month, Tishri and encompasses all these things.
But the second thing I want you to see from Leviticus 23 is that it is “a memorial of blowing of trumpets”. Sometimes this feast is called the Feast of Remembrance or Feast of Memorial. So what does it commemorate? Well, here is the strange thing – Scripture doesn’t say. Passover remembers deliverance from the death angels. Unleavened Bread remembers the Exodus, Firstfruits and Pentecost celebrate harvest in the Land of Promise, but what of Trumpets?
I. What Does Trumpets Commemorate?
A. If Trumpets is a “memorial” a feast of remembrance, what does it remember.
1. Since we are not told at the initiation of the feast in Leviticus, nor indeed in Numbers 29 where the mechanics of the feast are enlarged upon, then there must be some other means or way of ascertaining what this feast was about.
a. The word trans. “memorial” in Lev 23:24 is the Heb. “zikrown” and it refers to recalling something from the past with a view either presently or at sometime in the future to doing something about it.
b. So this feast recollects a past event, which results in some activity either on the part of man or God.
B. One of the best ways of seeing how this operates is by looking at those occasions in Scripture when this feast came to the fore and the events surrounding it.
C. Turn with me now to 2 Chronicles 5:1-14
1. Here we have arrived at a very significant moment in Jewish history – the dedication of their first temple, under king Solomon.