The Sound of the Shofar Is Calling Us to Spiritual Revival
There are only two verses in the Bible that command the keeping of Yom Teruah.
And YHVH spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH. (Lev 23:23–25)
And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you. And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto YHVH; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year without blemish: And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram, and one tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: And one kid of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you: Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto YHVH. (Num 29:1–6)
The Breath of Life and Yom Teruah
Without the life-giving breath of YHVH we are dead both physically and spiritually. As YHVH breathed the breath of life into Adam who then became a living being (Heb. nephesh), so when Yeshua breathed on his disciples (John 20:22), they came alive spiritually. Similarly, YHVH breathed on the first century redeemed believers through the wind of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Set-apart Spirit) on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:2, and the congregation of renewed covenant believers was birthed. Similarly, on the day of Messiah’s second return (Yom Teruah), the shofar (called the last trumpet in Hebraic thought, which comes just prior to the final or the great trumpet/shofar hagadol of Yom Kippur) will sound and the dead in Messiah will be resurrected (1 Cor 15:51–53; 1 Thes 4:16). It is the breath of YHVH that will revive the righteous dead. This is similar to the breath of YHVH blowing over the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37, which some see as a prophetic picture of the resurrection of the saints.
What can we learn from this? When YHVH breathes or blows on man, the power of the supernatural pierces the natural dimension and the supernatural breaks the status quo of the natural and supernaturally empowers one to do that which he could not do in his own power naturally. We need YHVH’s divine breath to blow on us to empower us with his power and his ability to be and act supernaturally in a natural world for his glory and the advancement of his kingdom!
When the shofar sounded in ancient Israel, it signaled that heaven and earth were about to meet, that divine power, the supernatural forces of heaven were about to break into the human realm. It signaled that Elohim was about to do great things!
Are you ready for this to happen again?
When Was the Shofar Blown in Ancient Israel?
The shofar is an instrument unique to the ancient Hebrews and their descendants. In the Scriptures, we see that the shofar played a highly significant role in Hebraic culture. Below are some examples this instrument’s importance:
The History of the Shofar and the Three Trumpets
The ram’s horn shofar is first alluded to in the Scriptures in Genesis 22 at the binding of Isaac and known in Hebrew as the akeidah.
The symbolism in this historical event is tremendously significant. The ram represents Yeshua the Lamb of Elohim who died to redeem man from sin. The thicket is a biblical poetic symbol of human sinfulness. Humanity is entangled in the thicket of sin from which it needs to be freed. Yeshua the Messiah is the Lamb (or ram) slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), who, while hanging on the cross, wore a crown of thorns. Is this not a picture of the “ram caught in the thicket” (Gen 22:13) of the man’s sins? After all, the Scriptures say that the sins of man were laid upon Yeshua (Isa 53:6). The crown of thorns is a picture of this. Furthermore, in Matthew 13, in Yeshua’s Parable of the Sower, we see that some of the seed was cast into the thorns, which Yeshua explained represents the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches that choke out the word of YHVH. These references to thorns and thicket are a picture of sin. The wages of sin is death.
In Genesis 22, Isaac was about to die, but the ram caught in the thicket that YHVH provided was a prophetic picture of Yeshua (a Hebrew word meaning “salvation”) that became a substitute sacrifice for Isaac. Isaac was set free and the ram was sacrificed instead. This ram was a prophetic picture of Yeshua’s death on the cross for man’s sins.
In Hebraic thought, the left horn of the ram signifies mercy and grace. This is also a picture of the left (or weaker) hand of YHVH, which symbolizes grace, or the feminine side of Elohim. Furthermore, the left horn of the redemptive ram signifies the purpose of the first coming of Messiah Yeshua as the Suffering Savior, as one bringing mercy and grace, and who refused to quench a smoking flax or breaking a bruised reed as a meek and quiet lamb going to its slaughter (Matt 12:20; John 12:47; Isa 53:7).
The right horn of the ram caught in the thicket represents judgment picturing Elohim’s stronger right hand of power, might and judgment (Ps 89:10,13–14). Thus, this horn represents the second coming of Messiah, who is seated at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:32–33), and who will come this time in power as King of kings to rule with a rod of iron and to judge the living and the dead, and to destroy all his enemies (Rev 17:14; 19:15).
That is why the first trumpet (representing the left horn of the ram) is sounded on Shavuot representing YHVH’s grace and mercy upon his people from Abraham until the Yeshua’s second coming—a time for his people to repent and return to him.
