1217 L09-A Strong Faith

A Strong Faith

January 28 • Bible Study Guide 9

Bible Background • DANIEL 10–11
Printed Text • DANIEL 10:10–19 | Devotional Reading • REVELATION 1:9–18

Aim for Change

By the end of this lesson we will: ANALYZE the account of Daniel’s visit by an angel; VISUALIZE Daniel’s state of mind during the angelic visit; and EXPRESS gratitude that God’s people always receive from God exactly what they need at the time.

In Focus

Ellen buried her face in her hands. Today she didn’t care if her makeup smeared or if she looked crazy as she sat in the car. She spent an hour reading her Bible, studying the words and cross-references, singing and worshiping before the Lord, but it all seemed useless. She had just come back from inquiring about a job at the local community college as a receptionist.
Ellen had been job hunting for a long time now. She never thought she would be in this place. It seemed like it would be easy to get hired somewhere else after she was laid off. How long, Lord? She sobbed. I thought I’d have a job already but I keep coming up with nothing. It’s been months and I’ve gone through job sites and asked all my friends for referrals. Nobody has even given me an interview.
The knock on her window startled her. “You alright, honey?” Her elderly neighbor from across the street peered into the car. “Anytime you want to come over and have prayer with me about anything, I’m always home.” Ellen looked up at the woman, tears still streaming down her face. Ellen began to smile. “God, thank You! You sent her right on time. You haven’t forgot about me after all.”
Sometimes the answers to our prayers are delayed but not denied, and God will send the right encouragement at just the right time. Have you ever received encouragement from God to continue praying for something after a long period of silence?

Keep in Mind

“And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me” (Daniel 10:19).

Words You Should Know

A. Beloved (Daniel 10:11) khemdah (Heb.)—Most desirable, highly esteemed, lovely, delightful, most admired, delight, desire, pleasant, precious.
B. Strength (v. 16) khazaq (Heb.)—Bind, seize, to be strong, courageous, cure, help, and repair, fortify.

Teacher Preparation
Unifying Principle—Strength When You Need It Most. Sometimes circumstances cause us to feel like we can’t go on. Where can we find strength to do so? Daniel found strength in prayer and from the angel sent by God to encourage him and answer his prayer.
A. Pray for each of the students, calling them by name and interceding for specific circumstances in their life.
B. Reading through the Bible lesson in at least two translations and use the companion lesson in the Precepts For Living® Study Guide.

O—Open the Lesson
A. Open the class with prayer.
B. Have a volunteer read the Lesson Title, Aim for Change, and the Keep in Mind verse.
C. Ask the class to read the In Focus story, and then discuss.

P—Present the Scriptures
A. Go around the room and have each student read a Scripture from the Focal Verses.
B. Ask for volunteers to read The People, Places, and Times; Background; and In Depth sections and discuss.

E—Explore the Meaning
A. Answer the question from the Discuss the Meaning section.
B. Ask for a volunteer to read the Lesson in Our Society section.

N—Next Steps for Application
A. Encourage the class to apply the Make It Happen Section.
B. Close with prayer.

Worship Guide

For the Superintendent or Teacher
Theme: A Strong Faith
Song: “Great is Thy Faithfulness”
Devotional Reading: Revelation 1:9–18

Daily Bible Readings

MONDAY
Plea for God’s Forgiveness and Mercy
(Nehemiah 1:4–11)

TUESDAY
Disobedience Results in Israel’s Downfall
(Jeremiah 25:8–14)

WEDNESDAY
A Renewed Call to Repentance
(Joel 1:13–20)

THURSDAY
Seeking Answers Through Prayer 
and Supplication
(Daniel 9:1–3)

FRIDAY
Prayer of Confession for Israel’s Sins
(Daniel 9:9–14)

SATURDAY
Receiving Answers to Prayer and Confession
(Daniel 9:20–24)

SUNDAY
Daniel’s Prayer of Confession 
and Supplication
(Daniel 9:4–8, 15–19)

KJV

Daniel 10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me..

