Daniel 10:7-12, 15-19; Daniel’s Weakness and God’s Strengthening Touch ~ 20221023 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

10/23_Daniel 10:7-12, 15-19; Daniel’s Weakness and God’s Strengthening Touch; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20221023_dan10_7-12,15-19.mp3

Today we are going to look at human weakness and God’s strengthening touch in Daniel 10.

Historical Context; Passover 50 yrs after temple destroyed

Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. 3 I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. 4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris)

In the first year of Cyrus, he issued a decree allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. In the second year of Cyrus, only 42,360 Jews returned to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:64) and the work of rebuilding was slow. Now in 536 BC, the third year of Cyrus, the foundation of temple had still not been laid. The 14th day of the first month would have been the first Passover celebration back in the land in 50 years, a celebration of God’s deliverance of his people from captivity. Daniel abstained from delicacies for three weeks of days, right through Passover and the feast of unleavened bread.

Theophany Above the River

It was at the end of this time that he received a vision, possibly of a mighty angel (we learn in chapter 12 that there were at least two other angels who appeared to him on the banks of the river). Possibly this was an appearance of the pre-incarnate Son of God, Jesus who has always existed, before he became human, born of a virgin. The description of what he saw is very similar to John’s vision of the resurrected Jesus in Revelation 1.

Daniel 10:5 I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.

Vision Seen by Some but Not All

Daniel 10:7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves.

We don’t know who was with Daniel. He was at least 20 miles from Babylon, on the banks of the Tigris river. Daniel was appointed by Cyrus as one of his three top officials, and it is possible he would have been accompanied by other servants of the king. It is interesting Daniel was with others, but Daniel alone saw the vision.

This is similar to what happened to Saul when he was confronted by the risen Jesus on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus. He says in Acts 26:

Acts 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?

Saul and all those who were journing with him ended up on the ground surrounded by light. He adds in Acts 9

Acts 9:7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.

The others heard the voice but didn’t see anyone. He clarifies in Acts 22 that

Acts 22:9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me.

The others ended up on the ground. They didn’t see anyone, they just saw the light. They heard the sound of the voice but they didn’t understand what was said.

In John 12, near the end of Jesus’ ministry, as the time of his crucifixion is drawing near, he said:

John 12:27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.

God the Father answered Jesus from heaven, and different people heard different things. Some identified this as the voice of an angel. Others only thought it had thundered. Some are given ears to hear the voice of God, some aren’t. Even when we are with others, God can communicate individually, specifically, personally.

The Fearful Presence of God

Usually a voice or vision from heaven is accompanied by great fear, whether it is understood or not. Often the first words from an angel appearing are ‘fear not’ (Lk.2:10). When Jesus’ glory was revealed on the mountain, and Peter started talking because he didn’t know what to say,

Matthew 17:5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.

Their response to the divine presence was terror. They fell on their faces. This is the appropriate response for sinful humans who find themselves in the presence of the Holy One.

Isaiah, when he saw a vision of the Lord hight and lifted up,

Isaiah 6:5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Woe is me! I am lost, undone, destroyed. For a human to be aware of the divine presence is to also become acutely aware of our own helplessness, our own sinfulness, how far we fall short, what we deserve.

When ‘the angel of the LORD’ (another name for Jesus appearing in the Old Testament) appeared to Samson’s parents,

Judges 13:16 ... (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the LORD.) 17 And Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” 18 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the LORD, to the one who works wonders, and Manoah and his wife were watching. 20 And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the LORD went up in the flame of the altar. Now Manoah and his wife were watching, and they fell on their faces to the ground. 21 The angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.”

Manoah and his wife realized the one they had been speaking to was God himself, and their response was to fall on their faces. ‘We shall surely die, for we have seen God.’ It is right and good to fear in the divine presence.

When Daniel saw this vision, the men with him were terrified and fled to hide.

Gospel: Seek Refuge in Jesus

A day is coming when

Revelation 6:15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

That day is coming, and there will be no place to hide. But today is the day of salvation! Run to Jesus, seek refuge in the one who is worthy to be feared (Ps.31:19), fly for safety into the open arms of Jesus, who ‘delivers us from the wrath to come’ (1Thess.1:10).

Daniel’s Weakness and God’s Strengthening Touch

Daniel 10:8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. 9 Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. 10 And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.

Here’s Daniel’s response. He calls it a great vision. And it left him without strength. Remember, this is not the first vision Daniel had experienced. In chapter 7 he was anxious, alarmed, and his color changed. In chapter 8 his response is similar to this chapter; he was frightened and he fell on his face; at the words of the one who stood above the river, he fell into a deep sleep with his face to the ground; someone touched him and made him stand. At the end of the vision, he was overcome and sick for days, he was appalled, and he did not understand. No response is recorded to the vision in chapter 9. Here Daniel says he had no strength left in him, and his radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and he retained no strength. Remember, Daniel had been going without delicacies, meat and wine, and without anointing himself with oils. He was already not looking his best, but now ‘his splendor was changed to ruin’ (ESV footnote). Whatever was good in him was turned to corruption and destruction.

