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Establishing God’s Kingdom: God’s Strengthening Work

 

Have you ever felt so weak that you simply couldn’t go on?  If you’ve ever found yourself in this position, whether it was a physical issue, an emotionally trying time or spiritually being crushed by the weight of sin; then you can relate to what Daniel describes in Daniel 10. While Daniel references on multiple occasions that he has no strength, it’s here that we see: God strengthens His people to endure what He has for us.

 

  1. God Gives a Strength-Sapping Vision: v.1-9

In the first 9 verses, we’re given the setting of Daniel’s final vision. We know that some of the people have returned to Jerusalem. We know that Daniel is mourning and fasting and that he is doing that during Passover. In the midst of that, he sees a man who comes and gives him a vision. But not just any vision (the content of the vision is found in chapters 11 and 12), but a vision that leaves Daniel stripped of any strength. This is helpful for us to remember. Sometimes God’s Word is difficult and consuming. Sometimes embracing what God has, takes everything within us. But we praise God that the story doesn’t stop there, and the model is Daniel’s obedience.

 

  1. God Strengthens His People: v.10-21

There is a series of items that unfold in the second half of chapter 10, that helps us to see the various aspects of God strengthening His people. Some highlight why we need to be strengthened; while others help us to see how we are strengthened.

We know the cost of delivering God’s Word: v.7-10 We first see the cost that comes with delivering God’s Word to others. Daniel has no strength, he’s been left alone and he’s brought to his hands and knees trembling. There’s a great cost, and it comes to him because of the responsibility to share God’s Word with others. Loved ones, we need to be reminded that there is a personal cost to sharing the truth of Jesus with others. I don’t say this to discourage you, but instead to prepare you. Sometimes we think that because we have done this that we’re immune to the costs. That simply isn’t true. Even Jesus wasn’t immune to this. We need to be honest about the cost that comes with delivering God’s Word.

We embrace the reality of spiritual battle: v.11-14 This messenger comes and tells Daniel that he began to come as soon as Daniel started to pray, 3 weeks earlier! What took him so long? He was delayed because of the spiritual battle that he found himself in. It’s here that the messenger pulls back the curtain just a little bit and reveals the reality of the spiritual battle that exists. We need to open our eyes and realize that there is a battle that is being waged!

We receive God’s purification: v.15-17 It’s here that Daniel’s lips are touched by the messenger and he is empowered to speak. Much like the Isaiah’s throne room vision, it would seem that purification of Daniel is in view. But he isn’t purified, simply to be clean. He is purified to be commissioned by God. The same is true for us. Yes, God calls us to holy living. But make no mistake, God is the one who purifies us and clothes us with the righteousness of Jesus. But He does so to commission us into His gospel work. Loved one, be encouraged by the fact that God has purified you. Then lean into the fact that God has done so with a gospel purpose in mind.

We accept God’s assurance: v.18-21 Finally, we see the assurance that God offers to Daniel. We see this in a number of forms. He strengthens him, affirms His Love for him, He emboldens him, He grants peace to him and He states that He is fighting for Daniel. This is all part of God’s assurance that He offers to us.

 

This coming Sunday, we will tackle the final two chapters of Daniel. I hope that it’s a regular practice for you to read the text prior to Sunday morning. If not, let me encourage you to start doing that.  Because it is a larger portion of text this week, I would emphasize that you read ahead and spend some time with this Scripture prior to Sunday morning.

Please read Daniel 11 & 12:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+11+-12&version=ESV

 

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