Summary: Satan and his organized legions constantly work to obstruct God’s plan. As believers, our greatest weapon is prayer. We can expect our greatest opposition when we are on our knees. So we must be persistent–praying until the answer is received.
Christian humorist, Dennis Swanburg, loves to tell the story of an unforgettable baptism that took place in a little West Texas church. They were building a new sanctuary and it was almost finished. The new baptistry was functional even though changing rooms were not yet available. The pastor was so excited about the new building he planned a baptism in the new baptistry. Since the changing room didn’t yet have walls, they hung sheets up so those being baptized could change.
Since they didn’t have pews yet, they put folding chairs in the uncompleted building and the whole congregation gathered at the start of the service to watch the baptism in the new baptistry. Everything went well until the last person to be baptized made her way down into the water. This lady was terrified of water, but she had been assured there was no reason for concern. But she panicked in those final seconds before being lowered into the water, clawing the air for anything to keep from going down. Within her grasp was the curtain hung behind the baptistery, which formed the front barrier of the men’s changing room. She reached out to grab hold of anything and she pulled that sheet down.
Having just stepped from the baptistery, there stood a man wearing nothing but his underwear. Realizing something dreadful was wrong; he turned around, only to see the entire congregation gaping at him in embarrassed astonishment. Assessing the situation quickly, he did the only sensible thing he dived into the baptistery with the preacher and the panic-stricken woman! Dennis likes to say, “They just dismissed the service at that time.”
What’s the point of that story? In the tenth chapter of Daniel, the curtain is pulled aside and we are able to see things we’ve never seen before as it relates to Jesus and as it relates to spiritual warfare and prayer.
Let’s look at verse one to introduce this chapter: “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 this message came to him in a vision.”
By this time, Daniel was a very old man, well into his 80s and had been retired from government work for a couple of years. But even at this advanced age, he was still spiritually alive and sensitive. He possessed the same inner zeal burning in his heart as a teen even though he was an old man. This vision and prophecy Daniel received covers the final three chapters of this book. This is the longest and most complete prophecy in the entire book. This message will introduce this wonderful vision and the next two messages will deal with the content of the prophecy found in chapters 11 and 12.
I am dividing this chapter into two parts. The first part begins in verse 2. “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. 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. 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.” (vs. 2-9)