Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Book of Daniel 10 - Daniels Vision of a Man.

The last 3 chapters of Daniel contain the final revelation from God.

Daniels final Vision occurred in 536BC when Daniel was about 85 years old. The Silver empire was thriving and the Jewish exiles had just been released as per the decree of Cyrus. The first wave of Jews had already made the trip back. Daniel probably did not go because he was now too old to make the trip, or God may have told him to stay so as to complete the work that he had set out for him.

Daniel must have surely moaned his absence from those returning to Jerusalem. But as his visions unfolded, all hope of lasting peace for those returning home was gone. Daniel fasted and grieved, for terrible days lay ahead for Jerusalem under the tyranny of a Greek madman.

The Vision,

Who did Daniel see? Some scholars believe that it was a mighty and awesome angel who hadn't been veiled in a form easier on the human eye. Some believe it could have been Gabriel clothed in light as those who dwell in the presence of God, who is light, are themselves clothed in light.

Others believe that it was the Christ. But would he need another angel to help him?

Note though that in Daniel 4 - 9 Daniel sees a man described as being ..."dressed in linen with a belt of the finest gold round his waist. His body was chrysolte, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude" At seeing this man Daniel is frightened to the point of fainting (" I fell into a deep sleep" ) and then in Daniel 10, it says a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. could it be 2 different people.

Some scholars believe the first was God himself, so awesome in all his glory that the men with Daniel though they could not see him, still fled and Daniel passed out. This being also hovered in the air above the middle of the river.

In Daniel 10:11 someone then says to him" Daniel you are highly esteemed, consinder carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I HAVE NOW BEEN SENT TO YOU". Is it possible that an Angel, different from the man in linen clothing, was introducing himself to the scene at this point. What do you guys think? Just as God introduced the interpretation in chapter 8 and then turned the explanation over to an angel, he could have done the same here.

Note that in revelations, on some occassions, John encountered Christ himself and at other times he encountered Angels. So in Daniel 10, Daniel could have encountered Christ first, then an Angel. No matter which interpretation is accurate, we can know that the glory of Christ Jesus, our immortal king, exceeds anything that can be depicted or explained in human vocabulary.

Although God sent a messenger to Daniel, a powerful spiritual being ( the prince of the Persian Kingdom) detained him for 3 weeks. Daniel faithfully continued praying and fasting and Gods messenger eventually arrived, assisted by Michael, the archangel. Imagine this.......Answers to our prayers may be hindered by unseen obstacles. Don't expect Gods answers to come too easily or too quickly as prayer may be challenged by evil forces in the spirit world. So pray fervently and pray earnestly without ceasing. Then expect God to answer at the right time.

The heavenly warfare was to be directed against Persia and then Greece. Each of these nations was represented by evil angelic princes or demons in the spirit world. But God is in control of the past, present and future and he has all events recorded in the book of truth.

Note that we can learn a lot from Daniels life. Daniel SET HIS MIND TO GAIN UNDERSTANDING AND TO HUMBLE HIMSELF BEFORE GOD. (Daniel 10: 12)

He set his mind - Our minds are the battlefield on which battles are fought and won or lost. Satan will tangle with us as long as we let him. Lets not have wavering minds that satan can mess with. Say to God " God I've made up my mind and I'm here to stay"

To gain understanding - Daniel never stopped seeking understanding . We read in Daniel 2: 20 - 21, ....."He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning". Daniel didn't sit back and wait for understanding he actively sought it with all his might.

To humble himself before God - Pride is the anti-God state of mind. Can God trust us with power, insight and influence or will our pride get in the way. Our minds are pre-set on Pride. Daniel set his on the things of God and to humble himself before him. Everyday we have to learn to re-set the button on our pride-prone minds and program humility instead.

Note also that when Daniel saw the vision he was frightened but the messenger reassured him. He lost his speech but the messenger restored it. He felt weak and helpless but the messenger's words strengthened him. Always remember that God can bring us healing when we hurt, peace when we are troubled and strength when we are weak.

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