Journey with Daniel
“Daniel Receives Help”Categories: Journey with Daniel
Daniel Receives Help
Daniel is a man deeply distressed. He is in mourning, and not for a day or two, but for three weeks. He doesn’t feel like eating. Putting on lotions and oils to make himself more comfortable seems like a waste of time, because nothing could make him feel better. He is distressed. Now, what is it that is making Daniel’s life so miserable?
He is distressed about the present. We find an important clue in Daniel 10:1. This event took place, “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia.” Now, this puts Daniel well into his 80’s. More importantly, it tells that the exile is over. God’s discipline of His people is complete. In the first year of king Cyrus, just as the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah had prophesied, the king released the exiles from captivity. Nearly 50,000 Jews have returned to Jerusalem to begin the task of rebuilding the city and re-consecrating the temple of God. Isn’t that great news? The day Daniel has waited for his whole life to see is finally here, so why is he so distressed?
When the exiles returned to Jerusalem, they did not find things to be easy at all. They ran up against great opposition. Under Ezra and Zerubbabel, the people began an ambitious plan to rebuild the temple and the city. But their neighbors did not want that to happen. So, they wrote a letter to the king of Persia, asking him to put a stop to their work. They told him that Jerusalem had always been a city that caused trouble, and if he allowed it to be built, they would not remain loyal to Persia. The king considered this and put a stop to the work (Ezra 4).
Additionally, Daniel is distressed about their future. Recently, through the vision recorded at the end of chapter 9, God has told Daniel that this seventy year of captivity was not all the discipline Israel would receive from the Lord. They would continue to reject His ways and would reject even His Messiah. As a result, God would utterly destroy them. In a matter of moments, Daniel went from the joy of God’s people being released from captivity, to the horror of her future demise. This resulted in his deep distress. He set his mind to understand (Dan. 10:12), and God gives him a vision (Dan. 10:14).
Daniel prays and he is allowed to see something closer to God than he has ever seen before. This profoundly affected him (Dan. 10:4-9). Then something amazing happens. God hears his words and Michael the arch angel comes to him (Dan. 10:13-14). He comes to give Daniel understanding of what will happen to His people in the latter days. Three times Michael touches him. Each time is in preparation for a revelation from God. Daniel sees his own unworthiness and inadequacy.
God tells Daniel, “Yes, it is bad on earth but that is not the only place a battle is going on.” Michael had been fighting the prince of the kingdom of Persia for twenty- one days and the battle was still not over (Dan 10:13,20). All through this, Daniel is encouraged not to be afraid but to be strong (Dan. 10:12,19).
Bringing it home: No matter our struggle on earth we are not alone. The knowledge that God is ever working on our behalf should give us peace in a world where we feel so alone. It should give us strength to live for Him, even when others are not. It should give us the courage to say, like Daniel, “Speak, my Lord, since you have given me strength” (Dan. 10:19).
No individual is ever alone who has fellowship with God. God is fighting for us in ways we do not know, and we do not understand. Daniel was allowed to see that