Sunday, May 21, 2006

Blow the Trumpet in Zion

In 1983, Craig Tendrup penned and published a song that made a huge impact upon certain circles within the body of Christ. The song is titled Blow the Trumpet in Zion. Click on the link and you can hear a clip (courtesy of Audible Faith).

They rush on the city they run on the wall
Great is the army that carries out His word (repeat)
The Lord utters His voice
Before His army (repeat)
Blow the trumpet in Zion, Zion
Sound an alarm on my holy mountain
Blow the trumpet in Zion, Zion
Sound an alarm

I love this song! It tells of a mighty army, moving at the command of the Lord. The song is drawn from the book of Joel, chapter 2. We sang this song frequently back in the 1980's, and imagined ourselves as the mighty army of the Lord, moving forward and conquering kingdoms for Christ.

But if we would have been paying a little closer attention, we might have realized that this song actually depicts a swarm of locusts overtaking Israel's city of Zion. This is not a song about the people of God as a conquering army. It is a song about God's judgment upon His people.

I was talking to a good friend the other day and she mentioned to me that she had been thinking about whether the crisis of illegal immigration facing our nation today might perhaps be another component of God's judgment upon our land. Shortly following our conversation, I thought of the above highlighted song, and the tune and words began to play in my mind.

I found the passage in Joel and began to read.
"Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand:" (Joel 2:1 NKJV)

Blow the trumpet ... sound an alarm.
Clearly, an alarm has been sounded in our land. When Americans tuned in their televisions a few weeks ago and watched as hundreds of thousands of Hispanics took to the streets waving Mexican flags, internal alarms went off all across the country. We experienced a wake-up call.

Bowing to political pressure, President Bush took sixteen minutes on Monday evening to address the American people regarding the issue of illegal immigration. Peggy Noonan expressed it well in her article titled, Out of Touch.

"Without an established context the speech seemed free-floating: a statement issued into the ether, unanchored to any particular principle and eager to use, as opposed to appreciate, whatever human sentiment flows around the issue of immigration. It was a speech driven by an air of crisis, but not a public crisis, only a personal and political one." Zion...
When Puritans first arrived in the New World in 1630, they viewed their venture as God-inspired, and their new home as "a city on a hill." This phrase, utilized by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount, has its origins in ancient Israel's "holy hill' of Zion or as it is also referred to, "the City of David." Zion, the city on God's "holy hill," the City of David, represents Israel at the pinnacle of her glory, during the reign of King David.

Puritan leader John Winthrop delivered these words to the small band of Puritans making the trip from England to the new World:

"For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken ... we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God ... We shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us til we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going."

Winthrop really put his little band on the line. He said that if they did not succeed in living up to their commitments to live according to God's ways, that their failure would open the mouths of God's detractors, that they would invite a curse upon themselves and that they would be consumed out of the land where they were settling in His name.

It would appear that Winthrop's words were taken directly from the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, the 21st verse which reads: "The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess." (NKJV)

In our generation, we are beginning to experience some of what Winthrop predicted. We live in the age of consumerism, an era accentuated by slick marketing for just about every product, including Christianity itself, which is being packaged and peddled much like other consumables. Nearly everything in America is turning inward, focusing on the self—even our Sunday morning services in many cases.

Aiding us in this consumption are illegal, low-wage workers. We love them because they help keep down the prices of our consumables. And yet we loathe them because they are not like us.

They rush on the city they run on the wall.
We have all seen the images of illegal immigrants sneaking across the border, scaling walls and fences, and rushing to the streets of our cities, waving their flags and demanding rights. And these images strike an alarm in us—an alarm different, yet faintly similar to the alarm we felt on September 11th, 2001.

What alarms us most is the real fear that the America we have known and loved will be forever changed, never to return to the wonderful Eden of our childhood, our youth, and our memory from history. But these illegals are only the latest wave in a long series of waves that have swept across our land.

The waves began coming in force over a century ago. The first major wave swept across the Atlantic just as the Civil War was about to break out. It came in the form of a book with an idea—an idea we have come to call evolution. The book was titled On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, and it set in motion a series of events and ideas which have forever altered America's Christian landscape. Other waves followed attached to names like Freud, and Dewey and Sanger. The list is long and the devestation, great.

