Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 23, 2014

Two Lips and “TULIP”s

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 10:1-10.

“1 The Lord spoke further to Moses, saying, 2 “Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them;  and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out.  3 When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting.  4 Yet if only one is blown, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall assemble before you.  5 But when you blow an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out.  6 When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out;  an alarm is to be blown for them to set out.  7 When convening the assembly, however, you shall blow without sounding an alarm.  8 The priestly sons of Aaron, moreover, shall blow the trumpets;  and this shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations.  9 When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the Lord your God, and be saved from your enemies.  10 Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings;  and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God.  I am the Lord your God.”  Numbers 10:1-10.

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In today’s Scripture, there were various uses for blowing the silver trumpets for alerts and alarms, but we will focus on the last two uses which I put in bold italic font above, namely for summoning God to help in time of trouble (war) and for praising God in time of prosperity (gladness and feasts).

In trying to apply today’s Scripture, I thought:  “What are our silver trumpets?  How do we summon God and praise?”

Certainly, we can cite the means of praying, reading the Bible, singing songs, and attending church.  We can use our two lips.

But, so to speak, we can use our “TULIP”s as well.

We use our “TULIP”s to speak the truth of what God has done for us:  “Unconditional Election”, “Limited Atonement”, “Irresistible Grace”, and “Preservation of the Saints” in “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Thus, when we face trouble, we sound the alarm with our “TULIP”s, summoning God in faith, reminding God of all that He has done for us, and fitting our specific prayer request within His overall faithful “TULIP” care of us.

And, when we face prosperity, we praise God in faith with our “TULIP”s, remembering that God is our Faithful Father Who causes all things to work together for our good including, most importantly, our salvation through “TULIP”.

Consistent with our use of “TULIP”s, we read the following from the Heidelberg Catechism. 

Question 28.  What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence doth still uphold all things? 

Answer.  That we may be patient in adversity;  thankful in prosperity;  and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from his love;  since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they cannot so much as move.

In final nutshell summary, through our use of “TULIP”s, we pray and praise remembering and reminding God of His gracious providence toward us.


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