And the shofar blew


And the shofar blew

Francine Rivers
Tyndale House, 2004, £8.99 Pbk., 450p.;
ISBN 0842365834

The shofar was a trumpet in Old Testament times made from a ram’s horn. It was used to call people to action, to attention or to sound a warning. This is a thought provoking novel about recognising the difference between what seems good and what is God’s best in responding to God’s call on your life as a believer.

Set in the United States, it is the story of a young preacher, Paul Hudson and his wife Eunice, a gifted worship leader, and their son Timothy. Paul is desperate to emerge from the shadow of his nationally famous father, who is a successful charismatic preacher and leader of a US mega-church with a TV outreach. Paul is invited to lead a once vibrant church in a small town in California that now has a mainly elderly and consequently decreasing congregation.

As the young man rebuilds the congregation by going out to meet the community and actively targeting young upwardly mobile couples and families, his wife cautions him to make sure that the choices he makes are in line with God’s plans for their church family. However in his quest to outdo the success of his father, Paul begins to lose sight of what is important, he has less time to pray and hear clearly from God, he becomes less willing to listen to his wife’s advice or to maintain his relationship with his son. Paul starts to pursue ambitious plans to build a new church building, establish a TV ministry with the help of new wealthy church members. In the process he alienates his family, friends and the elders who initially invited him to pastor the church.

The story chronicles the spiritual, emotional and relationship changes in the lives of the pastor’s wife, the pastor, his family, their friends and the community they minister to.

The book also contains discussion questions based on the characters and scenarios in the novel, to help deepen the reader’s understanding about hearing God’s voice and building God’s church. This is a riveting read, which constantly highlights prayer, being a true disciple of Christ and relationship with God. This is written by the award winning author of the Mark of the Lion trilogy and Redeeming Love, a novel based on the book of Hosea. Highly recommended.

Contributed by Tayo Ajibade, MSC, who works for an international commercial law firm as a Professional Support Librarian.