[CF Devotionals] 2007-12-23 - Daniel ~ The Messenger Speaks

Chapter 10: Part 4, Installment 81

Verses 10-14: The messenger speaks. The first words are reassurance that he had come at the direction of God specifically to Daniel. He lifts Daniel to his feet, giving him the necessary strength to listen.

The messenger tells how he had been sent to Daniel the first day the prayers went up, but because the prayers apparently related to the Medo-Persian empire, the demon who was over that nation prevented the messenger from coming - for no matter how strong he was, it seems that he was less powerful than the demonic enemy, referred to as the prince of the Persian kingdom. In fact, this being kept the angel from coming to Daniel for twenty-one days. It was only with the arrival of the angel Michael that the messenger was able to come to Daniel.

The following section is not totally clear, and there has been a lot of speculation on what is going on. We need to be very careful not to go beyond what is clearly supported in scripture. Tremper Longman III notes.

"Who is this "prince of the Persian kingdom?" ... These verses give us a hint of the cosmic battle that parallels the Earthly struggles of God's people. The "prince of the Persian kingdom" is a supernatural being who fights on behalf of that human kingdom. The Old Testament knows of such spiritual entities and events in other books besides Daniel, perhaps most notably in Deuteronomy 32:8-9:
"When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.

"The Bible here, we would argue, refers to God's angelic creatures who make up his Heavenly council as "the sons of God." There are angels, in other words, "assigned" to different nations states. Such might also be implied in the warning found in Deuteronomy 4:19

"And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars-all the Heavenly array-do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under Heaven.

The same connection between rebellious human power represented in the state and evil cosmic powers may be seen in Isaiah 24:21-23:

"In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above, and the kings on the Rarth below. They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously."

"We must be careful not to speculate on the hints the Bible gives us, but that there are spiritual powers, good and bad, behind the various human institutions is a truth taught in the Old Testament ..." 3

3 Longman III, Tremper, The NIV Application Commentary, "Daniel," Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1999, p. 250-251.

Comments or Questions?
Geoff

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