Daniel 10

Daniel 10 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence

God does not regularly intervene directly in the affairs of men but often works through means to carry out his predetermined purposes.  Our chapter this morning demonstrates this truth plainly by showing how God works through both men as well as angels in accomplishing His divine will.  In the beginning of the chapter we read that the prophet Daniel was fasting and praying for three weeks that he might understand what the Lord’s will was regarding the people of Israel but had received no answer from God.  However, at the end of the three weeks, an angel had appeared to him in the form of a man who was so terrifying to behold that it caused Daniel to tremble in fear on his hands and knees, whereas his friends quickly fled from the apprehension of this unknown presence in their midst.

When the angel opened his mouth, he sought to reassure Daniel that he had not come in judgment, rather, he had come in answer to Daniel’s prayers in order to help him understand God’s providence regarding the Jews.  This is an astounding truth, for not only does it teach us that God hears our prayers but that heaven itself is moved by our supplications.  But what follows is even more astounding, for the angel explains to Daniel that he had attempted to come to him on the very day that he had started praying, three weeks prior, but that the prince of Persia had hindered him.

Much has been made of territorial spirits in the last number of years exhorting God’s people to pray for the binding of them according to this very passage, but that application does not seem to flow from the testimony of Scripture itself. It does appear that there are spirits or angels assigned to different regions of the world, for we read, here, of the prince of Persia and of the prince of Greece, and we assume that these are evil spirits for they are doing battle with God’s angel who is now speaking with Daniel.  Although we can assume that these spirits work primarily with the earthly princes in their respective regions, they are not limited to royal palaces but are free to roam throughout their kingdoms to carry out their evil plans, primarily to keep the citizens of that country in the dark concerning the glory and the power of the kingdom of God.  In the same way, the archangel Michael is said to be a prince over the nation of Israel in Daniel 12:1, implying that He held sway over that particular territory to bring God’s will and blessing to His people.

In the angel’s revelation to Daniel, he describes a spiritual battle between the princes of Persia and of Greece with the archangel Michael and himself.  Apparently, even as Daniel is praying, and in consequence of his praying, God’s angel who had been losing ground was assisted by the archangel Michael to overcome his enemies and to make his way to bring forth this message to Daniel.  And the angel described this heavenly skirmish to Daniel as a great conflict initiated by the evil spirits in an attempt to prevent God’s people from understanding God’s will and enjoying God’s blessing.  But when Daniel prayed, the angels of God prevailed, just as the Israelites gained the advantage over the Amalekites whenever Moses’ staff was held in the air, but also lost ground whenever his hands drooped.

Although we may not always feel the power of prayer or believe that we are very good at it, somehow God works through our prayers to shake both heaven and earth.  And when we pray according to His will, we are assured that He hears us and that He will grant to us whatever we ask in His name.  This is true in regards to our own sanctification as well as in all of our pitiful attempts at witnessing to unbelievers.  But we are not told to pray for angels or to learn the names of some territorial demons in order that we might bind them in Jesus name.  We are exhorted to pray for the affairs of men in the various realms of this world.  And when we pray, God sends His angels on their way, and who knows all that they can accomplish behind the scenes that we in the flesh cannot.