NLT

Daniel 10:10 Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees.
11 And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.
12 Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.
13 But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.
14 Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”
15 While he was speaking to me, I looked down at the ground, unable to say a word.
16 Then the one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, “I am filled with anguish because of the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak.
17 How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.”
18 Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning.
19 “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”

The People, Places, and Times

Prince of the kingdom of Persia. A demonic influence and/or entity that had power over the affairs of the kings of Medo-Persia. The prince commissioned spiritual forces to oppose the Israelite remnant by attempting to stop the Temple rebuilding in Jerusalem. This angel of darkness represented the Persian world power, to which Israel was then subject. This is the reason Daniel’s prayer was hindered.
Michael. An angel of God, Michael was a messenger sent to battle the prince of the kingdom of Persia on Daniel’s behalf. In several passages of Scripture, Michael is associated with battles between good angels and evil angels (Jude 9; Revelation 12:7).

Background
Daniel had fasted and prayed to God, asking Him to forgive his people because they had sinned and caused Jerusalem to be destroyed (Daniel 9). God responded by sending Gabriel to give Daniel understanding and a vision regarding the end of Jerusalem’s destruction (9:20–27). Now, Daniel fasts again and prays for three weeks regarding Jerusalem’s destruction and his people’s sins. God sends a messenger to give him understanding and a vision, this time concerning things that will happen during the Persian and Greek empires (Daniel 10).
This section is part of a series of apocalyptic visions (Daniel 7–12) that God gives Daniel in order for him to understand what is going to happen on the grand political scale in the future. In the final vision, Daniel is responding to the historical crisis in Jerusalem that has prevented the rebuilding of the Temple according to God’s promised time line (Daniel 10–13). Although Cyrus of Persia allowed Jewish deportees, such as Ezra, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and Temple, for a time the work was stopped until the years of Darius (Ezra 1:1–4, 4:1–5).
During this time, Daniel fasts and prays for God’s people and the future of the holy city. Throughout, it is clear that Daniel’s close relationship to God and his humility, fasting, and prayer are what prompt God to reveal His plans to Daniel (Daniel 9:22–23).

At-A-Glance

1. Strengthened to Stand (Daniel 10:10–11)
2. Strengthened After a Battle (vv. 12–14)
3. Strengthened for the Revelation (vv. 15–19)

In Depth

1. Strengthened to Stand (Daniel 10:10–11)
Daniel encountered a vision after three weeks of fasting. The appearance of an incredible-
looking angel caused Daniel to recognize his sinfulness in the presence of such holiness. The experience humbled him, and he passed out and slumped to the ground when the angel began to speak (Daniel 10:7–9).
The angel touched Daniel to strengthen him; he needed to be attentive to receive God’s message. The angel’s touch gave Daniel enough fortitude to climb to his hands and knees. The angel referred to Daniel as “greatly beloved” by the Lord, who wanted him to hear and understand His message. So Daniel stood to his feet, still trembling.
Daniel was to record the future three hundred years in advance. God also revealed to Daniel end-time events pertaining to the coming Antichrist (Daniel 11–12).

2. Strengthened After a Battle (vv. 12–14)
The angelic messenger told Daniel not to fear, but to compose himself. In order to listen to the heavenly communication, Daniel’s mind needed to be free from terror. The first day he humbled himself and started to pray, God heard his petition, provided an answer, and sent it to him. However, satanic forces interfered and kept Daniel from receiving the message for three weeks.
The evil, demonic, angelic force hindered God’s response to Daniel. He is identified as the “prince of the kingdom of Persia”—a fallen angel who was given authority by Satan to watch over the affairs of the Medo-Persian Empire. Rank, hierarchy, and organization exist in both the heavenly and demonic angelic realm (Ephesians 1:21, 6:12; Colossians 1:16, 2:15).
Michael, one of God’s chief angels, came to assist the angelic messenger for Daniel. This angel is known for battle in the heavens between good and evil. Note that this angelic being is certainly not Christ, because Jesus never needed help to overcome any satanic force.
The conquest in the heavens ended. God’s angel overcame the demonic forces, and now Daniel can receive His message. Daniel’s prayers were neither fruitless nor in vain; he’s now ready to hear the weighty prophecies in the following chapters, which cover important future events.

