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Knowing the Joyful Sound

December 18th, 2018

Blessed are those who know the joyful sound, who walk, O LORD, in the light of Your presence. (Psalm 89:15 BSB)

Do you know the joyful sound of God?

The phrase “joyful sound” is one single word in Hebrew – teruah – and it was used in the Bible in two distinct ways: (1) the trumpet blast of a call to battle; and (2) the sound of victory and praise after the battle. In that context it was often used for the worship, faith, and praise from God’s people. If we will know the joyful sound of God we need to know both of these meanings: the call to conflict and the call to victory over the enemy.

When we face obstacles to our Christian walk – temptations, rejections, discouragements, struggles – we are to face them confidently. The one who knows the joyful sound of God is the spiritual soldier who is confident in spiritual warfare of the ultimate and complete victory of God. He shouts no less enthusiastically and confidently at the beginning of the struggle than he will at the end. The victor starts and ends each battle with the joyful sound of victory.

We have victory in our Lord Jesus Christ. He who was born at Bethlehem and who died on Calvary is risen and reigning and coming again. And Christ calls us to “do battle” for Him. The spiritual conflict we are engaged in is called warfare. We stand firm against the onslaught of temptation and discouragements. We do not fight alone, rather we fight in the strength of the Lord Jesus. “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14). That which was physical warfare in the Old Testament is spiritual warfare in the New.

We are to put on the whole armor of God and to stand in His strength against the enemy:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth fastened around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph 6:10-17)

This battle shout or trumpet battle blast was done in faith, in confidence of the Lord’s victory through His people. It was said of kings in that day that they never entered a battle unconfident of victory, rather the king’s belief in his army’s victory was contagious and buoyed up their confidence and hopes as well.

For us, we have more reasons to be confident in the ultimate victory of Christ – for He has already conquered death and has enabled us to stand in faith in Him. He is our victory and our confidence, and we can do nothing without Him (John 15:5). But through John God also said that faith is our victory.

By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, because everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith. Who then overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:1-5)

Greater is he who is in us that he who is in the world, and we can live through faith in victory and spiritual peace. Each of us has many failings in our past, and many temptations around us, but if we will live in faith in God, in the ultimate and complete victory in Christ, then we can also live in constant victory.

Enter each battle of temptation and trial in the confident victory shout of Christ, and He will bring you through.

 

Psalms, temptation