The intent of a horn blast is to get your attention, wouldn’t you agree?  Paul uses this imagery when writing to the Thessalonians as he attempts to put them at ease with regard to their loved ones who have died before the promised return of Jesus.  They had apparently misunderstood the timing of the Lord’s return and were waiting idly by for it.  So what did he tell them?  First and foremost, his desire was that they not be uninformed.  He then went on to say… “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of {the} archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”  Paul says that when Christ returns there will be a few things to be heard.  First there will be a shout followed by the trumpet.  What does this mean?  Let’s review. 

The use of trumpets has been recorded in scripture in a number of ways.  As Moses prepared to meet with God on Sinai to receive the Law, there was a “very loud trumpet sound” when God descended upon the mountain. This is a very apt way of announcing the arrival of the Sovereign God. 

In taking possession of the land of Canaan, Israel came up against Jericho, a city tightly shut because of the reputation of God’s children.  The city’s demise came about by the very acts we’ve seen in 1 Thessalonians 4.  Thirteen treks around town in seven days were combined with a long blast on rams horn and a great shout by the people.  Again, a blast on a trumpet heralds the coming of God to fulfill a promise made to His people. 

In the preparations for the Tabernacle, Moses received instruction for the manufacture of two silver trumpets.  These were to be used for the calling of God’s people to the Tabernacle (God’s Presence) or having the camps set out following God in either a pillar of fire or cloud.  Paul has a wonderful message for us in that God will one day call His children home using the same methods He always did, with a trumpet blast.  Let us not be uniformed regarding this and above all let us comfort one another with these passages.

Copyright © 2009, Nolan P. Rutter

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