3. Strengthened for the Revelation (vv. 15–19)
Daniel, feeling unworthy, got weak once again and prostrated himself on the ground. He was unable to speak. The angel touched his lips, restored his speech, and filled his heart with boldness. Daniel recognized the angel as one sent from God. He asked the angel how he could talk, since he had lost his breath and his strength. Once again, the angelic being lifted him up. Some scholars identify the angel as Gabriel. While the angel’s identity is uncertain, we know that Daniel needed strength to receive the explanation of the vision.

Search the Scriptures
1. Why did Daniel not receive an answer for twenty-one days (Daniel 10:12–13)?
2. How did the angel strengthen Daniel (vv. 18–19)?

Discuss the Meaning
Even mature Christians experience situations that make them wonder where God is, and why He is silent during difficult times. Why do you think God allows us to go through those types of experiences?

Lesson in Our Society
Statistics reveal that believers struggle with issues just like unbelievers. Divorce, porn addiction, and depression are just a few of the challenges Christians experience, just like their non-Christian neighbors. The angel strengthening Daniel stands as a good example of how God will come along and fortify His children. He knows our public and private conflicts. Be patient and wait on God; He knows the right time to intervene.

Make It Happen
• Encourage someone you know who’s been going through a trial this week. Let her or him know that God hasn’t given up; He has not forgotten.
• Breathe fresh life into a prayer that you may have stopped praying due to lack of perseverance or doubt.
• Find someone to pray with during this week.

Follow the Spirit
What God wants me to do:
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________

Remember Your Thoughts
Special insights I have learned:
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________

More Light on the Text

Daniel 10:10–19
10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
After three weeks of fasting and prayer, on the twenty-fourth day, Daniel sees a vision. Many interpret this as Gabriel appearing again to Daniel, but the text does not specify here, so it could be another messenger of God (Daniel 8:16, 9:21). Other people are with Daniel, but they do not see the vision. The vision is so powerful, though, that it knocks Daniel to the ground and even causes the others to run away in terror (v. 7).
Daniel tells us that a hand touched him and set him on his hands and knees, telling him to stand up. It is not clear whether the hand belongs to the man in the vision. In Hebrew, the word for “hand” also means “power” or “strength” (yad, YAHD), so it could refer to God’s hand or power lifting Daniel up (see Ezekiel 3:14, 22). In any case, given that this man is a messenger of God, it is ultimately God’s power lifting Daniel up. In contrast to Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 2:2), Daniel can only get to his hands and knees, indicating a more powerful experience.
The man calls Daniel “greatly beloved” (Heb. khemdah, khem-DAH), meaning“pleasant, wanted or desired, precious as a jewel.” The angel stresses that Daniel is important to God and tells him to understand the words about to be spoken. Daniel has to stand up.
The text emphasizes standing because the command “stand up” and the word translated “upright” in the KJV both come from the Hebrew root meaning to stand (‘amad, ah-MAHD). The idea is that Daniel should be in a ready position to receive and understand the vision. Then Daniel stood up, but he was trembling. His instinct in the presence of this powerful experience with a divine messenger is to faint—lose strength and fall down (see vv. 8, 17; Ezekiel 1:28–2:2).

12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
The messenger tells Daniel not to be afraid. God has heard Daniel’s words from the first day he began fasting and praying in order to humble himself before God and gain understanding. The word for “chasten thyself” (Heb. ‘anah, ah-NAH) means to submit yourself, but it also came to mean ritual fasting in later Hebrew texts like Ezra, Daniel, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Refraining from eating and drinking makes a person physically weak. This was often accompanied by putting ashes on the head and sitting on the ground in mourning and prayer.
Daniel did this for three weeks. God gives understanding to the humble and to those who are truly ready to understand the situation, no matter how dire.

