Why I Celebrate The Feast of Trumpets
By Kelly McDonald, Jr.
“1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.” (Lev 23:1-2)
“23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25 Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord.’” (Lev. 23:23-24).
In Leviticus chapter 23, we learn about annual feast days of the Lord. The Hebrew word translated as feast is moed. It is more properly translated as appointed times. They are times in history in which God had appointments with His people. He still meets with us today.
As I consider why I celebrate these festivals, I first recognize that I have an appointment to meet with God. This reminds me of how God is personally interested in my existence and purpose. God wants to meet with me and the rest of His people.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘assembly’ is miqra. It means a gathering or rehearsal. This reminds me that God wants His people to meet together. We worship Him as one Body.
The appointed time which just passed (Friday Sept 18 at sunset through Saturday Sept 19 at sunset) is commonly called The Feast of Trumpets. It is also called zikron teruah. Zikron means to remember or a remembrance. Teruah can mean blowing (as in a trumpet) or shouting.
In fact, the Hebrew word Teruah throughout the Old Testament is connected to shouting, rejoicing, and praising God. Moreover, the word is used when the silver trumpets in Numbers chapter 10 are used or the ram’s horn (called a shofar).
These uses of the word teruah for shouting, the silver trumpets, and the shofar allow us to connect this appointed time with many verses relating to future judgment on the world for sin and disobedience (see Zephaniah chapter 1; Rev. chapters 8-11, 15-16). It is also tied to the Lord returning to gather the scattered people of God and defeat the armies of this world, which are at enmity with God’s people (see Isaiah 27:12-14).
While God’s judgment is a future event, I also remember that I will stand before God and give account for my life. This is sober and humbling.
To this end, our congregation spends the entire month before Trumpets (some call this Teshuvah) in self-reflection and repentance for our behavior, thoughts, and intent that violate God’s Word.
We take an inventory of our spiritual and natural lives. We look at where we haven’t lived up to God’s standard. We ask forgiveness and grace for where we have fallen short. We also make spiritual and natural goals so that, by God’s grace and the power of His Spirit, we will do better for the upcoming year.
One of the future events we anticipate on this day is the Lord returning with His armies to defeat the armies of this world at Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21). This battle will result in the end of this age of disobedience and pain, which began with Adam. Satan is then bound from influencing humanity (Rev. 20:1-3). Amidst God’s judgment mercy is granted to the humble (Is. 27:12-14). After His judgment, a better world can then begin (Rev. 20:4-6). There is hope for all humanity to have a brighter future. The Lord Jesus will see to it. This is something to truly celebrate!