Keep your EARS OPEN to hear the ‘TRUMPET’ of GOD: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps. When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall gather to you." (Numbers 10:1-4)
In the above passage we read that Moses was instructed to make two trumpets. These trumpets were made of beaten silver (18 inches long, according to Josephus) and were to be used as a signal for five different purposes: (a) to assemble the congregation at the door of the tabernacle of meeting (vv. 3, 7), (b) to march forward (v. 5), (c) to assemble only the leaders - only one trumpet was used here (v. 4), (d) to sound the alarm for going to war (v. 9), and (e) to announce certain special feast occasions (v. 10).
These two silver trumpets would actually coordinate the movements of the Israelites as they marched through the wilderness. With the tabernacle in the middle of the camp and the tribes situated in battle formation, the silver trumpets declared that God’s people were in the army of the great King preparing for a holy war of conquest. The cloud would guide them, but the trumpets would give more precise means of control. They would actually complete and complement the means of divine guidance to the Israelites (see Exodus 9:15–23).
Let us understand that the priests used the two silver trumpets to communicate God’s will to the people. The blowing of the silver trumpets would gather them together, move them forward, summon them to battle, or call them to enjoy the feasts of the Lord. This is the pattern that would follow: the cloud would begin to move, the trumpets would sound, and the people would begin to break camp and move out within their ordered ranks. Throughout their journey, the Israelites would always keep themselves alert and their ears open to hear the sound of the silver trumpets.
The blowing of the silver trumpets has a real significance for us as well. Some day in the near future, the trumpet of God is going to blare loud for summoning His children to the clouds for a great reunion. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." (1 Thess 4:16-17)
Can we ask ourselves if we are ready when the trumpet of God will sound and the roll is called out? Let us prepare ourselves and others for that great reunion! Can we boldly sing these words of this old hymn that was penned back in 1893 by a Sunday school teacher named James Black?
"When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, and the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair; when the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, and the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there."