Have you ever had an unexpected visit? You know the one that is inconvenient, untimely and completely out of place. Jenny and I married on the Saturday. My brother-in-law who was one of my best-men decided we needed to go on honeymoon. Although this was unplanned due to a lack of cash, we managed to have two nights away in a coastal village. Since we had a few days off work, we lazed around the flat. The next Saturday after being married for a full week we received a visit at 8am. There was this knock on the door. We were still in bed. I look out of the window from the top floor and dad’s car was parked in my parking bay. In less than 5 minutes we got through the bathroom, made the bed, dressed, tidied what we cold and opened the door to welcome dad. He had been to the market and felt we needed all sorts of vegetables. Maybe that was his excuse to play a few games of darts on the balcony. I wonder whether Daniel felt as we did as he stood on the banks of the River Tigris … and as he looked up … before him stood a man. Was this unexpected? Maybe not for Daniel because of all the other visitations he had experienced.
1) The visitation was a celestial one.
Da 10:5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. Da 10:6 His body was like chrysolite, 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.
The reason for saying this is because of other Scriptures such as …
Eze 9:2 And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3 Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side 4 and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.
Mk 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” Mk 16:4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
2) Part of the visitor’s dress was “a belt of the finest gold around his waist.” One commentator feels the words “finest gold” are poetic. Most prophets used a poetic genre. That is how prophecy was presented. Gold and more so, finest gold was associated with a king. Who is this visitor? His appearance is nothing short of dazzling. The sight for Daniel is nothing less than grandeur and splendor. Some think this was the angel Michael … but the language and description used here points to one far more majestic than an angel. Consider the similarities between
Da 10:5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. 6 His body was like chrysotile, 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
Rev 1:13 someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
The Revelation passage refers to the Lord Jesus in all His risen and reigning glory. So what did Daniel see?
(i) His body was like chrysotile. Chrysolite is a transparent stone, pointing to the Lord’s winsome and beautiful appearance. Certainly a Kingly appearance.
(ii) His face like lightning pointing to His majesty, radiance and glory.
(iii) His eyes like flaming torches … eyes that miss nothing. Omniscience comes to mind. Eyes that are all seeing and terribly penetrating.
(iv) His arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze. Burnished bronze was part of the soldier’s battle dress, especially when used on the arms and legs. Here we see omnipotence. Strength, power and … almightiness.
(v) His voice like the sound of a multitude. The first thought is that of loudness … the multitude of people making sounds … but rather I see a voice that is commanding, captivating and authoritative. The picture painted here is that the celestial visitor is none other than the Lord (the pre-incarnate Christ!).
3) The visitor’s presence.
Da 10:7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves.
Daniel saw the image but those with him did not … they felt the presence of the Divine One and were so terrified that they hid away.
(a) Jesus’ visitation – not that He can’t, but He chooses not to not to present Himself visibly to people today. Rather He has given us two things. The first is His Word and the second is His Spirit. The first reveals Him to our intellect and the second to our souls.
(b) Jesus’ appearance – for us the picture of our Lord is seen on the pages of the Bible. All imagery used are used to help us understand His Supreme Divinity, Majesty and Almightiness.
(c) Jesus’ presence – is by His Spirit indwelling His born again people and presenting Himself when His people gather in worship. Why would some people refuse most adamantly to attend a Church service? Because God is present in the gathering and they know it and it terrifies them … so absence seems to mean to them they escape the Lord. Do they?
Father, help us to live daily with the knowledge of Your presence, comforting and encouraging us, Your people. Amen.