The King of the North: Part I
Several nights ago we had a good discussion about the events in Daniel 10. The events set up the vision for Daniel 11, a chapter packed with plenty of information (that we have seen before, but from a different angle). We see a glimpse into the struggle going in the heavenly dimension, one that validates the Great Controversy between Christ and satan.
Chapter 10 finds Daniel in a solemn state, avoiding food and drink, and mourning. As he is standing by the river, a man appears to him. This encounter happens in such a way that the men who were with Daniel did not know what was going on – reminiscent of Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. As we saw in Daniel 8, Daniel does not have enough strength, and falls asleep.
We see the messenger do two things:
1 – The messenger touches Daniel and gives him strength. As humans in our moments of weakness God is our source of strength, an ever present help in trouble. Daniel needed the strength to continue on in the vision, and in His mercy God is there to help us.
2 – The messenger explains that an ongoing conflict prevented him from coming earlier. Cyrus was the king of Persia, and Daniel is shown that the devil had been working hard to prevent Cyrus from sending the decree to build the temple – according to the prophecy. But then Michael came to help him and they overcame the devil. While there was a struggle, God emerged victorious. And all of this happened without Daniel’s knowledge. The future was in God’s control, and while there are ongoing struggles that happen, to our knowledge or not, God will win.
Daniel is told that the messenger is going to help him understand what is going to be in the end times. Remember that nations mentioned in the Bible are the ones that affect God’s people. This is why you do not see empires like the Mongolian or the Ottomon empires mentioned. Building on the nation-flow framework built in Daniel 2, and reinforced in Daniel 7 and 8, we know that whatever the vision will talk about will concern the nations mentioned earlier in the book.
The end of the chapter reveals that the behind-the-scenes struggle will continue with the prince of Persia. When that is taken care of, the prince of Greece will come. Struggles will continue, but events are not coincidental, because God is in control.
Yes, the book of Daniel is full of conflict in heavenly/earthly dimensions, but God is in control. That is the point you should take away from every chapter in this book, and from every book in this Bible.
Stay tuned for part II later this week!