Tonight at sunset the Feast of Trumpets or Yom T'ruah (Day of Blowing) begins. It is also known as Rosh Hashanah because as the "head of the year" it begins the Hebrew year of 5773. This is one of the feasts mentioned in Leviticus.
Leviticus 23:23-25 (KJV)
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
From this brief passage we find that Yom T'ruah is a sabbath day and no work is to be done. There is also to be a gathering of the people and during the days of the Temple or Tabernacle there would have been offerings made to God. Uniquely, it says that Yom T'ruah is to be a memorial of blowing trumpets. But what does that mean? Why would there be blowing of trumpets?
Numbers 10:10 (KJV)
Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.
Psalm 81:3 (KJV)
Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
From Numbers and Psalm 81 we see that the trumpets were blown at the beginnings of the months, or new moons. Since Yom T'ruah falls on the first day of the month of Tishrei the feast includes the celebration of the new moon of Tishrei. The highlight of the services of Yom T'ruah is the blowing of the shofars (rams' horns). They are blown 100 times. It is a moving experience.
But what is the significance of this feast? Yom T'ruah begins the "Days of Awe", a ten day period of repentance that culminates with Yom Kippur, Israel's most holy day. The focus of repentance is on returning to God and to His Torah.
Matthew 24:29-31 (KJV)
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV)
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
From these New Testament passages we also see something else. Matthew speaks about the Son of man's return in the clouds. The Son of man is the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) who will send His angels to gather the elect. 1 Thessalonians also speak of the Lord's return. He will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with THE TRUMP OF GOD. The dead believers will rise first from the grave and then the living believers will be caught up in the air to meet the Messiah. The trumpet (or shofar blast) will be the signal that Yeshua is returning. He's returning for His people.
The Feast of Trumpets or Yom T'ruah is our practice for the real event. One day, perhaps on Yom T'ruah itself, we believers will hear the trumpet blast and we will join our Messiah. Will we hear the trumpet this year on the day of Yom T'ruah? We'll see!
The traditional greeting during Yom T'ruah is "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year", or "May you be inscribed in the Book of Life". Let's make sure that we are right with God. In that way whenever the trumpet calls we will be ready and we will hear it's call!