Title: And the Shofar Blew
Author: Francine Rivers
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
In old Jewish times, the shofar was sounded for people to assemble so they could confess and repent. In And the Shofar Blew, author Francine Rivers correlates the instrument of the Day of Atonement and Jubilee to one man coming to terms with his own sin of blind ambition.
With over four hundred and forty pages, this softbound book has a photograph of sunlight streaming in church windows onto pews on the front cover. With no profanity and one inexplicit sexual scene, the story is targeted toward mature female adults, especially Christian women or pastors’ wives that could relate to the topic of personal, family and marital problems within church leadership. After the narrative that includes italicization for characters’ thoughts, included are an author biography, discussion questions and promotions of other written works.
In this soul-searching tome, Eunice Hudson tries so hard to be an upright, loving, gracious and wonderful pastor’s wife and mother. When her husband Paul is called to replace an ill minister of a small, stagnant church, Eunice must gather all her strength, love and compassion moving from Illinois to Centerville, California to honor her husband’s wishes and demands.
Praying for not only spiritual but church growth, Paul gets rapidly caught up in serving both man and himself instead of the Lord, leading to church rifts, broken friendships, and unfortunately, turning away from Biblical doctrine. Constantly competing and trying to get approval from his own father’s success pastoring a mega-church, Paul obsessively plans building expansions and projects to promote his own self-worth while ignoring and forgetting his wife and their young impressionable son, Tim.
Friendships with the wise but dejected elder, Samuel, and his wife, Abby, along with Paul’s mother who has witnessed the same sorrow, shame and solitude in her own marriage, Eunice tries to focus on trusting in God for patience and humility through one crisis after another.
When Paul’s perceivably perfect life spins out of control through focusing on church growth and his own needs instead of the spiritual condition of his family, position and the flock, Eunice and he are forced to see each other as they really are.
Written with compassion about true everyday problems involving Christian ministry, the story brings to light the backdrop behind concentrating on ourselves instead of searching and relying on God to accomplish His church without walls. Although the shofar is not the focal point of the story, it is a reminder we are called by Christ to honor Him, not ourselves.
This book was furnished by Tyndale for review purposes.