In verse 8 seeing the vision left Daniel undone and doubly drained of strength. In verse 9 hearing the sound of his words left him passed out with his face in the dirt. He was entirely undone, unconscious, face down on the ground. This is a picture of ultimate weakness.

The First Touch; Strengthened to Kneel

In verse 10 he received the first touch; this touch strengthened him to tremble on hands and knees. This first touch brought him back from the dead as it were, back to consciousness, and strengthened him to kneel trembling before this great vision.

Daniel Greatly Loved (x3)

Daniel 10:11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved,

Let’s pause right there. Daniel is addressed as a man greatly loved. He is addressed this way three times; back in 9:23, here in 10:11 and again in 10:19. Daniel is a recipient of revelation because he is greatly loved. John the apostle refers to himself repeatedly as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’, and it was to John that the Revelation of Jesus Christ was given while he was exiled on Patmos.

Daniel and John are special. They were greatly loved. And so are you. ‘God, because of the great love with which he loved us, made us alive together with Christ’ (Eph.2:4-5). We are ‘loved by God and called to be saints’ (Rom.1:7). We are ‘God's chosen ones, holy and beloved’ (Col.3:12; cf. 1Thes.1:4; 2Thes.2:13). You are greatly loved. You are so loved that God gave his only Son (Jn.3:16).

Strengthened by a Word

Daniel 10:11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.

This word strengthened Daniel to rise from trembling on hands and knees, now to stand trembling before this great one. Daniel was strengthened by a touch, and now by a word to stand and to understand.

Fear Not; God Hears and Answers Prayer

Daniel 10:12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.

The first thing the messenger says is ‘Fear not’; there is much legitimately to be afraid of in the presence of God, so his fears are allayed

Daniel set out to do two things; he set his heart to understand. The understanding Daniel was seeking was not just intellectual but heart understanding, understanding in the core of his being, understanding that affected all of him, mind, emotions and will.

Daniel set his heart to understand, and he humbled himself before his God. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Jas.4:6). Daniel’s fears are put to rest because of two things; fear not – for your words were heard. And fear not – God answers prayers. Your words were heard, and I have come because of your words, so fear not.

The Second Touch; Strengthened to Pray

We are going to save verses 13-14 dealing with heavenly warfare for next time, and jump down to verse 15, because it connects with what we are looking at today.

Daniel 10:15 When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was mute. 16 And behold, one in the likeness of the children of man touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength. 17 How can my lord's servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”

The first touch strengthened him from unconsciousness and enabled him to kneel trembling. Then the word that he was loved strengthened him to stand trembling. Now hearing the message again left him with his face toward the ground; this time unable to speak. He had no words. He couldn’t even ask for help.

But God intervened without being asked. Daniel receives a second touch; this time on his lips – in response to his inability to speak. Daniel has to be strengthened even to be able to pray.

Now enabled to mouth a prayer, he expresses weakness and pain as a result of the vision; he is still without strength. He expresses his inability to talk to his sovereign. He is without strength, even without breath.

The Third Touch; Enabled to Hear

Daniel 10:18 Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19 And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

Daniel receives a third touch from this heavenly messenger. Again he is addressed as ‘O man, greatly loved’. This time the messenger speaks not only against fear, but he speaks a word of shalom – peace, a word of strength upon strength. And Daniel is strengthened. He is now sufficiently strengthened to hear the word of the Lord. We need spiritual strength to receive God’s word.

1 Corinthians 1:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. ... 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Strength in Weakness

Daniel is weak, helpless, undone, unconscious. He was totally unable even to kneel, to pray, or to receive God’s word. He is revived and strengthened to kneel trembling. Then he his strengthened to stand trembling. Then he is strengthened to pray. Finally he is strengthened to hear God’s word. Daniel is totally dependent on the strengthening touch, the strengthening word of God.

Paul says he will not boast except of his weakness (2Cor.12:5) When he prayed for deliverance from satanic oppression, Jesus answered:

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


2022.10.23 Sermon Notes

Daniel 10:7-12, 15-19; Daniel’s Weakness and God’s Strength

Vision seen or heard by some but not all

Acts 26:13-14; 9:7; 22:9; John 12:27-30

Fear in the presence of God

Luke 2:10; Matthew 17:5-6; Isaiah 6:5; Judges 13:15-22

The Gospel: Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come

Revelation 6:15-17; Psalm 31:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:10

Daniel’s weakness

Daniel 10:8-9, 15-17; 2 Corinthians 12:5, 9-10

O man greatly loved

Daniel 9:23; 10:11. 19; John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20

Ephesians 2:4-5; Romans 1:7; Colossians 3:12

1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 3:16

Fear not; God hears and answers prayer

Daniel 10:12; James 4:6

God’s strengthening touch:

-Strengthened to kneel -Daniel 10:10

-Strengthened to pray -Daniel 10:16

-Strengthened to hear God’s word -Daniel 10:18; 1 Corinthians 1:12,14


Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org