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Dai Hankey looks at the life of David to show how easy it is too fall into sin, but then God graciously calls us to repent and turn to him, whatever we have done. As David found, hiding sin is not a solution. True repentance is painful, humbling, but leads to greater joy in Christ and the Gospel. It should also lead us to ask how our lives will be different having repented. The book is aimed at Christians, but it definitely brings the Gospel to bear. Only four stars because it is so short that more could be said about the different aspects of repentance, but still helpful.
If you are anything like me, you will know how hard it is to face up to your greatest failures. Sadly, you will also know how running from repentance can rob you of the deep, spiritual joy of God’s presence. This was something that King David knew all too well, as he did all he could to hide his affair with Bathsheba. In Journey Back to Joy, Dai Hankey helps us to consider the spiritual journey from David’s greatest high – dancing joyously and unashamedly in the streets as the ark is brought into Jerusalem – to his greatest low in adultery with Bathsheba. With brutal honesty, Dai shows how we can all, at times, face the same dilemma as David – to hide from the depths of our sin and brokenness, or to face the painful yet liberating journey back to joy through repentance. Dai pulls no punches as he tracks David’s journey. With honesty, humility, and a dose of good humour, this book helped me rediscover, as David did, the supreme importance of listening to and acting on God’s Word. True, lasting joy is found not merely in salvation, says Dai, but in the Saviour we run to. As helpful as it is short (at only 63 pages) it can be read in an hour, but the lessons within will be remembered for a long time to come. No matter whether you currently identify with David’s joyful dance through Jerusalem, or his painful fall, this book has timely lessons and reminders for us all. (Originally printed in the Presbyterian Herald, March 2018 edition)