Summary: Exposition of Daniel 10:1-9 about the fear of the Lord that Daniel expressed as he saw Jesus
Text: Daniel 10:1-21, Title: You Better Be Skeered, Date/Place: NRBC, 5/9/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: tell about Lt. Dan (in the movie Forest Gump) shouts at God in the storm…
B. Background to passage: about two years after the huge prayer of repentance and the 70 weeks promise of the Messiah coming, Daniel gets another vision as he fasts and seeks the Lord for three weeks. And when the angelic being, or beings come to Daniel, afraid doesn’t really do justice to how he felt. Note the language of how he felt. Daniel was strengthened in some fear, and from some fear, as God preps him for the last major vision of the book that extends from chapter 10 all the way to chapter 12.
C. Main thought: Some fear is good, some is not so good
A. Fear of Christ (v. 4-9)
1. Commentators differ on the identification of this “certain man.’ Explain the conundrum. Anyway, the parallels are so close to the description of Jesus in Revelation 1, I just can’t help but think of Jesus. And the language of the fear and trembling that Daniel expressed was far beyond normal reaction simply to angels, although people were scared of angels too in scripture, and Daniel was afraid of the angel in the later half of the chapter. This is the third time in the book of Daniel we have seen the preincarnate Jesus (Dan 3 & 7). And each time we get a little more revelation about Him. But here in the blinding expression of His glory, knowing that no man can see God and live, He is terrified.
2. Psalm 112:1, 114:7, 115:13, 119:20, 97:3-5, Jer 10:10, Heb 10:26-31, Rom 3:18, Rev 1:13-15
3. Illustration: Jonathon Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, an eyewitness described an audience so moved by the sermon that people moaned, shrieked, and cried out for salvation while the preacher was speaking.14 Apparently the reaction was so strong that Edwards was unable to finish the sermon, “possibly the only time such an interruption had happened to him except for the day several years earlier when the gallery of the old Northampton meetinghouse fell.” “It is the fear of the Lord that keeps us from sin while sin keeps us from intimacy with God The primary manifestation of the fear of the Lord is unwavering obedience to the desires and will of God,” …strategically placing me in front of the mower but a safe distance away, he wedged a poplar stick about the size of a young boy’s finger between the blades. “Now watch this!” he summoned. As he turned the engine over and power reached those blades, they strained for but an instant and then snapped the twig with a crack… I feared the mower but I loved to mow the grass. That marriage of fear and love served me well throughout my lawn mowing days. The fear kept me from doing foolish things and the love enabled me to serve my father by cutting the grass.
4. We live in a day and age of people who have no fear of the Lord. Without fear of God among believers, how will the world realize the awesomeness of our God? What does it look like to fear the Lord? 1) To stand in awe of His power, remembering that we reckon with the God who holds the universe in the palm of His hand, and can snuff out life or planets or galaxies with a simple thought or word. 2) To approach Him carefully, not casually with a yawn, as though He was a burden to you—a powerless, wrathless, grandfather in the sky that you throw a bone to on Sundays to keep Him happy and out of our lives. Remember that He is the Lord of glory with eyes flaming of fire and lightening; that is/will pouring out His wrath upon unrighteousness of men. And one day will cause men to run and beg the rocks to fall upon them rather than face the wrath of the Lamb. Do you come before Him in the fullness of who He is, fearful for your very life, like the high priest of old? 3) To obey His commands. We should obey out of love for Him, but sometimes it’s OK for our motivation to be fear of discipline. We are not to be like the child who is older now, and doesn’t fear the spankings of his mother. 4) To take sin lightly, jokingly, or casually—to toy with sin is to have no fear of the Lord, to invite His discipline, and cause great harm to self and others. To joke about sin demos foolishness. Many of us dabble in it, just a little bit won’t hurt, no one will know. 5) To warn others of impending doom. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; if the righteous are scarcely saved… We must warn unbelievers and believers of the discipline of the Lord and of His church when they stray. We should help them understand to fear the Lord. 6) To maintain a wise stewardship of the church and our finances. If we fear the Owner, we will use what He has entrusted to us wisely. We make directional decisions with our money without consulting Him. We think that we are in charge of the church (myself included), and do not consult Him on votes, strategy, ministries and programs. And an appropriate trembling before the Lord is something that must regain. Pray for God to open our eyes to His glory and person, then we will fear.