935 Onward Christian Soldiers

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Listen to Onward Christian Soldiers

Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.

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The people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.  (Josh 6:20)

With a loud, joyful, triumphant outcry, Joshua’s soldiers shouted when the priests blew their trumpets. At the time, trumpets were primarily used in warfare and festive ceremonies. When the trumpet sounded the walls fell down. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines sound as:

the result of an impulse or vibration of air, caused by a collision of bodies or by other means, sufficient to affect the auditory nerves when perfect. Some persons are so entirely dear that they cannot hear the loudest sounds. Audible sounds are such as are perceptible by the organs of hearing. . . To make an impulse of the air that shall strike the organs of hearing with a particular effect.

How are sound and spiritual warfare related? Both operate in the unseen realm. Both are the result of a collision of bodies. In the spiritual realm, seeds are sown in our thoughts and minds. Sound affects the auditory nerves. Thoughts, likewise, affect the heart and emotions of the individual, impacting the nerves, transmitting impulses to the brain. In turn, these impulses are sent throughout the body. And, like sound, some people are entirely deaf to the gentle whisper of the Lord, unwilling to heed His voice. The Lord gave the city to the children of Israel when the sound of the trumpet was heard. He will give the victory “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then [He] will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).

The people in Jericho must have thought the Israelites delirious to believe they could overtake their well-fortified city with a population of resistant citizens. By faith, the walls of Jericho did fall (Heb. 11:30). Like the people of Jericho, our soul can be resistant and unbelieving. Faith in the Word of God can overcome our stubborn nature. Let the sound of His battle cry ring loudly in our hearts and let us heed His call.

This hymn was written to praise and worship the Lord in song and celebration. Is the Lord putting a hymn of praise and worship in your heart and mind today? Let your anthem ring loudly in the unseen realm, the realm of spiritual warfare, as you go forth this day. “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications, or earnest prayers.” (Ps. 116:1). “Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.”