Yes, the other waves did not consist of people, although they came, too. They came in an orderly way, following the laws, and respecting the culture already in place. They came for sanctuary, many passing beneath Liberty's torch, grateful to be given the opportunity. These previous waves of people served to strengthen America, to help make her great. This new group seems bent on preserving their own way of life, bent on assimilating as little as possible.

The waves of devestation in our past were not people, but ideas. And it is much more difficult to wrap our minds around an image of an idea—an idea stealing into your land over a fence or running between the scrubby bushes to avoid detection by the Border Patrol.

But the ideas came nonetheless, creeping into our lives first through the schools and various literature, and later through radio, television, music, and film.

America is under siege. She has been under seige for a long time now. But because we have been so strong, with a system crafted so brilliantly, we have withstood many, many waves of assault.

The time for the trumpet to blow and the alarm to be sounded is long past. Our land is already inhabited, not only lawbreaking immigrants, but by insidious, ungodly ideas. We are being torn apart from within. Our greatest threat is not the illegal immigrants, not facist Islam, but our unrepentant hearts.


At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading this - I have several thoughts I'd like to share. First,I agree that the song they run on the city they rush on the wall - was one that years back, caused me concern because it was so askew,and not at all in line with the scripture, and I wondered why Biblically literate clergy didn't question it's application and say it was amiss, or omit it from our worship. That being said - I'll move on to your comments that America is being torn apart from within. I concur. You have addresssed the waves of immigration which is a complicated issue and like hurricane Katrina has flooded our country in ways that are overwhelming our existing governmental infastructures. AS Christinas so many of us have drifted so far from our true Christian moorings that we are being engulfed by the waves of ungodly culture and anti- Christian unbiblical ideology which are all around us and which have crept into the church. We are supposed to be light and salt - but if the salt looses its savor it is good for nothing. In many parts of the body of Christ we have shifted into man pleasing ( the fear of man ) instead of God pleasing ( the fear of God) which is the beginning of wisdom. We are in a Laodacean age - where our lukewarmness and the traditions of men which many have believed to be the truth have caused us to blend in with the culture rather than transform it. All of these social issues and cultural trends are a reminder of our inadequacies and that apart from Him we can do nothing (of eternal significance)We have been content to preach a social gospel, coupled with a self improvement, and the man centered prosperity gospel which don't have the power to really transform people and cities, and nations. So many of us who name the Name of Christ have depended on the arm of the flesh and it is painfully evident that this is not the life and kingdom JEsus died to give us. However, I believe our God who is a God of restoration is ready to revive His sold our church and bring us back to Jesus as LORD and to know and walk in His highter ways so that HE will be revealed as Awesome God that HE is. We ( I and many friends) are feeling the desperate need for another pentecost ( as stated by the scripture which says and WHEN THE DAY OF PENTECOST HAD FULLLY COME = when the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit is poured out - and fills us to overflowing, HE will work in us both to will and to do for His Good Pleasure and not our own. The powerlessness of our church programs had brought disillusionment to believers and the pastor/clergy deliniation has reduced many to spectators instead of being the priesthood we are called to be. The World around us and the kingdoms of this world are falling apart and people are looking for real answers and meaning and are wanting to know if God is real, and if we are who we say we are. WE MUST have the HOLY SPIRIT in control so that GOD'S presence can again be manifested in a way that will show forth that He is the LORD of LORDS and the KING of KINGS and the All powerful All knowing One True God. Like Moses we must cry out to God and say LORD if your presence doesn't go with us don't send us from this place. All that is necessary for life and Godliness is found in Jesus and we must return to HIM and seek HIS Face so that God's wisdom which is higher than man's will be seen and we can truly show forth His Glory and walk in a manner worthy of him. I know I went beyond the immigration thougths and the culture war in American - but my view is that at the very root of all of our personal and national problems is the need for revival in a way that will transform us into the mighty army who could then be the change agents God has designed us to be. ( the misinterpretation of the song might not be so far off after all. Thanks for being a condiut for discussion and thought. I appreciate you and your forum Sincerely, Cyndysingspraises


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