Tomorrow we celebrate the Jewish Feast of Trumpets, also known as Rosh Hashanah.
The Feast of Trumpets is one of the Seven Feasts of Israel established in the Bible. It was set on the first day of the seventh Lunar month and celebrated by the blowing of Trumpets, a sacred assembly, and a special sacrificial offering. The Jewish Rabbis stated that the Trumpet blasts were to bring Israel into remembrance of the Lord, to confound Satan, and to call men to repentance by awakening their slumbering spirits. Rabbinic teaching also holds to the idea that on the Feast of Trumpets the books were opened and those whose names were in the Book of Life were kept alive, those in the Book of Death died, and a third group were given the chance to repent and be Judged on the Day of Atonement 10 days later.
At some point the Feast of Trumpets also became celebrated as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish civil New Year. Some say that Moses established this custom, although Moses also recorded God’s instruction that the religious year would began in the Spring. Others believe that the custom began during the Babylonian exile. And still others think that the Civil New Year was set in the Seventh Month because of a Jewish tradition that the world was created in the seventh month. In any event, the day was celebrated along with the Fest of Trumpets, with special benedictions for the Kingdom of God, the remembrance of God, and the blowing of the horns.
For Christians the Feast of Trumpets and the Seven Feasts of Israel are a prophetic picture of God’s plan for redemption. The first three feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits, celebrate the atoning death and resurrection of Christ which occurred during those festivals in 30 AD. The Feast of Pentecost, celebrating the beginning of the harvest, was the birthday of the Church on that day in 30 AD. Trumpets, with its emphasis on repentance and judgment, is equated with the trumpet sound at Christ’s Return (See 1 Cor 15:52). Some think that the awakening of the dead at Trumpets is the source of the saying “Wake up O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Eph 5:14b).
But the feast of Trumpets is more than a prophetic picture for Christians. The Church needs to hear the trumpet call to remember God, confound Satan, and repent, just as the Israelites did. We need to awaken our slumbering spirits as the Israelites did with their trumpet blasts, and remember God and His Kingdom as we come into a New Jewish Year.
Let us pray that the Church will hear the clarion call of the Trumpets and awaken from her slumber.