13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
The messenger reveals a heavenly conflict between the Lord’s messenger and a supernatural Persian messenger who prevented him from coming to Daniel for twenty-one days. God heard Daniel’s prayer immediately and responded, but enemy powers prevailed for a time until Michael came to help him.
Michael is one of God’s chief angels and is mentioned in other heavenly battles (Revelation 12:7). “And I remained there with the kings of Persia” refers to the twenty-one days that the messenger was detained among the Persian angels, emphasizing that this was a political battle between supernatural beings of Persia and the supernatural beings assigned by God. The Persian angels were strong, just as the Persian Empire was strong, and the messenger had to fight evil resistance just as Daniel and the Jews must resist the Persian Empire. Then God sent extra help, and the messenger was finally able to come to Daniel.
God’s purpose is to help Daniel understand what will happen to his people through another vision (Daniel 11:2). The somewhat cryptic English phrase “for yet the vision is for many days” means that there is another vision for those future days regarding Daniel’s people. He received visions in chapters 7–9, which were also about political events, but Daniel still really needs to understand the fate of Jerusalem. Now, God answers Daniel’s prayers regarding Jerusalem with a new vision, which he will need help understanding.
We can only imagine how overwhelmed Daniel must have been. He was receiving visions about political realms and their evil deeds, and ultimate destruction as a result. All the while, he was reading the Hebrew prophets, and when he came to Jeremiah’s prophecies about Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 52), a fate he himself saw when he was exiled to Babylon (Daniel 1), he was stricken with grief concerning his people and the city of God. He fasted and prayed, and finally he wouldbreceive an answer from God.

15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
Every time this messenger speaks, Daniel falls down and loses strength. The first time (v. 9), he was knocked unconscious by the speech, and even this time he is dumbstruck. The “one like the similitude of the sons of men” probably refers to angelic beings (see 7:13). To touch a person’s lips in a heavenly vision has symbolic meaning. In the vision of Isaiah’s call, the angelic seraphim touch his lips with burning coal in order to purify his speech to be God’s prophet (Isaiah 6:6–7).
Daniel immediately loses strength when the messenger appears or speaks. The question “For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord?” emphasizes Daniel’s humble position. As a servant of God, he is merely a servant of God’s messenger, who is in a more authoritative position than Daniel, so how can Daniel speak to this lordly divine messenger? Daniel has no strength or breath to do so.

18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
Daniel has lost all strength, but as soon as he is touched by the messenger, he is strengthened. In visions, to say that somebody has the appearance of a man or a son of man indicates that there is something distinct about the being. The person seeing the vision recognizes that this is no mere human, but somehow a being that looks like a human. The messenger seems familiar, but he is from the heavenly realm.
The messenger again reminds Daniel that he is precious and tells him not to be afraid but be at peace, and twice encourages him to be strong. Daniel’s strength is a key part of this passage. He made himself physically weak through fasting (vv. 2–3), then loses strength when the messenger appears or speaks (vv. 8, 17). The messenger keeps helping him, encouraging him as God’s beloved (vv. 11, 19), lifting him up (v. 10), and telling him to be strong (v. 18).
It only takes a word from the messenger for Daniel to be strengthened. He is ready to hear God’s word. The messenger responds by telling Daniel that after the vision, he will have to leave to fight the leader of Persia, and then the leader of Greece will come, predicting the future fall of the Persian Empire to Alexander the Great (vv. 20–21). This seems to suggest a correlation between heavenly and earthly warfare.
Amid crisis, Daniel turns to God’s Word (9:2), as well as fasting and prayer for understanding and strength. God responds with a helper to strengthen Daniel and give him understanding.

Say It Correctly

Chasten. CHAY-sun.
Similitude. sih-MIL-uh-tude.

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