I woke up this morning really joyful. For the past couple of days I’ve felt as if God has been walking beside me through every step I’ve taken, and His presence is simply beautiful. It’s infectious! It’s crazy how willing He is to dwell among us when we choose to let Him in.. Anyway I’ll try not to get side-tracked; as I was doing my quiet time this morning I reflected on the clear message the Lord had been whispering in my ears this weekend: “get to know Me this Lent”. I’ve heard so many talks and had so many discussions about fasting just in the past couple of days to nourish me for the rest of the year, haha. So I sat downstairs in my dining room this morning thinking of the main points that I’d learned.. I began to pray to Jesus asking Him to help me once and for all to defeat a sin that has been tying me down for many years this lent, through His victory. I asked the Holy Spirit to speak extra loudly and really nudge me often during this holy period so I can learn to push myself and resist the evil one and his trickery.
I’m reading Numbers for my quiet time at the moment (one of the best. books. ever. please dive into it if you’ve never read it before!) and as I started reading chapter 10 I prayed my usual pre-reading my bible prayer; something along the lines of “you know I’m here to meet with you. Please don’t let me leave empty-handed. PS I’m a bit stupid so you’re gonnna have to be very clear and very loud in what you’re trying to tell me”. The passage I read was Numbers 10:1-10, and it says:
The Lord said to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. If only one is sounded, the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you. When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out. At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out.
“The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies. Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”
I don’t know why I stopped here, but I really just couldn’t move past this tiny little passage. I kept re-reading it and browsed the web to try and find Fr. Tadros’ Malaty’s commentary it so I can begin to understand what the Holy Spirit was hinting at.. The second I read the symbolism of the trumpets, it hit me. The trumpets in this passage resemble the Lord’s voice. Reading the passage now made so much sense, and had such a deeper meaning that I’d love to share with you.
I highlighted two verses in particular because they touched me the most. God is saying that His voice is the mighty trumpets! The one that directs and says ‘stay’ or ‘go!’. Verse 6 says “the blast will be the signal for setting out”; His voice warns and prepares us to move. And that’s what Lent is all about… this holy period the church has gifted us with reminds us to listen attentively to the One with the voice of ten thousand trumpets in order to help our starving Spirits gain strength and begin to lead our entire being, instead of our bodies. The community and leaders alike, they were guided by the sound of the trumpets. Just like today our entire Church, from all ends of the earth, is united as One Body while our spirits feast for Lent and eagerly wait for the voice of God to enter our hearts, saying “let there be light” Gen. 1:3.
In this moment I think of the brave, heroic 21 martyrs of Libya. How they eagerly followed the voice of trumpets. That voice that led them straight to His arms, straight to the One whom they set their hearts on. I really do believe that as they stepped foot in Heaven their guardian angels together with multitudes of Cherubim and Seraphim escorted them to the King of Kings on His throne with singing, music and sounds of trumpets, as they received their crowns.
My favourite verse in this small passage is verse 9; it says “When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies”. God literally answered my prayer as clearly and bluntly as possible. When any of us think of those sins that continuously weigh us down, we can run back to this promise. When the enemy is oppressing you, when he’s tempting you beyond belief or trying to encircle you and make you fall into despair, sound a blast on the trumpets! Tap into God’s voice and proclaim His promises to you out loud! Satan is already defeated, he’s already lost. Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights for you and I and now we all have access to His victory. O my soul, run to the One whose voice has already defeated the enemy. Run to the the One whose voice is the voice of mighty trumpets.
May we all learn to be attentive this Lent. May we listen out for the trumpet sounds and be willing to be led by them. May we conquer the oppressor through the voice of the One who has already defeated death.