In chapter 10 of Daniel we get some wonderful insights of how God is involved in the lives of world leaders. I spent many hours to get a clearer people of my people the Jews. Listen what Daniel wrote about Cyrus the Great. He was the father of Atossa, my mother-in-law
Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. 10:2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.
10:3 I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. 10:4 Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, 10:5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz!
Dan 10:6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude. 10:7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
Dan 10:8 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. 10:9 Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. 10:10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands.
Dan 10:11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. 10:12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
Withstood me. The prophet provides a glimpse of the mighty struggle going on between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Question. Why did the Lord allow the powers of evil to struggle for control of Cyrus’ mind for 21 days, while Daniel continued in mourning and supplication?
These events must be understood in the light of the “broader and deeper purpose” of the plan of redemption, which “was to vindicate the character of God before the universe. … Before all the universe it [the death of the coming Messiah) would justify God and His Son in their dealing with the rebellion of Satan” while living in my beautiful palace I had plenty of time to read and meditate on the historic and prophetic book of Daniel.
Yet Satan was not then destroyed at the death of the Messiah. The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed”. When I read the book of Job I got a better understanding of the work of this enemy called Satan.
The prophet Ezekiel who lived at Nippur, Biblical Calne, next to the Keber River with the 10,000 Jewish exiles, wrote the following about this cruel enemy and his final demise.
ze 28:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Eze 28:12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
Eze 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
Eze 28:14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
Eze 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
Eze 28:16 “By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.
Eze 28:17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.
Eze 28:18 “You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you.
Eze 28:19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever.” ‘ ”
In my studies I have discovered that in order to refute Satan’s claim that God is a tyrant, the heavenly Father has seen fit to withhold His hand and allow the adversary an opportunity to demonstrate his methods and seek to win men to his cause.
God does not force men’s wills. He allows Satan a degree of freedom, while through His Spirit and His angels He pleads with men to resist evil and follow the right. Thus, God demonstrates to the onlooking universe that He is a God of love, and not the tyrant Satan has accused Him of being.
It was for this reason that Daniel’s prayer was not immediately answered. The answer waited until the king of Persia, that is Cyrus, the father of Atossa, made his choice for good and against evil, by his own free will.
Here is revealed the true philosophy of history. God has set the goal, which most surely will be reached. By His Spirit He works on the hearts of men to cooperate with Him in attaining that goal. But the question as to which way any individual chooses to go, is entirely his own decision to make.
Thus, the events of history are the product both of supernatural agencies and of human free choice. But the outcome is God’s. In this chapter, as perhaps nowhere else in Scripture, I discovered that the veil that separates heaven from earth is drawn aside, and the struggle between the powers of light and darkness is revealed.
Michael is a most fitting one for Him who has undertaken to vindicate the character of God and disprove Satan’s claims.
The struggle here described was essentially one between the angels of God and “the powers of darkness, seeking to counteract the influences at work on the mind of Cyrus” (see PK 571, 572).
With the entrance into the contest of Michael, the Son of God, the powers of heaven gained the victory, and the evil one was forced to retreat. The word translated “remained” is elsewhere used in the sense of “to remain over” when others have left or been taken away.
With the coming of Michael, the evil angel was forced to leave, and God’s angel “was left remaining there beside the kings of Persia.” “The victory was finally gained; the forces of the enemy were held in check” (PK 572).
Let me read you the following verses:
Daniel 10:14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”
I realised that I and my people are directly involved in this prophecy. Listen to Daniel’s reaction to the words spoken to him:
Dan 10:15 When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless.
Dan 10:16 And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, “My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength.
Gabriel veiled his brightness and appeared in human form (see SL 52). The prophet is here speaking of the vision of divine glory he was witnessing.
Daniel 10:17 For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.” Dan 10:18 Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me.
Dan 10:19 And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
Dan 10:20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come.
The angel is here speaking of further conflict between himself and the “prince of Persia.” That this struggle did continue long after the time of Daniel’s vision is shown by Ezra 4:4–24. “The forces of the enemy were held in check all the days of Cyrus, and all the days of his son Cambyses, who reigned about seven and a half years” (PK 572).
Who do you think this prince of Greece could be? Darius 1 and my husband fought fears battles against the Greeks.
The angel had told Daniel that he was returning to continue the struggle with the powers of darkness that contended for control of the mind of the king of Persia.
Then he looked further toward the future and indicated that when he finally would withdraw from the struggle, a revolution would ensue in world affairs. If God’s angel held at bay the evil forces seeking to dominate the Persian government, that empire stood.
But when divine influence was withdrawn and the control of the leaders of the nation was left entirely to the powers of darkness, ruin for their empire quickly followed. I could never tell my husband about this prophecy of Daniel that Greeks would eventually conquer us if we became cruel.
The truth stated by the angel in this verse throws light on the revelation that follows. The ensuing prophecy, a record of war upon war, assumes greater meaning when understood in the light of what the angel has here observed.
While men struggle with one another for earthly power, behind the scenes, and hidden from human eyes, an even greater struggle is going on, of which the ebb and flow of earthly affairs is a reflection (see Ed 173).
As God’s people are shown to be preserved throughout their troubled history—recorded prophetically by Daniel—so it is sure that in that greater struggle, the legions of light will have the victory over the powers of darkness.
I realised this all too well when the cruel Haman wanted to exterminate me and my people.
Dan 10:21 But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.
No one upholds. “There is no one who exerts himself.” This cannot be taken to mean that all were oblivious of the struggle except the two heavenly beings mentioned here. “The controversy was one in which all heaven was interested” (PK 571). Christ and Gabriel assumed the special work of contending with the hosts of Satan who attempted to secure control of the empires of this earth.
The fact that Michael is spoken of specifically as your (the Hebrew pronoun is plural) prince, places Him in sharp contrast with the “prince of Persia” (vs. 13, 20) and “the prince of Grecia” (v. 20). Michael was the champion on God’s side of the great controversy.
Cyrus the Great made a decree for us Jews to go back to Jerusalem. What dit Daniel predict about this matter?