The Rams' Horns —  the Silver Trumpets — and the Last Trump

1. the Rams' Horns—Judgment
TURN to Josh. 6 See those priests as they march after the armed men around the city of Jericho for seven days, and on the seventh day they compass the city seven times. Hear those loud, hoarse, awakening blasts they blow with those trumpets of rams' horns. I dare say when once the people of Jericho had got used to the strange sight and the unwelcome sounds, they must have laughed at them, it seemed so ridiculous.
Wearied and tired with marching around the city, did they expect they were going to blow the strong walls of Jericho do ran with the puny blasts they were sounding with the rams' horns?
Still, they had heard what God had done for Israel, and their hearts did melt (chap. 2.).
Yet none took warning as the rams' horns announced judgment at the door.
A few there were who had taken shelter in Rahab's house, the only place of safety in that city, where the scarlet line hung at the window, but the city, as a whole, despised the warnings.
Their amazement gave place to contempt and scorn. They got used to the sound. Besides, they heard not the voice of priest or people. No, none had to speak, there was nothing human in the testimony. All that was heard was the dull sound of feet tramping along, and the hoarse blasts from the rams' horns, as they sounded their awful note of judgment.
At last the moment comes—the last note has sounded—the order has been given to raise the shout of victory, the mighty power of God overthrows the walls, while the sword of judgment does its deadly work on the inhabitants. So shall it be with this world.
Reader swift judgment—fierce wrath—and fiery indignation are coming upon the earth to devour the adversaries. Repent, and "flee from the wrath to come.”
Now look at another instance in the book of Jonah. Jonah is sent to that great city Nineveh to announce coming judgment because the wickedness of it had gone up to God. See him as he walks up and down the streets of that great, godless, wicked city; hear the loud, unwelcome, alarming note which he sounds, disturbing the whole city and interrupting its people in their sins. “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown." Thank God, the note which Jonah sounded was an effectual one. The people heard, repented, and were saved from the judgment which he announced.
So in this great, godless, wicked world, I would blow a solemn blast and warn you, reader, Judgment is coming. Wrath is coming. Yet a little while and this world will be destroyed. Repent, or you will perish.
“God commandeth all men everywhere to repent, because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained.” How solemn—God is going to judge in righteousness, and, dear unconverted reader, you are unrighteous—you are a sinner— unpardoned—unsaved. Oh what a thought! An unpardoned rebel meeting God as a righteous Judge. What must the end be? The lake of fire. Reader, wake up—your soul is at stake for eternity, Judge yourself, and take God's way of escape, or He must judge you.
Hark to that solemn note Jude is blowing.
“Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all; and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds—which they have ungodly committed; and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Do you say, " Oh, that day is far distant, do not blow such startling blasts as that, do not talk in that strain, say not those hard things, tell us how to improve ourselves, and the world in which we live.”
What! Improve yourselves and the world! Impossible. God tried that for 4,000 years, and now He has written over man the awful word, LOST. It is love that blows the loud startling blasts of judgment. Oh, arouse you. It will come as a thief in the night. I warn you, judgment is near. Your soul is not saved. The armed men will be here directly to slay (Ezek. 9). “The sword is furbished to make a great slaughter, will you then make mirth?” Will you live on in carelessness and indifference, trifling with your soul, sporting on the brink of eternal woe, not knowing the moment you may be launched into it? Will you dare the Almighty to smite you? “He that believeth not shall be damned." The rams' horn has sounded its warning note. If you perish, in the lake of fire you will remember you heard judgment announced, but heeded not, and then you are lost, lost, eternally lost. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
2.—the Silver Trumpets—Grace
Now that we have heard the solemn blasts of judgment, let me turn your attention to the sweet notes of grace. First, read Num. 10 Two trumpets of silver. Silver is typical of grace in atonement. The people had to give a half shekel to make atonement for their souls (Ex. 30:11-1611And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 12When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. 13This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord. 14Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord. 15The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls. 16And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls. (Exodus 30:11‑16)). And these silver trumpets were for the calling of the assembly, &c., and only the priests could blow either these or the rams' horns. Men consecrated to God, must do God's work. And is He not gathering His assembly just now? Is He not causing His servants to blow through the silver trumpets the sweet notes of grace, and gather His loved ones—His blood-bought ones—together in this world, ere the last trump sounds to summon them to another world? Thank God He is doing it.
Turn to Lev. 25:9, 109Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. 10And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. (Leviticus 25:9‑10). “Thou shalt cause the trumpet to sound, in the Day of Atonement, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants and ye shall return every man to his possession— and to his family." How precious this is, the silver trumpets sound their sweet note in the Day of Atonement. Everything is based on atonement. What a year of joy! how precious to the poor, wearied bondsman as he walks out from his servitude "a free man." Ah, liberty is only valued when slavery has been felt. The liberty of the gospel is only appreciated, when the drudgery and slavery of the devil has been experienced.
How blessed to hear the Lord Himself sounding that sweet note in, the synagogue in Luke 4. "He path sent me to proclaim deliverance to the captives to set at liberty them that are bruised." Thank God, there is liberty for you, reader, though you are in the power of Satan, captive and bruised, blind too, perhaps broken-hearted because of your condition, Jesus proclaims liberty to you. He has died for sinners, and risen again according to the Scriptures. Atonement has been made by Him. Redemption is accomplished, and now He says to His servants, Go and sound the note of grace, and " turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins—and inheritance among them that are sanctified, by faith that is in me " (Acts 26:1818To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18).)
Hark to these notes, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life "(John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)). “God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)). "Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:66For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)). Oh! trembling soul, listen to the blessed notes of grace, and believe the good news, the gospel of the grace of God, which He is sounding out far and wide, softly and sweetly through the silver trumpets.
3.—the Last Trump—Glory
Now just a word about the last trump (1 Cor. 15:51, 5251Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51‑52)). “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." Through the Lord's mercy some of us were awakened by the loud, solemn, startling blasts of judgment; then we heard the sweet, blessed, silvery notes of grace, and got peace to our souls, now we are waiting for the sounding of the "last trump" to summon us to glory.
How comforting to those who have trusted Christ to know we are to be up there with Christ forever.
“This is not our place of resting.
Ours a city yet to come.”
and we wait the sounding of the last tramp to call us away. I suppose it is a Roman figure. The first trump was to strike their tents, the second trump was to get into marching order; the last trump was to march. How precious the thought, all is in readiness for the sounding of the last trump. We look not for signs. We wait not for death. We wait for the Lord Himself. We listen for the last trump. Then the sorrows will cease, then the trials will end, then the wearied pilgrims will enter into the Father's house, and be forever with the Lord.
Oh, the joy of meeting Him. Who can express it? And the last trump is the announcement that the coming One has arrived, and we march to meet Him—or, as the Spirit puts it,” are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.” How precious the thought it is Himself who is coming—" The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven." No servant comes. No, Himself. Ah, you who have received grace, do not your hearts long for the moment—for the first look at His blessed face? I am sure the longing in your souls must grow stronger for His coming again. The time seems long, have patience—a few more trials, a few more cares, a little more laboring for Him. Courage, a little longer, as you face the storms. Blow on, ye servants, the loud—hoarse—awakening blasts of coming judgment. Blow on the soft, sweet—silvery notes of redeeming love. Yet a little while longer, and the welcome note shall sound in the air, and in a moment we shall be gone—caught up—changed—our bodies of humiliation, fashioned like His body of glory (Phil. 3:2121Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:21)), and we shall enter those courts above, to share glory forever, with Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us, and to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. W. E.