“Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow their mighty blasts.”
Revelation 8:6 NLT
Seven angels each had a trumpet. These would not have been any old ordinary trumpets because they were each capable of delivering a mighty blast. And the angels doing the blowing were obviously strong enough to provide the necessary air pressure.
In the Bible, the trumpet was an essential instrument with a two-fold role – to grab people’s attention and to add to the mix in the Jewish praise bands. But what was it like? One thing it wasn’t – it was not like the modern trumpet in all its guises and variations. The trumpets referred to in our verses today would most probably have either been based on the Jewish rams horns, or Shofars, or on the trumpet made of beaten silver that we find in Numbers 10. But whatever they were, they were quite an instrument. It should also be noted that some skill would be required to play them, as anyone who has tried to play a brass instrument knows.
There was one notable occasion in the Old Testament when trumpets or rams horns achieved a remarkable result. Joshua 6 records the details of how the city of Jericho was conquered by the Israelites, and trumpets played a significant role in its demise. We read in Joshua 6:8, “After Joshua spoke to the people, the seven priests with the rams’ horns started marching in the presence of the Lord, blowing the horns as they marched. And the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant followed behind them“. Reading on we find that the walls later collapsed, with the trumpets co-ordinating the people’s shouts. But notice that there were seven priests blowing seven trumpets or rams horns (depending on which Bible version we read). That number seven again, denoting completeness and perfection.
For today’s pilgrim it is easy to feel somewhat detached when reading this verse. It describes something that will happen at some time in the future, too far removed to have any relevance. The expression “blowing your own trumpet” isn’t heard so much in these digital days, but it describes the act of bragging or boasting about exploits, or things we have done, with perhaps some amplification and exaggeration spicing up the story. We read in Proverbs 27:1-2, “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring. Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips.” And at the end of a detailed list of all the abuse and hardship the Apostle Paul had experienced, he said, “If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.” He was not going to be accused of boasting about what he had experienced. However, there is one thing worth blowing a trumpet about – the Lord. We read in 1 Corinthians 1:31, “Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”” Now there’s something worth blowing our trumpets about – our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Father God. We gladly blow our trumpets announcing all that You have done for us. We praise and worship You today with deeply grateful hearts. Amen.