Today we are in the Exile Stream biting our fingernails with Daniel’s next vision. We had to add 11:1 because the Bible chops off mid-sentence at the end of Chapter 10. Yes, it happens. We are reading from the New International Reader’s Version this week.
The chapter today can seem perplexing… even ominous. There were things God needed to show Daniel so he could tell these things to us today. This chapter, this vision happened in the 530’s B.C. but it has more to do with what pertains today than the latest news coming over your TV, radio, or electronic device. It is helpful that the dates are given at the start and finish of today’s reading. These specifics give clear chronological parameters to the vision. The truth is that God is determined to return the people of Israel to the land of Israel/Judah and to set them up in Jerusalem for worship. God moves nations and peoples today for his grand purposes and we best note that God is at work here.
This is Daniel’s last vision and it runs for three chapters – taking us to the end of Daniel (reading ahead and repeat readings are OK, btw!). Daniel is seeing visions of the unseen world; the world that has a far greater affect upon the world we see than what is visible to the human eye. He is visited by an angel whose arrival is so terribly magnificent that Daniel is thrown off. His peers scatter in sheer fright. Notice the matching three week period and the 21 day delay that links how Daniel felt [Dan. 10:2,3] and the spiritual opposition that kept this messenger to Daniel delayed from coming to him [Dan. 10:13]. These messengers come to give light and insight and prophecy to God’s people. Granted, there are messages that come directly from God to people who are not following Him, but they are either to notify how their actions are going to affect God’s people, or they are to enlighten them to bring them into the Kingdom. This latter one is for evangelistic purposes and it is seen much more readily after Pentecost.
This part of Daniel’s vision is traumatizing for him and it even affects him physically, he cannot get up or stand. The angel actually helps him/lifts him and the main event near the end of this chapter is when Daniel is notified that there are bad forces as well as good forces at work in the heavenlies. Persia had it’s own angel that controlled it like a marionette. The same goes for Greece. These were all monitored by forces that were not congruent with God. And it’s interesting that each of these empires had their role in history and each of them had their turn to take a swipe at Israel. The angels and the empires of the world are either for God or against Him.
It is also of note that the messenger that God sends to Daniel is very encouraging to him. He assures that God is for Daniel, is very pleased with him, honors him, he strengthens him, uplifts him, encourages him, even touches his mouth so he can speak again. The literature here and to the end of Daniel is marvelous revelations into the activity of angels on our behalf. Here they are concerned with the Chosen Seed; Israel’s race. In Ephesians 6:12, and Revelation 12:7-9 the angels are concerned with “those Who are Called”; The Church. Angels are assisting Jesus; Matthew 4:11. It reminds of Hebrews 1:14 -v “all angels are spirits who serve. God sends them to serve those who will inherit salvation.” And for this we are grateful. Daniel must have been grateful too.
“Almighty God, your plans are beyond what we can comprehend. We thank you that your greatest plan is to see that we are saved. Amen”