2 Cor. 14:8 “If the trumpet (shofar) does sound a clear sound, who will get ready for battle?”
Who has not heard the sound of a shofar? It makes a clear, distinct sound when it is blown correctly. In Israel, you hear them all day long on Rosh Hashanah as they declare the Head of the New Year. It also is a time of reflection on creation and the creator and for repentance and judgment. The shofar had many uses in ancient Israel. There are at least twenty uses detailed in the Bible, and you can find more about that in a previous article here entitled “Sound the Shofar’, originally published September 2018.
The shofar is a unique trumpet made from the flesh of animals like rams, kudu, goats, and similar animals but not cattle. How a shofar is made and the life of a shofar after it is formed is genuinely a marvelous story. I realize my story, and perhaps yours, are similar to the life of a shofar. From the time it is removed from the animal carcass until it is a fully functioning shofar, anointed and ready to sound like the voice of the Lord, the process it undergoes is much like the process the Lord takes us through.
Killing The Flesh, Life In The Spirit
A shofar may be used in worship, warfare, or to sound like the voice of the Lord, but every shofar starts as a horn on an animal. I will use a ram for this example since that is the Biblical reference. Horns in the Bible speak of power and anointing, so it is essential to understand that an animal with a horn has power. When the ram dies, the horn is removed, and the flesh hollowed out.
We come into the Kingdom of God full of the carnal or fleshly nature. I was saved when I was young and studied the word, and later I learned about inner healing. I applied the principles that Jesus taught about dying to myself so that He could live. It is an arduous process to remove the blood and cartilage from a ram’s horn. There is also some bone present.
After the flesh is removed and cleaned, the ram’s horn is allowed to dry before the process continues. So it has been in my life where the Holy Spirit would teach me how to apply the word, and the stinking thinking of my soulish ways would eventually surrender to the Spirit which is alive. When you are saved, the Spirit becomes alive, and the struggle between the old mind and the new mind begins.
Like the shofar, we tend to smell like flesh or Spirit. As Jesus takes over more and more of us, the flesh smell ceases, and we start to smell like Him. But what about the outside and the sound? The Holy Spirit has to do some drilling on us and makes us a useful mouthpiece. The Hebrew word for mouth is the same as the letter peh, which means mouth. The prophets of Old were known as the mouthpiece of God.
The New Testament Mouthpiece
Every believer in Jesus has the Holy Spirit and therefore can speak for the King of Kings. We are all emissaries or ambassadors of the king. Our lives become a living speech, yet what comes forth from our mouths must edify and build up, not tear down.
For me, I make no extraordinary claims or have no titles except for servant of the Lord. Yet, He has called my wife and me to sound the alarm in these end of days. We are to declare His coming to set up His kingdom for 1,000 years and prepare the Church, Israel, and the nations for His return.
I have been through the process of having my speech refined and shaped to the point where I pray that I am a fit vessel for Him to speak through. But, it has been a painful process. It has not been easy, but like Paul, God’s grace has been more than sufficient, and He has shown much kindness and mercy towards my family and me.
The Bending in Repentance
A shofar must be bent since part of its sounding and representation is repentance and being bent by God. In one of the notes, Shevarim sounds like crying and is bent to sound like the people cry out in repentance. As I mentioned the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah is a day of joy but also repentance. This should demonstrate that repentance is a good and joyful thing, especially since we have Jesus and the cross.
Therefore, the shofar must be bent, so I have bent through the years towards the goal and purpose that God has for me. The process is not complete but will continue until I leave this life.
The bending of the shofar requires heating up and cooling down, much like the seasons we go through as we are prepared for service. It is like refining silver or gold, where the impurities must be removed. Once we are bent to the desired posture for the high service we are called to, we must be polished.
Polishing the Rough Edges
When we are saved, we all come into the kingdom with a past and a history. We put it under the cross, and we crucify the flesh, but we often retain some ‘rough edges.’ We have to learn the heart of the Father, and that is accomplished by watching His Son and becoming like Him. I have gone through seasons where it was so dry and painful, and I felt nothing of God that I wanted to die. I could not carry on,
But, as those seasons closed and I entered a mountaintop and moved in the Spirit and began to be used, it was like I was polished and shiny. I could go to Walmart, and people could see the reflection of Jesus, and I would not be overwhelmed by the world around me. The polishing process comes after the grinding and makes us ready.
A shofar needs to be anointed with olive oil, and not only does it consecrate it for service, but the oil protects it from drying out and cracking. Did you catch that? The Holy Spirit not only anoints us for the purpose as priests and ministers but so that we don’t become dry, cracked, and stale. I have gone through some dry seasons and felt like I was cracked open and would never heal, but the Holy Spirit has continuously poured fresh oil and refreshed me for more fit service.
Don’t allow the hard seasons to let you get dry, but ask for fresh oil!
Finally, A Unique Sound!
Each shofar makes its own distinct sound. It’s like any musical instrument. Each one sounds different because they are unique. You and I are unique. How God sounds through me will sound different than you or any other follower of Christ.
We have a sound, and it must sound like God, the Father, Son, and Spirit. When the Father picks me up and speaks through me, I must be like that shofar and allow Him to blow through me so that a lost, broken, hurting world will hear the sound clear and distinctly.
We sound the cry for the battle that is here, but we must also sound repentance, joy, love, and hope. The Shofar is an instrument of worship, and we must sound like we spend time in the presence of God through worship and prayer.
A shofar has to be cleansed and washed and re-anointed from time to time. Saliva mixes with the animal flesh and bacteria, viruses and fungi can set up shop and grow. So it has been with my life and any disciple of Jesus. We need to be continually cleansed from the various things of the world and sins that we may fall prey to. This cleansing ensures that we will always sound clear, crisp, and distinctly unique.