Friday, June 23, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - June 23, 2017

Today's Reading:

Mark 6:30-56

2 Samuel 16

Daniel 10

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading 

Today, I would like to focus on our reading from Daniel chapter 10. I will be adapting some of the commentary from I. Gordon's, "Book of Daniel Bible Study Chapter 10:
( Lifting the veil", as well as adding in my own take on the subject. Daniel chapter 10 is about conflict and warfare, but not the type you are likely to see on the evening news! Daniel 10 speaks of a war that no man reports, for it is one that no man sees. Yet it goes on day after day and has a major impact on the wars that we do see on planet Earth. Daniel 10 lifts the veil that covers the natural and spiritual realms to reveal a battle that goes on in the invisible, spiritual realm.

Daniel 10 is a reminder of the spiritual battle that goes on around us, and one in which we are in despite it not being visible to the natural eye. There are certainly lots of mysteries in this regard and not all answers are given. But this chapter still remains as a fascinating and unique glimpse behind the scenes in the spiritual realm.

Daniel 10 is a message of war…
Daniel 10:1-3 "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. At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 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."
 The events of this chapter took place in the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia. Daniel, who is now in his mid to late 80’s, is given another vision and message. It is a message of great conflict and this has been recorded for us in Daniel chapters 11 and 12. It is a message of war between nations and coming persecution for the Israelites. But, as previously mentioned, it is also a message behind the scenes showing the puppet masters pulling the strings.  

Now we read above that Daniel had been in mourning for three weeks when this prophecy was given to him. We are not told why he was in mourning, but he had been doing a partial fast during that time when the vision and message came.

Daniel 10 is vision of Yahshua, in His Glorified State
Daniel 10:4-6 "On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a Man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around His waist. 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."
As Daniel looks up he sees one very impressive looking Man. Scholars debate whether this is a vision of Yahshua, Himself, or whether it was an angel; but the weight of evidence seems to favour the former thought. Certainly there are many similarities with the vision John was given in the book of Revelation when he saw Yahshua in glory saying…
Revelation 1:12-16 "And when I turned I saw… Someone “like a Son of Man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to His Feet and with a golden sash around His Chest. His Head and Hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His Eyes were like blazing fire. His Feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His Voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In His right Hand He held seven stars, and out of His Mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His Face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."
And you thought you felt small!
Daniel 10:7-9 “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. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.”
Anytime in Scripture that a person encounters the majesty of God there is an overwhelming sense of their own inadequacy. Whether it is Moses, Isaiah, Daniel or John the result is the same. There is a convicting sense of your own ‘smallness’ and inadequacy in the light of an Almighty God. Fair enough too. For Daniel, as godly as he was, the vision of this Man left him face to the floor which is probably not a bad thing anyway because his face had turned a grim shade of grey! He then fell into a deep sleep. Scripture doesn’t tell us how long this was for but it may have been sometime.

So who is the Prince of Persia?
Daniel 10:13-14 "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. 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.”
Here we gain a glimpse into the spiritual realm. Daniel is fasting and praying. An angel is dispatched to him in response to his prayers. But the angel's arrival is delayed because a demonic entity, here referred to as the Prince of Persia, wages war with him for 21 days. But Yahweh is the Almighty. Nothing the enemy can unleash is sufficient to prevent His Will from being accomplished. Thus, Michael helps the delayed angel, and does battle with the Prince of Persia. Michael's victory over this unholy prince, releases the first angel to reach Daniel at last.

In Daniel 10, we see that the ultimate warfare still to come…
So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)
We see from this passage that it isn’t just Persia that has demonic angelic beings assigned to them. The coming rise of the Grecian Empire under Alexander the Great (still 200 years in the future) will be overseen by the ‘prince of Greece’ as well. Fortunately, as we have previously seen, God's people have angelic protection of the highest order in Michael, the archangel. So we have been given a glimpse of the influence that the angelic realm has into the affairs of men. The ultimate fulfillment of this influence however will occur just prior to the Return of Yahshua as it says in Revelation 16:13-14:
“Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.”
The demonic influence upon earth will reach its climax when the kings of the whole world will be drawn by these spirits to battle against God and His people.

Wow! There is really a whole lot going on in this small chapter of Daniel, which few seem to talk about. Daniel chapter 10 does not give us all the answers about the unseen spiritual realm. We must admit that a lot remains a mystery. But it does give us a glimpse and remind us that we all are in a spiritual battle. The angels are sent by God to render service to those who are His, yet a lot of this service, like the angels themselves, is unseen to the human eye.

We should however remember the familiar words of the apostle Paul who wrote:
“Finally, be strong in Yahweh and in His mighty Power. Put on the full Armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Take time today to suit up! To do this pray and ask Yahweh to clothe you in His spiritual Armor. Name each piece as you ask for God to suit you up in it (Ephesians 6). Then remember to request this Heavenly covering each and every day. Never can a warrior enter the battle zone without his gear. If a soldier cannot afford to go into battle without his weapons and battle gear, how much less can we? Always be mindful that the greatest realities are beyond human perception - in the spiritual realm. And purpose to never leave home without Yahweh's ARMOR ever again.