Wars, conflicts, global catastrophes, and senseless human suffering—all these have the potential to shake our faith. The message of the book of Daniel is that God desires to reveal himself in his people’s difficult situations, whether in the Babylonian exile of Daniel’s day or the crises of our own. In Glimpsing the Mystery, Barbara M. Leung Lai unpacks the stories of the first half of Daniel and the visions of the second half, showing through how God provides glimpses into his mysterious sovereignty. While sometimes all we get are hints, we can come away with the assurance that even when life is hard, God wants to pull back the curtain and show us that he still holds us in his hand.
A lucid treatise on the profound yet enigmatic book of Daniel, leading readers soaring high to a panoramic view of the sovereignty of God in human history, coming down deep into the inner world of Daniel the person and the Jewish community, and experiencing its messages from the past in today’s perplexed world.
—Rev. Terence Lau, Ph.D., minister-at-large, Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada
The book of Daniel has an important message for Christians today who live in cultures that are toxic to their faith. Daniel himself lived in such a culture and shows how faith can thrive even when threatened by the world around us. The book of Daniel also reminds us again and again that in spite of difficulties, God is in control and will have the final victory. Barbara M. Leung Lai brings her considerable knowledge and clear insight into her concise yet substantial presentation of the book. I recommend Glimpsing the Mystery to all who not only want to understand the book of Daniel better, but also have it transform their lives and faith.
—Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College
For many, the Book of Daniel seems largely enigmatic and incomprehensible. In this volume, Dr. Barbara Leung Lai takes this challenging book and ably opens it up for the contemporary reader. Through an analysis of the book’s historical context, literary forms, theological emphases, and most especially of the character of Daniel as presented in the book, she leads her readers to an understanding of how they too can appropriate the message of Daniel in their own experiential context. Her discussion of the book’s portrait of both the public and private life of Daniel is especially compelling, as are her own personal reflections on how she has wrestled with the book’s theological message in her own experience. The discussion and study questions at the end of each chapter make the book an excellent resource for students and group Bible studies. Dr. Leung Lai helps her readers grasp the core values of the book, and their significance for life today.
—John Kessler, professor of Old Testament and chair of biblical studies, Tyndale Seminary, Toronto
“One overarching theme of the book of Daniel is the sovereignty of God, as exhibited both on the earthly scene and in the heavenly realm.” (Page 11)
“Daniel, his three friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), and the Jewish community in captivity had to endure the hostile ruling of these powerful empires, the most extreme of which was Babylon.” (Page 5)
“Yet this will only be realized in the distant future, at the specific time(s) of deliverance” (Page 54)
God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.