“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.” Numbers 10:1-2
God instructed Moses to make trumpets that would be used “for the calling of the asembly, and for the journeying of the camps.” Different and distinct messages would be conveyed to the vast congregation by means of the trumpets. Trumpets would be used to assemble the entire congregation or call for a meeting of the leaders. They would sound warnings or alarms, give precise instructions for different tribes, call to arms to face enemies, and even communicate times of rejoicing.
Several practical lessons can be derived from this system of communication. It would be imperative that the one blowing the trumpet give the correct message. A confused sound could cause great misfortune. A parallel is given in the New Testament concerning the preaching of the Word of God. Paul asked the church members in Corinth, “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Corinthians 14:8) Preaching should give a certain sound. It should be distinct and easily understood. People should not have to struggle to understand the message being sounded forth.
There is also the responsibility of the congregation to be responsive to the message of the trumpeter. The communication of information from a faithful trumpeter will serve as no benefit if the message is not heard and heeded. When the trumpet began to signal a command, the people of Israel were to comprehend and obey the message. An ignored or misunderstood trumpet could spell disaster. Confidence on the part of the congregation was imperative. Without seeing the trumpeter, they would have to respond in faith. God compares the preaching of His Word to the trumpeter communicating a vital message. Just as the preacher should be clear in the message of truth he is declaring, the listeners must be attentive to hear and respond to what is preached. By faith, the listeners should decisively comply to the truth of the Scripture being proclaimed. To fail to apply the message could result in great disappointment and loss. The responsibility to alertly understand and obey the sound of the trumpet lies with each of us.