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I woke up Saturday morning to the sounds of a saxophone. The player under my hotel window tooted a wide range of selections from “Camptown Races” to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” He was hoping to collect tips from the crowds mingling among the crops at the nearby farmers market.
Earlier in the week I stood in the rain to hear President Trump toot America’s horn about our greatness, our many inventions, our other accomplishments and our military might.
All this horn-tooting reminded me of scriptures about horn-playing in the Bible. First of all, the Bible reminds us not to toot our own horns, bragging about what we have accomplished. For example, Matthew 6:2 says, “When you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.”
Israelites used to toot on rams’ horns. But Numbers 10:2 tells us: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps.” The Israelites listened for trumpet sounds to know when to gather, how to move and when to depart. Trumpets even served as alarms.
We can understand the use of the trumpet because even today the bugle is used by the military to signal when a day begins and when a day ends. The ending tune, taps, is also played at military funerals.
Horn-playing was used as well in biblical days to celebrate the new moon and at other sacred times, such as over burnt offerings, being a memorial before God (Numbers 10:10). Remember that trumpets of rams’ horns were even used on the seventh day of Joshua’s men marching around Jericho (Joshua 6:5).
But the best use of horns, either real ones or horn-playing meaning to brag or give praise, is described in Psalm 150:1-3: “Praise the Lord!...Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet.” Today, let’s toot God’s horn!
Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.