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A Certain Sound

1 Cor 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound , who shall prepare himself to the battle? KJV

A ‘shofar’ is a trumpet, and is made from the horn of any kosher animal, except that of a cow or calf. It is one of the earliest wind instruments known to man. The shofar is mentioned in the Bible from Exodus to Zechariah. It is also spoken of in the Talmud and later rabbinic literature.

It was used to announce the New Moon and solemn feasts. It rallied the men of war in time of battle. In our day, the shofar continues to announce the New Year the new moon, the Sabbath, and to carry out the commandments on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

More significantly, the curved shofar is symbolic of the contrite heart repenting on the most solemn days of Rosh ha Shanah and Yom Kippur.” It represented God’s spokesman through whom God would breathe the Truth. When the shofar sounded the people stopped to listen for it had spiritual significance for their lives.

Paul used this symbol when refuting the practice of speaking in unintelligible tongues during the worship service. This symbol can easily be compared with the preaching of the Word of God. The servant of the most high acts as a conduit through which the truth is communicated. The people are called to arms. Those who are in error are called to repent. Worshipers are called to their place of reverent adulation of the most high. Paul wanted the Corinthian Christians to see that the people had to understand the Word of the Lord in order for it to be effective.

The one who proclaims the truth must lift the shofar to his lips with confidence. The proclamation of the truth must come forth as an accurate, sure, authoritative sound. There is no place for confusion or misunderstanding. People wait eagerly to hear the trumpet blast which gives them direction for life. The Word must be preached boldly by the anointed servant of God.

Dr. Gayle Woods

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