Thursday, October 10, 2013

Daybreak: A Review

My review of Daybreak: A Guide to Overcoming Temptation, by Nathan Ward

Every Christian need a good little book on resisting temptation in their library. Every Christian counselor needs a good little book on wining over temptation to give to the people they are helping. This could be that little book.

I say "little," because there are only 108 pages; It can easily be read in one evening. However, you probably won't want to do that, because you will be thinking and meditating on how the material applies to your own struggles with sin. There is a lot packed into those 108 pages.

The title "Daybreak" comes from a curious "coincidence" in the story of Jacob in Genesis. As Jacob leaves Canaan on what ends up being a decades long exile, he comes to Bethel at sunset (Gen. 28:11), where he sees a vision of a stairway between heaven and earth. When he returns to Canaan, he spends a restless night and wrestles with an angel until sunrise (Gen 32:31). As Jacob surrenders to God, he sees the dawn -a daybreak. Ward says that the sunset and sunrise motif is not a coincidence, but rather a literary structure designed to frame the narrative. Sunset and sunrise are the bookends of Jacob's time of exile. Hidden in the very structure of the story is the message that times of testing and trial are periods of darkness, but once one surrenders to God (symbolized by the injured hip) daylight returns. Jacob won by losing, because his real struggle was with himself. Surrender to God brings the sunrise of victory. That little insight alone was to me worth the time I spent reading this book.

The book more than adequately covers all the basic material: (1) God's call to holiness and new life for believers, (2) the nature of our enemies (Satan and self), (3) haw to prepare before times of temptation, (4) how to resist sin in time of battle, and (5) what to do after the fight, win or lose. Every part is filled with Scripture. Every part is also very practical and applicable.

There are plenty of good books out there on temptation, holiness and spiritual victory. Most are far more exhaustive than this book. This may not be one of the best, but it is a good short work that is worth owning, reading and giving away.
Full Disclosure: I received the book free from Cross-Focused Reviews in exchange for giving an honest review. See my book review policy.