The second trumpet occurs on Yom Teruah (called the last trumpet) and the third or final shofar blast occurs on Yom Kippur and is called the final trumpet.
Let’s now discover when the shofar was blown In ancient Israel.
Shofar Blown on Yom Teruah: A memorial day for blowing the shofar
The shofar was blown to usher in Yom Teruah. This was a call to Sabbath rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a set-apart convocation and marked the beginning of a ten-day period of self-examination and repentance culminating with the Day of Atonement (Lev 23:23–25; Num 29:1).
Lesson for us: What are we to memorialize when we sound the shofar on this day? The Scriptures don’t specifically tell us. All we can do is to study how and when the shofar was sounded in ancient times, and from this deduce its significance and hence what it is we are to remember about our past and our future.
The Shofar Announced YHVH’s Presence
The shofar was blown to announce YHVH’s presence and our need to praise and worship Him (Exod 19:16,19 and 20:18; Pss 47:5, 98:6; 150:3; Isa 18:3; 27:13; Rev 1:10).
Lesson for us: Get yourself ready for his presence to come upon us.
A Call to Worship
Shofars were blown to welcome the Ark of the Covenant (representing the anointed and glorious presence of YHVH among his people) while David danced with all his might (2 Sam 6:15; 1 Chron 15:14).
Lesson for us: It is time to worship YHVH with unhindered and unrestrained passion as David, a man after El’s own heart did. It’s time to take off those things that bind and hinder us from freely worshipping El. What limits you from worshipping and serving Yah? Let go of them now!
A Call to Prepare to Receive the Torah
The very first time Scripture records the blowing of the shofar occurring was to herald YHVH’s giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (Exod 19:16,19 and 20:18).
Lesson for us: Yom Teruah is a time for us to prepare to receive the Torah. We must put off the rudiments of this world and align ourselves within our heavenly calling as a kingdom of priest as our fathers did in Exod 19 when preparing to meet their Creator at Mount Sinai.
A Call for Israel to Renew Its Marriage Vows to Elohim
The sound of the shofar was a call to Israel to prepare their hearts and minds to meet their Creator/Bridegroom to make marriage vows to him (Exod 19:8). Under Ezra and Nehemiah, Israel began the process of rededicating themselves to love and obey YHVH and his Torah on Yom Teruah (Neh 8:1–11).The shofar was blown when the Israelites swore an oath of allegiance to YHVH under King Asa (2 Chron 15:14).
Lesson for us: Let us not be like the five foolish virgins in Yeshua’s parable who were unprepared when the bridegroom came and were thus unable to enter into the wedding supper (Matt 25:1ff), or like those who made excuses why they couldn’t come to the great supper of the Master (Luke 14:16ff). Let us rededicate ourselves to our high and heavenly calling that we will set aside the things of this world and the flesh and reaffirm or commitment to consecrate ourselves to love and obey our Creator as our ancient fathers did.
A Call for Spiritual Consecration of the Temple
It was on Yom Teruah that the Israelites dedicated the temple of Solomon. When Solomon’s Temple was dedicated, a choir of 120 priests sounded 120 silver trumpets (2 Chron 5:12; 6:6). When this occurred, all Israel stood at attention and the glory of Yah filled the house of El (2 Chron 5:14). The ark was brought into the temple on Yom Teruah, and the glory of El filled the temple or house of El (2 Chron 5:3–14).
Lesson for us: You and I are now that temple, the body of Yeshua. He is our head, and by his strength we can follow his Torah, and his power, presence and glory will fill us when we are filled with his Set-Apart Spirit. Let us now rededicate ourselves to our Creator, YHVH Elohim, the Elohim of Israel, and resolve by his grace and glory living in us through his Set-Apart Spirit to serve and love him by obeying his Torah with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
A Call to Anoint a King
The shofar was blown when a king was anointed (1 Kgs 1:34,39,41; 2 Kgs 9:13).
Lesson for us: Is Yeshua the undisputed king over your life? Let’s proclaim Yeshua as king and rededicate ourselves to serve our King and Master! Our king is coming. Are we ready to meet him? Don’t be too quick to answer yes.
