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Devotionals

Dare to Be a Daniel (Part 92)

We receive visits from people and we visit people for different reasons. It might be a friendly family type visit or one that might be unpleasant. The ingredients of most visits are more or less known beforehand … yet sometimes you can’t place why the person is visiting you. The Divine Visitor poses a question to Daniel:

Da 10:20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you?”

This question is not to solicit an answer but to bring Daniel’s attention back to what has already been said in verses 12-14.

Da 10:12 “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

The Messenger wants Daniel to have a crystal clear understanding of the purpose of His visit. Then he continues:

Da 10:20 “I will return to fight against the prince of Persia”.

These are difficult words to wrap one’s mind around … and there are many interpretations, but it seems as though the Messenger is saying something like … “Understand the purpose of My message because soon I will go and continue my warfare with the “Prince of Persia” in order to maintain the advances already made against him” (v13). This interpretation refers to the difficulties and setbacks the Jews would experience under Persian rule during the rebuilding of the Temple in and the City Walls of Jerusalem. Then He adds that as soon as He goes from the battle against the “Prince of Persia” … another one will commence against the “Prince of Greece” … and when I go, the prince of Greece will come. Now we come to the last verse of chapter 10 and the first of chapter 11.

Da 10:21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. 22 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)

Verse 1 of chapter 11 actually belongs to chapter 10. Let’s consider these verses …

1) The people of God will experience great hardship. This Divine messenger has already declared that the people of Israel will face great opposition from both the Persian and Greek regimes. Our Lord told us that as time passes towards the end of history there will be hard times ear marked for believers.

Mt 24:4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

(Read the whole of Matthew chapter 24.)

2) The people of God are however protected from total devastation. God only permits the limits of His decree and no more. And encouraging Scripture for us as believers is

1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

God permits hardships to come to His people for various reasons. It could be because of our sin and it could be because we need to persevere in holiness making. God will never allow His people to face complete and total devastation … or anything that is too extreme … anything beyond our resistance threshold. Praise God He is in control.

3) The people of God must remember that both history and the future are pre-determined by God. Today we have the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. We don’t know where this is going. We don’t know whether the Russian president will press the nuclear warhead button. We don’t know whether COVID 19 is controlled or whether it will resurface. We don’t know the days of our lives nor whether we will be healthy or sickly … but God knows. All of history from before creation to the end of creation as we know it is known by God. He will never allow his plans and purposes for His people and His Kingdom to be derailed by satan and his army of demons. Praise God He is in control.

4) In the face of this, the people of God will experience hard times. The last words of verse 21 are revealing … No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. This does not mean that the Divine Messenger is saying that as God He is helpless. He is saying that serve trials await the people of God. Even in our day we need to realize that unlike those who prophesy prosperity, health, wealth and total joy on this earth … as with Daniel, as with the New Testament writers … so today, hardships await many of us. Life is not plain sailing … but these hardships are designed by God to force us His people to pursue His Kingdom, His Cause and Holiness.

5) The Messenger speaks of what is written in the Book of Truth.

Da 10:21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth.

This expression, “the Book of Truth” is not the Book of Daniel, neither is it the Old Testament … it must therefore be figurative. The same would apply to …

(a)

Ps 139:16 All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

(b)

Mal 3:16 A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

(c)

Rev 5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

This figurative expression must refer to the Truth of what God has determined in heaven. 6) Chapter 11:1 refers to the previous help this Divine One gave Michael during the overthrow of Babylon by Medio-Persia, implying the Lord worked through the archangel to achieve the victory. We ought not to fear. Rather we exercise faith because our God is Daniel’s God. What He did then He does now.

Thank You O Lord that You are in sovereign control of all things, even during our time. Amen.

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