Lift up your voice like a trumpet!

From my Manhattan bedroom’s window, I hear the sounds of the city far too easily and far too often! Besides the reverberations of the general flow of traffic and the exclamations of occasional raised voices, my ears frequently receive the noise of an impatient driver’s sustained or staccato car horn, or the siren of one of the many police cars, fire engines, or ambulances whizzing by. 

Since my window faces a courtyard, I don’t see any of these vehicles--I just happen to know their sounds from years of familiarity. In the same way, we know how to interpret the words of others based on their tone, volume, facial expressions, and gesticulations. 

With that in mind, imagine with me how the prophet Isaiah understood God’s challenging command to him, 

“Cry aloud; do not hold back;

    lift up your voice like a trumpet;

declare to my people their transgression,

    to the house of Jacob their sins.”

(Isaiah 58:1)


In Isaiah’s day, the trumpet was a ram’s horn, also known as a shofar. Based on the number of blasts, the shofar could signal a king’s coronation, a call to repentance, or an immediate alert to battle. In any case, the shofar was so loud everyone in the city could hear it!

So when Isaiah heard this command, he knew what it meant:

  • He needed to solemnly remind them that God was King.

  • He needed to clearly communicate a call to repentance, especially to the powerful.

  • He needed to alert them for a call to battle against wickedness.

  • Everyone needed to hear his voice.

Those of us who acknowledge the science of climate change know that it’s already impacting the world’s poorest, exacerbating famine and natural disasters. If we’re going to take our responsibility as seriously as Isaiah did, then we also need to communicate that:

  • Jesus is King.

  • He calls us, especially the powerful, to repentance for greed and oppressing the poor.

  • We need to take immediate military-style action against sin.

  • Everyone needs to hear our voice.

What’s the next step you can take to be a voice on climate change?

Here are some actions you can take today.

Here’s more background info about the shofar.

Here’s Isaiah 58, so you can see the similarities between Isaiah’s day and ours.

Elisabeth Soto