“Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” (Zech. 2:13)
“Put the trumpet [Shofar] to your lips! Like an eagle the enemy comes against the house of the Lord!” (Hos. 8:1)
In part (a) of this article, I focused on the use of the Shofar during the holidays of Israel, and also how it was employed in the Bible. We learned that the Shofar is God’s trumpet to open a portal between heaven and earth for Him to sound an alarm and get the attention of His people. In this second part I will break down the word, “Shofar” in to an acrostic and discuss how the message of each letter is so pertinent today during our Covid-19 crisis:
S: Sound the alarm! Search your soul and repent! The Shofar is used by God, first and foremost, to sound a warning and call His people to repentance. I have written often concerning how Jesus came to earth with a simple, 9-word, singular message that said it all, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Jesus came to open an eternal portal between the kingdom in heaven and the kingdom of heaven on earth He embodied and introduced. It is a perfect analogy to the blowing of the Shofar, for they both signify that open portal. Every time we hear the Shofar blast within our spirits, we need to consider the words, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” God, through the Covid-19 sequestering, is sounding the alarm and calling His people to repentance!
H: Halt! Stop and listen to His voice! In the verse from Zechariah above, our first response to the Shofar should be to cease from our daily activities and cares, listen, and as Paul says, “Set our minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3). God has called us to silence, for He has been aroused out of His holy habitation! We get so caught up in those “everyday affairs of men good soldiers of Christ should not become entangled in (2 Tim. 2)” that our lives become a numbing repetition of daily chores and habits where truly living for the kingdom can get lost. Who can say that C-19 hasn’t snapped us out of those daily numbing lives? Everything has changed as something unprecedented in history has occurred. A Flu outbreak in 1918 killed as many as 25,000,000 people and the world did not shut down. More people died in the flu epidemic just two years ago in 36 of our 50 states than C-19 has yielded, and the world didn’t shut down. There have been many such plagues come upon the earth and it did not shut down. But, for some reason, few comparatively worldwide have died from C-19 and governments of man have exerted unprecedented power over their people. While the powers of darkness controlling them intend this power grab for evil, I believe it is God’s Shofar blowing across our lands, a call to stop what we’re doing, listen to His voice, and turn to the kingdom. And that’s a good thing.
O: Open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, and your heart to understand.
If you have followed this series, you know in the first article, Our Passover Moment, I related the C-19 lockdown to the sequestering of the Jews during Passover in Egypt the night before they were to exodus to their promised land. In article two, along with my Why the Insanity? series [both on this blog] I explained the critical need to understand what I believe we are now seeing is what Jesus called “the beginning of the birth pangs,” a time in which Jesus said we would see “nation arising against nation and realm arising against realm.” He prophesied of a time, I believe this time, when the kingdoms of man and the kingdom of heaven on earth would arise against each other in unprecedented ways. I believe the trumpet [Shofar] is being blown now to herald these realms clashing, causing the Lord to be “aroused from His holy habitation.” The call is to ready us for the times of persecution to come and refocus us on what’s important in life.
F: Fear God! I have written numerous times over many years the greatest void of understanding in modern Christendom, perpetuated by a gospel of false grace leading to an errant perception of who Christ is, has effectively removed the fear of God from most believer’s lives. The fear of God is what keeps us repentant, keeps us humble, and keeps us at the cross and in the kingdom. To strip God of His right to judge, to correct, to rebuke, and yes even to punish His children neuters Him, making Him subservient to us. Arising in His place has been what I have called the Idol of Grace that now rules in our temples, who we command at our pleasure to forgive the unforgivable and to excuse the inexcusable, all so we can feel good about ourselves. The fear of God is mentioned throughout both Old and New Testaments, and ironically every good and wonderful promise of God is found therein! However, there is also that aspect of God’s character we should, as Paul prescribed, “live our salvation out in trembling” as we consider it. In the days to come, we will see abundant reason to fear and tremble as we see also reason to rest in grace. The Lamb is about to lay down and the Lion roar! The Savior is about to hand the gavel to the Judge. The blowing of the Shofar is calling us back to a healthy, humbling fear of our almighty God, zealous for justice and righteousness, and ready, willing, and able to meet out whatever it takes to bring His people into holiness.
A: Acknowledge and praise Him for the atonement that has been granted you through the Cross of Christ. The Shofar is blown over the High Holy Days on the Jewish calendar, much of which has to do with the subject of atonement. Where do we fully come to appreciate our atonement, and the price we were purchased with? the place Paul said “he determined to know nothing else in us but:” the Cross of Calvary! Part of fearing God is gaining full revelation of the blood-soaked, dirty, agonizing, humiliating place Jesus had to go to save His people from their sin but it, like all else in modern Christendom, has been watered down to where it lacks little of its intended significance. And not only is God calling His New Covenant people back to that symbol of atonement, a new vision of the cross is how He will save His first covenant people as well. The prophet Zechariah records, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem: the Spirit of grace and of supplication so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him…” It is at the cross, and the cross alone, we gain a full understanding of atonement. Through the world being sequestered, Jesus is calling us back to that hill called Calvary and to a deep appreciation of what led to our salvation.
R: Released from chains that bind, rally unto God and run into your kingdom destiny! Through the abundance of new opportunities God has granted us through our sequestering: the time to listen to His voice, pray, read His Word and fellowship with so many through virtual means, have you been called to a new level of revelation and purpose? If not, get sequestered more and listen harder! The Shofar is blown on Jubilee year to signal release of all who were enslaved by their masters, so they could venture into new assignments in new-found freedom. The Shofar is also used to call His people to rally to His side and make ready for war. Make no mistake, friends, as realm arises against realm war is upon us whether we like it or not. The only question is, will we be ready, or will we be swept away? If you are truly a child of God, He has been aroused from His holy habitat to call you to repent, choose up sides, be freed from the chains of worldliness that bind, and prepare to run the race with endurance set before you!
Over the years, I have wondered exactly what role I play in His divine plan. Am I priest, prophet, teacher, or something else? I have come to believe the role I am to fulfill is that of Watchman. Actually, Watchmen were in some cases both prophet and the heralders of warning, as was the case with Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 33, God gave these men a very specific task: to receive from Him a word of warning and then to pass it on to the people. If He did and they did not listen to him, the consequences would be upon their heads. However, if God warned the Watchman and he did not sound the alarm, the consequences for what came upon the people were entirely upon his head. The instrument the Watchmen were to use to sound the alarm was the Shofar, and perhaps that is why I am so drawn to its sound.
In this Covid-19 series, I have tried to sound the alarm of warning over what the kingdom of flesh and of man is trying to do to the church of God. Realm is truly arising against realm, they are vying for your fealty, and they will continue to do so in power we have not yet witnessed until the birth pangs are over and the end comes. I have also tried to outline the incredible opportunities the kingdom of heaven on earth presents during this time and urged you to take full advantage of them. I have endeavored to speak to you all the Word of God I have heard, both blessing and warning, clearly and boldly. What you do with that is up to you. I do not want blood on your head or mine, for blood will be spilled, spiritual if not physical, as the time Jesus foretold of when “many will fall away” (Matt. 24) is coming soon if not upon us.
I beg you, hear the Shofar God is so clearly blowing over this world in the guise of C-19, stop what you have been doing, search your soul, repent, realize the spiritual war raging all about, stand up for the banner of God, align yourself with the right kingdom and the right King and, released from your captivity, head boldly into your new assignment and new destiny! The Shofar has been sounded and now is the time! What will we do with that?