Onward Christian Soldiers 5

listen not
Listen to Onward Christian Soldiers

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

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 our heart and emotions, impacting our nerves, transmitting impulses to our brain that in turn send impulses throughout our body. And, like sound, some of us are entirely deaf to the gentle leading of the Lord, unwilling to heed His voice, even when He makes it clear to us. The Lord gave the city to the children of Israel when the sound of the trumpet was heard.

The people in Jericho must have thought the Israelites delirious to believe they would be able to overtake their well-fortified city with a population of resistant citizens. But by faith the walls of Jericho did fall down (Heb. 11:30). Like the people of Jericho, our soul can be resistant, impenetrable, unbelieving, and closed to the truth of Jesus Christ and the liberty found in salvation by His grace.

This hymn, or anthem, 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 as you prepare to engage in today’s spiritual warfare? Lift your voice. Sing loud. Ask the Lord to hear and to grant an answer to your prayer. To sing your anthem loud does not imply only verbally loud; let it ring loudly in your heart and mind—the unseen realm, the realm of spiritual warfare. “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.”