There have been a number of words given recently about bells being rung. What is clear is that there is a sound about to come from heaven itself. The subject of sound comes up a number of times in Scripture – often the source of that sound is a bell or a trumpet.
Exodus 28:33-36 “Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34 The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. 35 Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die. 36 Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: holy to the Lord.”
The Call of the Gospel
On Friday 27th July, bells will be rung all over England to usher in the Olympic Games which start the next day. Little do they know, but I believe the Lord wants to use the sound of the bells through this nation to call the church to prayer. The sound of the bells on that day is a warning for God’s people to prepare – the gospel must go out to wherever those bells sound on that day. It’s a calling on the church in the nation – the nation is ripe, ready for the gospel to be sounded out through the land. Our calling is still strong and we must rise to the challenge.
There was a Hymn Book around some years ago called “Golden Bells” – it contained some fantastic hymns which sent out a challenge to the church to rise up to her calling. A verse in one of the hymns went like this:
RING the bells of heaven! There is joy today
For a soul returning from the wild!
See! The Father meets him out upon the way,
Welcoming His weary wandering child.
There are countless thousands of “weary, wandering” children in our nation who need to hear the gospel of salvation. It’s also a gospel of freedom – the Lord wants to sprinkle the water of purification until it’s a downpour. God’s Church has a prophetic calling; we need to call down the water of the Holy Spirit – he’s invoked by prayer!
The Call to Arms
The sound of the trumpet has a different purpose – is is often seen in Scripture as a call to war against God’s enemies:
Nehemiah 4:19-20 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
In Isaiah, the trumpet will sound throughout the earth to call the attention of the people to the Lord:
Isaiah 18:3 All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it.
Isaiah also describes a very different sound – but one with the same purpose:
Isaiah 5:26 “He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come, swiftly and speedily!
The Call of the Lord
Just recently we spent some time with some friends from Uganda. As we spoke, Sarah shared a picture of keys that had been given to open doors – authority had been given from times past. She also heard a whistle which she interpreted as a prophetic wake up call with the authority of the Lord behind it.
The church needs to hear this sound from heaven – the voice of the Lord to the church. We are dependent on God for everything, but the Church seems blind to the state it is in.
The Call to Prayer
In the middle of the last Century, someone wrote, “The act of praying is the very highest energy of which the human heart is capable, praying, that is, with the concentration of the faculties.”
Just recently, we have been reading a book called “The School of Prayer” by Olive Wyon. In it she says, “It is not an exaggeration to say that much of the weakness and conventionality of contemporary Christianity in this country is due to a very meagre belief in, and practice of prayer.”
I believe we are facing a unique opportunity to stand for the Lord in this season. Not because the UK will be the focus of a major sporting event, but because of the godly heritage we have as a nation. The Lord is whistling for his lost sheep to return to the fold. His weary, wandering children need to come home to the Father’s house so that they might find joy in his house of prayer.
Isaiah 56:6-8 “And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. ” 8 The Sovereign Lord declares—he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”