“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come.  When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies.” Numbers 10:9 (NIV) 

thomas-bethge

In the book of Numbers, God lays out many commands for the Israelites that we may be tempted to breeze by today.  If we read the verses above literally, there is no one in America who is going into battle on our own land against an enemy that is oppressing us.  However, if we think of the enemy as sin and our own land as our homes and our workplaces and even our hearts, then all of us are in battle every day!

I can just imagine, for twenty minutes I enjoy overhearing the giggles of my sweet daughters, but when I finally step into MY bathroom I see that they have been playing in Mommy’s makeup.  There is lipstick on the counter, nail polish on the floor, powder dumped in the sink, not to mention the mess covering the girls themselves.  How can I possibly win this battle against anger?

What if I am at work in MY space and I find that my deadlines are fast approaching and I cannot seem to get it all done?  What if in my busyness, I begin to see the need to stop and serve others as an annoying interruption?  How can I possibly win this battle against discord?

Or perhaps, I cross the threshold into MY kitchen and once again I am faced with the temptation to snack.  I feel no physical hunger pains, but the oppression of self-pity and unwarranted deprivation chip at my resolve.  The aroma of warm cookies attacks my senses, drawing me further towards the treat.  How can I possibly win this battle against greed?

The Israelites blasted trumpets before going into battle to say, “Hey God!  We need you!”  And God promised to remember them if they did.  But I think God also wanted them to blast their trumpets to remind themselves that in their hour of desperation, they needed God to rescue them.  We’ve got to remember to blast our trumpets before heading into our battles too.  That way God will send those ways of escape from temptation rescuing us from ourselves.

I think I might start wearing a whistle around my neck!  Praise God!