How to be Godly and Healthy in Crisis: Daniel 10 (March 22nd)
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- This week the world has been told that we are at war against an “unseen enemy”
- This storyline is the storyline of human history according to the Bible
Revelation 12:7-9 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. 3 I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.
Ezra 1– God had king Cyrus Persia send believers home 700 miles
Ezra 2– only 50k returned, most intermarried and apostate/worldly
Ezra 3-4– work started & faced physical opposition
1. Battle reopen “Church”1. word 2. worship 3. witness
2. The people of God are weary (8 weeks vs 70 years)
3. Daniel sees the spiritual forces behind the scenes in the unseen realm
4. The people of God are fighting an invisible enemy (viral/spiritual)
5. God has 2 realms (seen/unseen) 1 reality & sometimes veil is lifted = overwhelm
- 80’s buried friends & is not heading home
- Feels powerless: nothing he can do
- Decide: Am I Daniel “God is my judge”, or Belteshazzar “Bel is my God”?
- Solitude vs Isolation “social distancing”
- Complex grief (avalanche, Job, boxer knocked out on feet)
– manage the negative news in your life & home
Daniel 10:4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) 5 I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. 7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. 8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. 9 Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground.
1. Timing – remembrance of deliverance from Egypt
2. Divine Being of significance – possibly Gabriel (3rd visit 9:23, 10:11 “great Lord”)
- Bible: “assembly of the holy ones”, “council of the holy ones”, “hosts”, “the seat of the gods,” “the mount of assembly,” “court‚ in judgment,” “heavenly host.”
- Daniel: “a watcher, a holy one” “the holy ones” cf. 4:23, 8:13; Angel 3:28, 6:22; 1k X 1k’s – 10k X 10k 7:31; host of heaven 8:10; Prince of the host 8:11; Gabriel 8:15-16, 9:21; prince of Persia & Michael & chief princes 10:13 10:20-21, 12:1; “man” clothed in linen 12:5-7, a “lord” 12:8
- God’s Divine Family is in the fight with God’s Human Family
3. Physical depression – physical reaction to spiritual experience
- Psalms, Lamentations, Jeremiah, David
- Jesus Isaiah 53 “suffering servant” “man of sorrows” “acquainted with grief” “Jesus wept”
- Solitude vs Isolation
- When you lament, you allow yourself to feel.
- When you lament, you process pain in the present & fear of the future.
- When you lament, you grieve your involvement and shed your victim mind-set.
- When you lament, you empathize with others who are hurting.
- When you lament, you work through the cycle of grief: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance 6. Thanksgiving.
- When you lament, you escape being a religious response (Romans 8:28).
Your Pain is Part of the Great War
Daniel 10:10 And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”15 When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was mute. 16 And behold, one in the likeness of the children of man touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength. 17 How can my lord’s servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”18 Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19 And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. 21 But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.
1. Some delay is demonic
- Prayer heard immediately, responded to immediately, but answer delayed
1 Thess. 2:18 [Paul] we wanted to come to you…again and again—but Satan hindered us
2. Like military, unseen realm has rank “prince”, “chief prince” “kings”
3. Like military, demonic realm has strategic geographical outposts
4. Gabriel messenger; Michael “archangel” warrior
Jude 1:9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil…he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
Rev. 12:7 war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.
=Praying & waiting is exhausting
=Spiritual warfare is overwhelming as the demonic does not share in our humanity
What Got Daniel Through His Crisis Will Get Your Through This Crisis
1. Ministry of presence from God.
2. Being reminded he was “greatly loved” and his suffering was not personal.
3. A humble heart that prayed.
4. A reminder to fear not.
5. A strengthening touch from God that brought peace and courage.
6. A reminder of the reality of spiritual warfare in the world.
7. A focus on the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and battle to get home.
8. A reminder that God knows and rules all of human history.
Life won’t always be easy and, as Daniel shows, it’s ok to lament and not be ok, but we must be aware that our pain on this earth is part of the great, spiritual war in the unseen realm.
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