Bright sunlight poured through the windows as I nested. Dreaming, planning and calculating for two years, our cross-country move from sea level to Colorado was a dream come true for my husband and I. The vacuum glided over the carpet and the counters and cleaner did all the heavy lifting. Everything seemed easier until an eerie sound filled the air. I appeared like a live mannequin with the spray bottle held perfectly still as I barely allowed my chest to expand for a breath.
Overshadowing the hum of car engines and my rhythmic cleaning tunes rang the single most terrifying sound I’ve heard. As a child burying my head in pillow fluff or hiding my eyes behind my fingers freed me from the immediate fright; but there was no relief from the bone-chiling ring. It rang like something from an old wartime movie
A post 9/11 world forever changed my understanding about safety. Since then, anything feels possible. My heart raced and questioned are we under attack?
Safety is something we wrap around ourselves like layers of clothing to guard against the elements. The people of Jericho fortified themselves behind a wall five feet thick and seventeen feet at the highest point. With a spring bubbling behind the walls and a seven years food supply safely stored, the people of Jericho were feeling secure. Certainly that would ward off attackers.
But it didn’t.
The Israelites looked ridiculous as they marched and traced the circumference of the stone walls each day, until the last. On the seventh day the Israelites voices met the sound of the seven priest’s trumpets and I wonder did the hearts in Jericho freeze in terror at the sound and reality of God’s judgment?
I looked out the front windows and hoped to see a frenzy of neighbors preparing for who-knows-what but not a soul could be found. I wanted to know what was going on and how to respond so I went to our back windows. There were always people at the dog park or coming and going from the pediatric office our window overlooked. Except for today.
I dialed my husband working forty-five minutes away to no avail and my world instantly shrank. I felt more alone than ever. In a heartbeat my carefree cleaning and safety vanished.
Stranded in fear my eye caught a neighbor as she nonchalantly danced to her door as if immune to the deafening sound. My heart ran out the door before me but my egocentric voice feigned fear as I asked, “What is that sound?”
“Oh, that’s the tornado alarm. They test it once a month,” her simple explanation brought immediate comfort.
The Reason for the Sound
Safety is something we strive for as if it is possible to be prepared, but most people won’t recognize the sounds of God’s trumpets.
Sometimes the sound is to call His people together and direct their movement.
“Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out.” Numbers 10:2
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God…”
I Thessalonians 4:16
Other times God uses the sound of the trumpet to announce destruction and judgment, as He did with Jericho. In Revelation chapter 8 seven angels appear each with a trumpet, an alarm to creation and plea for repentance.
With the sound of each trumpet a different judgment comes to earth. Before the sound of the seventh trumpet nearly half of the earth’s population is destroyed. After all this takes place,
“The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood- idols that cannot see of hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
God gives ample warnings that His judgment is near because He loves us. He loves us deeply and intensely but most people (over half the population) reject His love and plan.
Our shifting world frightens my heart. When I focus on the surrounding circumstances I become more frazzled and inclined to prepare for disaster in tangible ways within my control when I should first place my trust in God who offers constant reassurance He is sufficient for all of my needs.
Trumpets will sound, one calling God’s people together, the others alarms for judgement. I want to hear and recognize the sounds of God’s trumpets! Will you be caught off guard with reason to fear judgement or will you recognize God’s call for His people?