A Call to Welcome the Bridegroom/King and Our Being Raised Up in Glory
The shofar was blown to announce the coming of a Jewish bridegroom to fetch his betrothed — a picture of Yeshua returning for his bride, the saints. All the righteous living and the righteous dead will receive glorified, resurrected bodies and will meet him in the air at the sound of the shofar. (Compare Matt 24:31; 25:6; 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16; Rev 11:15–18).
Lesson for us: Again, are we ready to meet Yeshua?
A Call to New Beginnings
It marked the beginning of the monthly cycle/Rosh Chodesh: a time for a fresh start (Ps 81:3).
Lesson for us: Let this Yom Teruah the first day of the seventh month, the beginning of the fall feast season, be a new beginning for you. It is time to take stock of our lives, and to make a new start if necessary. This occurs as we make teshuvah (repentance) before our Creator, call out to him for forgiveness and mercy and realign our hearts and minds with his Word and Yeshua, our Master, King and Bridegroom. We must be set free from all those things of the world, flesh and the devil that are holding us down spiritually.
A Call to Set the Captives Free
The shofar was blown to herald the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) to announce the Year of Jubilee. Every fifty years slaves were freed, debts were forgiven and land returned to the original owner (Lev 25:9–10 [verse 10 says, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants” and is inscribed on the Liberty Bell.”])
Lesson for us: Have you been set free from the things of the world, the flesh and the devil that are holding you down spiritually? What are the spiritual, mental and emotional strongholds that still keep you captive from which you need to be set free?
A Call to Repentance and Fasting
The shofar was blown to call people to repentance or fasting (Isa 58:1; Hos 8:1; Joel 2:1)
The shofar was blown by YHVH (Zech 9:14).
The shofar was blown by the angels (Matt 24:31; Rev 8:2,3; 9:1,13–14; 10:7; 11:15).
Lesson for us: Freedom from the world, the flesh and the devil comes only as we pray, fast and repent of sin, and then seek him with all of our hearts. Sometimes, we won’t experience victory over our enemies and freedom unless we first pray and fast (Matt 17:21).
A Call to Warfare
Israel sounded the shofar in the time of war to be remembered by YHVH, to be saved from its enemies, and rout the enemies of Israel by sending fear into their hearts and confusion into their camps (Num 10:9–10; Judg 7:20–22).
Shofars were blown continually by seven priests before the Ark of the Covenant, as part of the battle plan to take the city of Jericho as the Israelites were entering the Promised Land (Josh 6:4–20).
The shofar was blown to sound the alarm of war (Jer 4:19,21; 6:1;17; 51:27; Joel 2:1,15).
The shofar was blown to sound the warning of danger (Amos 2:2; 3:6; Zeph 1:16; Hos 5:8, 8:1; Ezek 33:2-9; Isa. 58:1). The sound of the shofar is compared to a prophet’s voice.
Shofars were blown by Gideon to rally the Israelites soldiers against the Midianites and again by his 300 soldiers in their battle against Midian (Judg 6:34 and 7:8,16,20).
The shofar was blown to rally the troops (Num 10:9–10; Neh 4:18, 20).
Lesson for us: Yom Teruah is a time to engage in spiritual warfare. The end times prior to Yeshua’s coming will be a time of physical and spiritual warfare against the forces of Satan who are committed to preventing Yeshua from taking his place as King of kings. As Yeshua’s emissaries, we are Satan’s chief targets on earth. We must not be ignorant of his devises, so that when he attacks we will a) recognize it as such, and b) be spiritually strong and prepared to oppose him spiritually. As Satan attempted to prevent the children of Israel under Joshua from possessing their promised inheritance in the land, history will repeat itself in the last days.
When the righteous hear the sound of the shofar these things should be called to remembrance. The shofar is a powerful reminder of the powerful right arm of YHVH outstretched on behalf of his people. The sound of the shofar sends tremors of fear throughout the camp of the enemies of YHVH and his people and rallies the righteous to take courage and to rise up against evil knowing they will be victorious through faith in YHVH Elohim.
Living Out the Garden of Eden in a Chaotic and Desolate World
Elohim created an idyllic, paradise garden and put the first humans into it. Sadly, man sinned and got kicked out of the garden. We now have the world as it is; it’s anything but a garden of peace! The world is a mess and what decent and loving person doesn’t know this? There is meanness, ugliness, combativeness, strife, contention, division, hatred, suffering, persecution, greed, lust, murder, hatred for what is good and righteous, unholiness, evil and darkness all around us, and it seem to be overtaking us like a tsunami. What can be done about this?Continue reading