Summary: God's trumpets are sounding, calling his people to get ready; warning the world of judgment to come; preparing the way for the coming of the Lord. Can you hear the trumpets?
The Sounding of the Trumpet
Sunday, January 16, 2011 – AM
By Pastor James May
Three months after God had so miraculously delivered Israel from the slave pits in Egypt, they came into the wilderness of Sinai. God had lifted their feet out of the miry pits of clay, loosed them from the bondages of slavery under the self-proclaimed god-man, Pharaoh, and sent them a leader by the name of Moses to be their deliverer and lead them on the long journey to their Promised Land.
After passing through Rephidim, which means a place of rest, they made camp at the foot of Mt Sinai. God had brought them to the place where he would give forth his law and call his people into a life of separation and holiness.
Moses went up into the mountain and as he was there alone God spoke to him out of the mountain and this is what he said:
Exodus 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
Now we can draw a direct parallel from this scene between Moses, God and God’s words to Israel, and the church of today. Jesus, our Mediator, went before us as he ascended back to Heaven. He redeemed us through his own blood, and set our captive soul free from the slave pits of sin. By the power of the Holy Ghost we have been lifted out of the miry clay where we were making bricks, creating our own prison and building a kingdom for the devil. Through the mercy and grace of God we were carried forth out of that place of hopelessness and torment, into a place of sweet peace and rest. God has given us our own Rephidim and allows us to rest in him.
But it doesn’t end there. That’s only the beginning. Being rescued from sin is the first step. The next step is to begin building a relationship with the Lord and that can only be done by following Christ and hearing his Word. Like the Children of Israel who came to the base of Mt. Sinai, we have to come to rest and camp out at the foot of Jesus for a time. We must come to a place where we can hear the voice of the Lord and learn of his wonderful plan for our lives.
God didn’t deliver us to just see us free; he delivered us to do his work in the earth and to become a people that are separated to him, dedicated, consecrated and yielded to his purposes.
As I said in the beginning, this is a message about the sounding of the trumpet, and as Israel was camped at Mt. Sinai, God was preparing a trumpet that would sound to get their attention.
God’s instructions to Moses were to tell the people to sanctify themselves and prepare for a close encounter with God. God’s mercy and love was at work in all of this, for if God had not set boundaries, put limits upon the people and given the people a chance to prepare for God’s presence, many of them would have died. Sin cannot live in the presence of God. A heart that is not prepared to receive him cannot live in his presence. The very presence of God demands holiness, so God laid down the rules for his encounter with Israel.
Verses 12-15 describe God’s conditions and also the cost of disobedience to God’s limits placed upon the people. Anyone who would not obey God, or who overstepped the bounds, would surely die. The wages of sin is death. There is no mercy under the law, only conviction and judgment. Failure to comply fully with God’s limitations meant instant death.
On the third day, the Lord descended upon Mt. Sinai. His presence was marked by a thick cloud of fire and smoke, thunder, lighting and an earthquake. All the power, glory and majesty of God rested on that mountain and the very creation shook at his presence. What a mighty God we serve!
Then came that mighty blast of the trumpet. It was as though 10,000 angels were upon the mountain with trumpets to their lips, blowing as loudly as they could. The sound of the trumpet was God’s call to attention of his people. All of Israel stood in awe as the sound grew louder and louder. Not one man could ignore the trumpet of God and all Israel stood and trembled at the awesome power of God and the sound of his trumpet.