Repent and Obey
Have you noticed, as I have described the shofar’s usage in the Bible thus far, that the shofar has sounded according to God’s instruction or battle plan? Think about it. Every time the shofar sounds, God was very deeply in the mix of things and great things happened. Let’s face it, thus far, every time the shofar sounded, God was doing something tremendous, was about to do something amazing, or had done the miraculous.
Because the shofar was sounded in obedience to God’s Word! I’m not here to peddle the horn of a Ram or Kudu to you or anyone else. A horn is just that, a horn acquired from a dead animal. I’m not here to elevate myself, my calling, or my anointing. No, I’m just a man. I count myself the least among all of you, just as Gideon was the least man, of the least family, of the least tribe.
To pick up a shofar and blow into it without purpose or reason is an act of the flesh. It’s only noise. It’s, at best, merely the practice of a man producing noise by passing wind through the horn of a dead animal. At worst, it is the practice of a man drawing attention to himself and the horn of a dead animal.
Now, to be honest, I practice sounding the shofar. I practice a lot. There is a level of mastery that should be obtained before sounding publicly according to God’s instruction and battle plan. Or, as the case may be, in praise and worship. It is not an easy task to produce the prescribed blasts of the shofar and it requires dedication, discernment, and sincerity.
Now, if you will remember, in the Book of Judges, we are told that the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet. There are times when the instructions are not written and the unction of Holy Spirit takes over and tells the one sounding the Trumpet to sound and how to sound. I pray diligently for this sensitivity to Holy Spirit and to sound the shofar accordingly. However, I must warn you that this sensitivity is a must. Holy Spirit will NOT prompt you to sound in a disorderly or distracting manner. If it cannot be supported in Scripture, it is best to remain silent.
I’ve seen people sound the shofar during soft, quiet times of praise and worship. Don’t do that. It’s better to sound when the music is building in crescendo. I’ve seen people sound when the Pastor has a word for the church or is delivering a message. Don’t do that. The Word of God trumps the shofar every time. I’ve seen people sound the shofar irregularly and without purpose or reason, to draw attention to themselves or the shofar. Don’t do that. That is acting in the flesh are there are consequences.
However, when the person is called by God, outfitted, trained, and anointed by Holy Spirit and sounds the shofar according to instructions in God’s Word obediently out of reverence, or unction of Holy Spirit THEN we should EXPECT to see the supernatural power of almighty God manifested!
Here’s the key.
It’s called obedience. I’m not talking about legalistic obedience. I’m not saying, “We have to do it this way or we’re going to make God angry, and He’ll destroy us all.” I’m talking about joyful obedience. I’m talking about obeying God’s Word in reverence because it pleases the Father. Pleasing the Father should be a source of joy. When I pleased my earthly father, he would lavish me with praise and good gifts. Why should I believe that my Heavenly Father would do differently?
And I’m not talking about salvation, justification, or sanctification either. Our salvation, justification, and sanctification were paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach.
Sounding a shofar will not make me more saved, or more justified, or more sanctified. My walk with God is an ongoing process of all these things, but I cannot add to it.
In case you’re thinking that obedience is unnecessary because we are under grace, I caution you to consider Hebrews 12:4-17 where the writer discusses the discipline of the Lord. If there is a need of discipline there must be something that should be adhered to, otherwise there would be no need for discipline.
Hebrews 12:4–11 (NASB95 emphasis is my own)
4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Throughout the Bible, trumpets are sounded for various reasons. When those trumpets were sounded according to God’s Word, miraculous things happened. However, when the trumpet did not sound as it was prescribed, there were consequences as well.
Consider Ezekiel 3:17-21, Ezekiel 33:2-8. I’m not going to spoon feed it to you. Go and look it up. There are consequences that go along with responsibility and failures in that responsibility. In other words, there are consequences, discipline, for the lack of obedience. There will be no blood on my hands.
In 2nd Samuel 20 a man named Sheba sounded a shofar to the kingdom of Israel against David who was then King of Judah. It cost him his head as is seen in verse 22. The wrong man sounded the shofar for the wrong reason, in error, and it cost him dearly.
Joshua and Gideon won tremendous battles, miraculously, because of their obedience to God. They obeyed God’s commands, to the letter, and were greatly blessed. I wonder. What might have happened, where would we be now, if they had not obeyed?
Even Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15 (NASB95)
What is this? It would seem that keeping Jesus’ commandments is evidence of our love for Him!
And while I’m on that subject let me address something that was once brought to my attention. A young man brazenly told me how mistaken I was for thinking such things. In his estimation, Jesus had diminished the commandments to only two. The first to love God with all that you are and to love your neighbor as yourself. On these hinged the law and the prophets. The rest didn’t matter.
My response? “If you are able to keep the first two of the commandments, those that Jesus said were the greatest, then keeping the rest would be easy. However, if you can’t keep those first two, then there is absolutely no way that you can keep the rest. And, by the way, Jesus said those were the two greatest. He never said that the others were no longer in effect. Jesus said that if you look upon a woman with lust then you have already committed adultery with her in your heart. As I recall the original commandments, Jesus raised the bar.”
I can hear the shouts of “Blasphemy! Heresy! He’s preaching salvation by the law and works!”
Pardon me, but I said no such thing. While the flesh makes it difficult to keep the commandments of Christ, I’ll point it out again. Keeping the commandments of Christ is EVIDENCE of our love for HIM, NOT His love for us! He’s already proven that! In not being obedient then we align ourselves for the discipline of the LORD as mentioned in Hebrews 12. The result? “yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
I submit that being righteous is one thing. Yielding the peaceful fruit of righteousness? Yielding the fruit of the Spirit? Those are not the same as being righteous. Being righteous should bring about a yield of fruit.
That’s all I have for now. Join me again tomorrow as we travel through these 40 Days of Awakening! Shalom!
I am The Old Watchman, Ezekiel.