The Silver Trumpets

F. W. Boreham, Dreams at Sunset, Part I, ch. 7

The postman has this morning brought me a letter that affords me peculiar satisfaction. It invites me to return for one notable Sunday to a pulpit in which, long ago, I spent twelve very happy years. ‘We are celebrating our Jubilee,’ the minister writes, ‘and we all want you to be among us!’

Our Jubilee!’ There is music in the very phrase. The word simply means a blare of trumpets. It takes us back to the Garden of Eden, for the word is based on the name of Jubal, the seventh from Adam, who was the father of all those who handle musical instruments. You may search all the archives of antiquity, and all the annals of more recent empires, for any enactment more intriguing or more suggestive than the Jewish law of jubilee. Every fiftieth year—the year that was welcomed with the blast of the silver trumpets—all lands and estates reverted to the possession of those who had owned them fifty years earlier. This important consideration was, of course, taken into account in all sales and purchases of property. A block of land sold immediately after the year of Jubilee would be worth about fifty times as much as the same block sold just as the year of Jubilee was approaching. All persons who, to pay their debts, had sold themselves into slavery during the fifty years, were compulsorily released when the silver trumpets sounded, and, under the laws relating to property, received back any estates which they or their progenitors had possessed when last the Jubilee was celebrated.
The effect of such a law is obvious. No family could become excessively wealthy; none could become degradingly poor. Land monopoly was impossible. Every family and every individual enjoyed a fresh start on the old footing at the end of each half-century. The year of Jubilee was a year of Redemption; it was a year of Restoration, and it was a year of Emancipation.

I

The year of Jubilee was a year of Redemption. It began on the Great Day of Atonement. When the high priest had donned his garments of snowy white, he took two goats, the one as a sin-offering and the other as a scapegoat. He then solemnly sacrificed the former, and, with its blood, sprinkled the mercy seat and the holy place. Then, coming forth, he laid his hands on the head of the second goat, confessing over it the sins of the congregation. And, whilst the people were weeping and lamenting their transgressions, the animal was driven away into the wilderness. Priest and people watched it vanishing into infinity, and as soon as the scapegoat had entirely disappeared, the silver trumpets rang out; sadness gave way to gladness; the year of Jubilee had begun!

The truth typified by all this stands crystal clear. All our rejoicing is based on redemption. It is because Christ, the Son of God, once suffered for our sins upon the bitter tree, that our hearts overflow with adoring gratitude. All the jubilation of the ages is based on the darkness of Gethsemane and the agony of Calvary. Up to the Cross all the world’s sins and sorrows went groaning: down from the Cross all its joys come streaming. A year of jubilee, to be true to its traditions, should be a year of passionate evangelism, a year in which multitudes of stragglers and waverers should be led into the Valley of Decision.

II

The year of Jubilee was a year of Restoration. Each Jew found himself possessed once more of all that he had lost during the fifty years. That is the message for today. We are in peril of losing the best as life goes on. We are like men who fill their pockets with gold, but have holes in all their pockets. The years are great thieves; they creep upon us with stealthy footsteps and filch away our most precious treasure. Have we not all lost something of the rapture that filled our souls at the time of our conversion? Have we not lost something of the radiance of our first simple faith in Jesus? Like the church at Ephesus, we have lost our first love and no longer do our first works.

But this is the year of Restoration! A man’s first love, his first faith, his first vision, his first joy, his first deep, satisfying peace, may all be his again!

III

And the year of Jubilee is a year of Emancipation. The slaves were all set free. It is wonderful how the years enchain us. The world, the flesh and the devil make us their captives. We become enslaved by habit, by business, by pleasure, by fashion, by money, or by any one of a thousand things. But the day of deliverance has dawned; the bonds, whatever they are, may all be broken. The year of Jubilee meant a fresh start for everybody. It was the divine festival of a new beginning. Nothing delights God more. He is an inveterate beginner. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. There you have the record, not of the beginning of Creation, but of the creation of Beginnings. Back beyond that, nothing even began; everything always was. If your eyes can peer beyond the boundaries of that beginning, you will see nothing but God—God inhabiting His own beginningless and endless life, dreaming His own beginningless and endless dreams, laying His own supernal plans—plans of Creation and Redemption and wonders inconceivable. Then came the first beginning. And, having once fashioned a beginning, it became His divine habit. He is always doing it. He begins again with every morning, with every Spring, and with every baby born. A year of Jubilee must mark a new birth in every man’s soul; a new era in every man’s life; a new and delightful escape from all the forces that have heretofore hampered and enslaved us. Therein lies the enchanting music of the Silver Trumpets.

Boreham is a British author & preacher who published 60 full-length books. He graduated from Spurgeon’s Bible College and ministered in New Zealand & Australia. He was, until 1990, Australia’s most prolific religious author.

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