The Shofar Calls: a rapturous anticipation

“Behold I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” – 1 Corinthians 15:52 KJV

“Praise him with the sound of the trumpet.” – Psalm 150:3 KJV

A kudu horn, used by Yemenite Jews as a shofar...
Image via Wikipedia

In this very familiar Scripture, notice that the first musical instrument mentioned is the trumpet. Yet, this is not just any trumpet. The Hebrew word used here is שרפר shofar – the ram’s horn. Another interesting tidbit we should point out is that the word “sound” is, in Hebrew, תקע teka . This is the root for תקיעה tekiah, (meaning “blast”), which is the first of four calls made with the shofar. Tekiah is a bright, piercing sound that stirs the soul. Most churches who blow the shofar in their worship services will usually sound tekiah, and I am sure that most would testify that there is just something about blowing the shofar during the worship. We should not be surprised to find this is true, for we are exhorted to “praise him with the tekiah of the shofar.”

The second sound made with the shofar is called שברים shevarim, which means “broken.” Broken is a good way to describe this sound. It is intended to portray a person who is crying. Thus, rabbinic tradition states the purpose for shevarim is to remind people of the need for repentance. True repentance is only possible once someone is broken before God.

The third sound is called תרועה teruah, which means “alarm.” Teruah is made by sounding at least nine short staccato blasts on the shofar. This sound is intended to alert the hearer to impending danger or some other type of ominous event.

blowing the shofar (by Alphonse Lévy)
Image via Wikipedia

All three of these sounds are blown on Rosh Hashanah – a day when God is recognized as the Creator to be worshiped, the Father who forgives repentant children, and the Judge who is coming to judge the entire earth. Yet, what most people associate Rosh Hashanah with is the resurrection of the dead. This is where the fourth sound of the shofar comes in.

Rabbinic literature teaches that it is God who will resurrect the dead and redeem man with the sound of the shofar. I believe this to be an allusion to, what we refer to as, the Rapture. It is on that day that we will hear the “last trump,” but what exactly is that?

The fourth sound made upon the shofar sounds exactly as tekiah, except that it is sounded for as long as one can hold his breath. This is the sound that many believe will announce the resurrection. For that reason, it is called tekiah hagadolah, which means “the great blast,” or as some would refer to it – “the last trump.”

Over the past few years, the church has gone through seasons where a certain message was prevalent. For some time, there was a call to heart-felt worship (tekiah). Next, came the message to repent (shevarim). Now, we are hearing the word “Prepare” for what may lie ahead (teruah). That means that three of the four sounds have been “blown.” Therefore, it seems logical that the next word to the Church will correspond with the last shofar sound – the last trump. The next thing we hear may be the voice of the archangel and the trump of God!

By: Bill Cloud

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