Church Blog

Church Blog

Order of Service

Dear GCC, as you come to church this week you’ll notice a change to our order of service, namely, the beginning of our service will look like this: Announcements Call to Worship Prayer of Worship So why are we making this change? It’s not just to ‘shake things up’ or ‘try something new.’ Rather, it’s for practical and theological reasons. Practical Reason The practical reason is that announcements can be disruptive – right after a song of heartfelt worship, instead…

Introduction to Ruth

The book of Ruth is primarily concerned with two things: land and lineage.[1] It begins with the story of a famine and a man, Elimelech, who took his wife and sons (lineage) from the Promised Land into a foreign land in which he and his sons died, leaving Naomi without a lineage. The book of Ruth is about how Yahweh brought Naomi back to the land and provided her with a lineage through Ruth and Boaz. In chapter 1, Yahweh…

O King (Psalm 45)

Lyrics “O King” is a paraphrase of Psalm 45. Because I have matched the lyrics up with the verses they paraphrase, I have bolded the line of each verse in the song, so the stanza division is still visible. Though this song is a paraphrase, it follows remarkably closely to the meaning and sometimes even the wording of the Psalm. Psalm 45 My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;    I address my verses to the king;    my tongue is like the pen…

Izban, Elon, & Abdon

Once again, and for the last time, we encounter more minor judges as we walk through this book: Izban, Elon, & Abdon. Together with the previous judges, they bring the total number of minor judges to 6, equaling that of the major judges. These three serve as a bridge between the Jephthah cycle (chapters 10-12) and the Samson cycle (chapters 13-16). The account is so short we can quote it in full: After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9…

Tola and Jair

As we continue our walk through the book of Judges, we come to two more “minor” judges: Tola and Jair (Judges 10:1-5). We should note that we call them “minor” judges only because they occupy such a small space in the book, not because they were insignificant in their time, similarly to how we call the books of Hosea-Malachi “minor” prophets because their books are shorter than the “major” prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, & Ezekiel), but their ministry was no less…

Shamgar

After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel. Judges 3:31 As we’ve seen in the past few weeks, the book of Judges recounts a cycle of sin, judgment, and deliverance in Israel, and each time God works deliverance by the hand of a judge. The major judges are Othniel, Ehud, Deborah/Barak, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson. They each receive a full cycle and, in some cases, multiple…