This article on Daniel 10:8 is about the vision Daniel had, and his reaction to this vision.

Source: Clarion, 2007. 2 pages.

Daniel 10:8 - A Great Vision

So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless.

Daniel 10:8

Did you know that there is more to this life than you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands? The vision that Daniel saw gives us a bigger perspective about life. Daniel 10 says that Daniel looked up and saw a man dressed in linen – around his waist was a belt of the finest gold – but his body ... his body was like chrysolite – a bright gold-yellow colour. His face was even brighter, for it stood out as shining as lightning – almost too much to look at. In the middle of this lightning-like face were the piercing eyes like flaming torches. His arms and legs were gleaming like polished bronze. The voice of this angel is said to be like the sound of a multitude – that is, like the noise of a stadium of people all talking in unison. His voice was thunderous, echoing, and blasting forth. Take a moment while you are reading this to think about who Daniel saw and heard. In our passage we are lifted above the materialistic world and shown a reality that belongs to the exclusive perspective of Christians.

The passage makes it clear that not everybody is able to see this reality. There were other men with Daniel beside the Tigris River and they saw nothing. At the same time, even though they cannot see, they could still experience the reality of the presence of God’s messengers. Daniel 10:7 says: “such terror overwhelmed them that (like good descendants of Adam and Eve after the fall into sin) they fled and hid themselves.” It is a fascinating description – the reality of God’s spiritual presence is able to affect what happens on the earth – their light can shine into our material reality! What exactly was the terror they were overwhelmed with? Daniel was made to face it all by himself.

Not only did the other people leave him, but also his strength abandoned him. His face paled – that is, his mask left him and he realized he was helpless. All the status he gained as a human meant nothing before the holiness of God’s angel – and Daniel’s own sinfulness and powerlessness was exposed. Daniel was overcome by his frailty.

When the thunderous voice began speaking, Daniel crumpled with his face to the ground. When a hand touched him he had enough strength to go on his hands and knees on the ground, but his whole body was trembling. With some further encouragement and ongoing trembling, he made it up to the standing stage but then the angel began speaking again and Daniel dropped his face toward the ground – and found he was unable to speak. When the angel gave him speech Daniel could only speak about his weakness:

How can I, your servant, talk with you my lord? ... My strength (that is anything that empowered me in this world I live in) is gone before your holiness!

The burden of his own guilt and weakness even leaves him unable to breathe.

What do we make of all this? Although our sinful eyes so often focus only on the material reality so that we get discouraged in our trials of this life, we must not forget the spiritual reality around us. When Jesus was being arrested he said to his disciples: “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53) When God promised to care for us He does this with a powerful angelic force standing by. Before these angels, who reflect the holiness of God, every man is terrified and overcome as they grovel in their sinfulness – every man except Jesus Christ, who in his righteousness, power, and authority is superior even to the angels (Hebrews 1:4). This Christ, our Saviour, has promised that these angels are sent to serve believers (Hebrews 1:14). In Psalm 91:11 the Lord said that He will command his angels concerning us to guard us in our ways. Fight the good fight of faith with confidence for you have powerful heavenly allies – in Christ the angels are on our side.

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