by Terry J. Hallock

Blow the Trumpet
T. J. Hallock
Joel 2:12-27

Did you know that the feast held by the Pilgrims in 1621 after their first harvest was not called a ''thanksgiving'' feast and that they never repeated it? A day of thanksgiving for the Pilgrims would have been a day of prayer and fasting. They would have stripped themselves of any earthly support, including food, and laid themselves humbly beneath God's hand. Thanksgiving was to be aimed only at God and it was to have only one purpose: To affirm that He was their sole provider and only hope.

The prophet Joel speaks of a time in the southern half of the divided kingdom of Israel when locusts had invaded the land in such numbers that they blackened the sky. Further, the armies of Assyria were poised to swallow up that tiny kingdom just as it had their brothers and sisters to the north. Finally, Joel tells us that the people were separated from God by unconfessed and unrepented sin. Thus God raised up Joel as His prophet and through his lips declared, ''Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.'' (Joel 2:15)

The trumpet was and still remains a mighty symbol in God's Word. It first appears during the Exodus period in Numbers 10:1-2 when God commanded Moses to make two trumpets of silver and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps sent out. Whenever the trumpets sounded the tribes were to rise up, gather together, and move out on another day's march towards the Promised Land.

The trumpet then appears in the New Testament in 1st Thessalonians and the Book of Revelation. 1st Thessalonians 4:16 tells us, ''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, and the dead in Christ will rise first.'' In chapter 8 of the Book of Revelation seven angels sound seven trumpets to announce the pouring out of seven bowls of God's wrath upon the earth as the last three and one-half ...

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