by James Trimm
The biblical Shofar is both an instrument of making music (the trumpet) but also an instrument that was designed to make an announcement. There are many uses and purposes for a Shofar, and we are all commanded to apply these commandments to our lives.
1. When we hear the shofar we are to remember G-d’s Kingship. In ancient Israel the new king’s reign was announced with the shofar (1 Kings 1:34). When we blow the shofar we remember that Yeshua is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and we are to be obedient subjects.
2. When we hear the shofar we are to remember to be G-d’s worshippers. G-d seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. The shofar is used in worship and in fact heads the list of instruments in Psalm 150 which are used to worship G-d. "Praise Him with the shofar."
3. When we hear the shofar we are to remember our need to repent. The shofar signaled the approach of danger. We are in danger without repentance. "Blow a shofar in Zion and sound an alarm on My holy mountain… consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly. Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning, and rend your heart and not your garments" (Joel 2:1, 12- 13).
4. When we hear the shofar we are to remember the faithfulness of the Patriarch. The shofar is made from a ram’s horn. It reminds us of the Akedah, the binding and Abraham’s intended sacrifice of Isaac. Because of this act of faith, G-d promised to bless the Jewish people and give us victory over our enemies. The shofar is a reminder of our covenant with G-d because of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
5. When we hear the shofar we are to remember the binding of Messiah Yeshua, our ultimate Akedah. Abraham prophesied that G-d would provide for Himself the Lamb for the burnt offering (Genesis 22:8). Messiah Yeshua was offered up as the Lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world on that same spot two thousand years later.
6. When we hear the shofar we are to remember the shofar that accompanied the revelation of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, and that all Scripture is divinely inspired by G-d.
7. When we hear the shofar we are to remember the words of the prophets. I set watchmen over you saying, "listen to the sound of the shofar" (Jeremiah 6:17). Prophets are like a shofar which warn of danger. Israel was judged for ignoring the prophets. There is even greater judgement if we ignore Messiah Yeshua, Israel’s greatest prophet.
8. When we hear the shofar we are to remember the battle alarm for war. "Near is the great day of the L-rd, near and coming very quickly… a day of shofar and battle cry" (Zephaniah 1:14-16). Messiah will return and fight during the greatest battle of all time, the battle of Armageddon. We are in the middle of a battle that has been raging for the soul of humanity. Satan and his fallen angels are fighting for people to share their destiny. Messiah Yeshua is fighting for people to share His eternal destiny.
9. When we hear the shofar we are to remember the end of all warfare. The shofar was blown at the end of battle (2 Samuel 2:28, 18:16). The shofar is a reminder that our final victory is ahead. When King Messiah returns He will end all wars, battles, and injustice.
10. When we hear the shofar we are to remember our resurrection that will take place at Messiah’s return when the shofar blows (1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
11. When we hear the shofar we are to be reminded of the Jewish people’s restoration to the Land of Israel. Messiah Yeshua will gather all of Israel’s exiles. "You will be gathered up one by one, O sons of Israel. It will come about also in that day that a great shofar will be blown" (Isaiah 27:13).
12. When we sound the shofar we are asking G-d to remember us. The sounding of the shofar is like a prayer that ascends to G-d’s throne saying, "O L-rd, may the sound of our shofar ascend before Your throne. Remember Your covenants, for-give us, save us, and deliver us."
The sounding of the Shofar is commanded particularly for the holiday of Rosh HaShana, which is also called Yom Teruah, "The Day of Sounding (the Shofar)." There are four traditional soundings, or calls – although the exact sequence of soundings is not prescribed but has developed in each Jewish community over the centuries.
Tekiah – "blast"
Shevarim – "broken"
Teruah – "alarm"
Tekiah G’dolah – "great blast"
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