Often when work is unfinished, staff would be left behind to complete it whilst the larger portion of the project team return home. A similar situation might be said of a military who comes to help an ally. Once the victory is secure the assisting army returns home leaving a platoon of men to help the country they have been assisting to get herself sorted out to maintain stability in the country. This is often a gospel strategy too. We see this with Paul’s ministry
Tit 1:5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
He left Titus there to complete the church plant, making certain gospel work was stable with the correct spiritual leadership in place. As we come to the last three chapters of Daniel we find chapter 10 starting off with Daniel remaining in Babylon whilst the first deportation of Jews returned to their homeland. He could have left as he was an old man by now. But then … Daniel worked for God and His people and although the Babylonian Empire was overthrown at this stage, the bigger question was … “what would be the future of the present regime be that held the Jews in captivity?” As we arrive at Chapter 10:1-3, we find this an introduction to these last three chapters.
Da 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. 2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
1) Uncompleted work. As stated already, Daniel was an old man and he could have returned to Palestine under the reign of king Zerubbabel during the first deportation. Some might raise all sorts of reasons such as his marriage, children and grandchildren were comfortable living in exile and preferred not to return as did many Jews. Another might be that Daniel was comfortable in his employment in the king’s palace enjoying many benefits and returning to Palestine would mean taking drastic salary and perk cut. However, these and many other reasons fade because Daniel was employed, appointed and commissioned by God to serve God for the benefit of the people of God. Hence his work for God had not yet been completed. Many believers want to exist on the safer and “greener” side of life. By this I mean they want it as easy as possible. They do not want the hardships and problems that arise in their daily existence where they are. Generally that position is not necessary a sinful position … but what does God say. I have a saying … “The safest place to be is where God wants you to be.” This might be in a war zone, in an extremely poor environment, doing very hard work, serving under a ruthless superior … and at the same time it might be in luxury, peace and plenty. The key is “God’s will and His placing you”. That is paramount, for outside of His will for you would mean disaster. Daniel knew peace and safety because he was in the center of God’s will.
2) A Word from God came to Daniel. This was revelation … a divine Word directly from God to Daniel. These Words constitute much of these last few chapters. Again at this point we must add that God no longer gives Words (revelations) because He has given His final Word in Jesus Christ. Many believe God speaks directly to them. Lovingly I must say they are mistaken. They might hear words but these are not from God!
(1) Consider the following passages …
Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Jesus is God the Son.
Jn 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
God the Son (Jesus) became God incarnate.
Jn 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
God the Son made God the Father known. He revealed Him. He exegeted Him.
(2) God closed the Canon of Scripture with Him withdrawing many spiritual gifts. Once the Early Church Fathers met, prayed and deliberated over the Canon, they agreed under the leadership of the Holy Spirit that the Books of the Bible, as we have it today are God’s inspired, inerrant and authoritative Words.
3) The same Daniel. You notice he uses both his names … was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). The Babylonian Empire is no more, and after seventy years Daniel wants his readers to known it is the same person … Daniel / Belteshazzar. Perhaps this is a lesson for you and me too. However long you have been a believer, you ought to be the same person as when you started out with Jesus. Yes you ought to have matured spiritually and become more Christ-like. Yes you ought to have developed in Gospel morals and ethics … but you ought to be the same person as in a loving, caring, giving, serving culture and personality.
4) Daniel adds here … Its message was true … It is God’s Word … it is Truth and therefore believable. One of the most important matters for us believers is that it is insufficient to say “The Bible is the Word of God.” Also, there is more to saying … “The Bible is God’s out breathed, inspired, inerrant and authoritative Word.” You have to believe it and appropriate it. You have to have a personal relationship with this Word because you cannot separate the Word of God from God. Before we proceed, may I ask you to stop and reflect upon what we have covered today?
(i) As the Bible is true, complete and believable, do you receive it as such?
(ii) As you reflect upon the Gospel mandate, do you realize that your work for the Lord Jesus as a believer is not complete?
(iii) Your character and personality must not change.
O Lord, keep us faithful to Yourself. Amen.