Chapter 36 The Silver Trumpets

Make thee two trumpets of silver (Numbers 10:2).

There is mention of trumpets more than one hundred times in God’s Word. The material was to be silver which, in ancient symbolism, denotes redemption. God’s message to man is the message of redemption. They were blown by the priests, which suggests that only those chosen of God should sound the good news. The message is that God is reconciled, the ransom has been paid, a remedy provided, a Saviour given. Their notes were to be loud and clear and most distinct.

The trumpets were of one piece as is the gospel message. The silver for them was refined for “the words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6). They were also of “beaten work,” to remind us that redeeming grace was the result of the Saviour’s sufferings. Redemption was a thorough work. When Israel was redeemed out of Egypt, not a hoof was left behind. Our lives through redemption are to be like that—of wrought and beaten silver.

They Gathered the Redeemed Together

“When they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves” (Numbers 10:3). God’s people were called by the trumpets to assemble. Thus they were instruments to establish the relatedness, the oneness, and the fellowship of the Lord’s people. They had a unifying effect. God calls His redeemed to holy assembly so that public worship and praise could be offered Him. Nothing should be allowed to divide or scatter them.

The blessed Saviour, our High Priest, is in the midst, and the blessed Spirit of God inspires the praise. The offering of such praise rises as a fragrant sacrifice before the Father’s face in glory. It is sad to think that there are those who lightly esteem public assembly. It is here that spiritual life thrives and relationships are strengthened and fellowship consolidated.

They Ordered Forward Movement

“When ye blow an alarm…the camps…shall move forward” (verse 5). They were thus for ordering the life and movement of the Lord’s people. The pillar of cloud and pillar of fire provided guidance, and, when Israel was in right relation to God, the guidance was always toward the land of promise. When the time came for the people to move forward, the trumpets sounded to give order and direction, bringing them ever nearer the Lord’s inheritance of rest and fullness.

This will remind us, surely, that the earth is not our rest. We are strangers among its people and pilgrims through its territory. There is a tremendous purpose in being called together in the fellowship of God’s Son. That purpose must not only be known but realized. His people need to be kept from wandering. The need is to be released from the bondages of earth and to have their affections set on heavenly things. They must be a people on the march. The gospel trumpets remind us that earth is not our rest or our home. We are to move on, ever on, unto God’s eternal purpose.

They Called to Conflict

“If ye go to war…then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets” (verse 9). The redeemed are involved in spiritual warfare. This is not a strange thing for such a peace-keeping people. We live in a hostile world, and warfare is a necessary part of our high calling. There is an incessant conflict, and the battles are “the battles of the Lord.” There are times when we have to stand in bold defiance of the world around.

Our foes are many, and mighty, and wily, and restless. They are in every place and lurk in every corner. There are the hateful hosts of hell, the seductions and snares, the smiles and sneers, the arts and threats of a world which lies in the hand of the wicked one. The trumpets sound out sure victory. The Lord is among His people and they shall overcome.

They Sounded for Praise

“Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets” (verse 10). The trumpets were to sound praise on special days. Salvation is a feast, and is so often described so in the gospels. What a cheering note redemption is! These trumpets teach us to sing aloud and make a joyful noise unto our God (Psalm 81:1). The remembrance feast celebrates the meritorious death of our blessed Saviour, but this ought to bring forth our joyful praise. Our every day should be a feast of gladness and an offering of praise. And when at last the trumpet sounds over our graves, even our sleeping dust shall arise in a new form. Then the redeemed shall gather to be with Him in His home on high, and praise His blessed Name forever.

Rejoice, ye pure in heart,
Rejoice, give thanks and sing;
Your festal banner wave on high,
The cross of Christ your King.
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing!

Still lift your standards high,
Still march in firm array;
As warriors through the darkness toil
Till dawns the golden day.
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks, and sing!

Yes, on through life’s long path,
Still chanting as we go;
From youth to age, by night and day,
In gladness and in woe.
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks, and sing!

Edward H. Plumptre