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. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince. Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.)”
Yikes. The angel needs to return to fight? Think about the priorities behind that statement.
First of all, this means that the battle is not a slam-dunk for the good guys. The prince of Persia is apparently no pushover. Given that heavenly battles are generally more important than what’s going on down here, that’s pretty chilling. The fact that he needs to get back now is none too comforting either.
But this also means that his visiting Daniel is important; it’s worth his breaking away from the fight. But why? How could little old Daniel be that important? What can he do with this information that’s worth losing precious time?
Well, little old Daniel just happens to be writing scripture. That will affect countless souls in countless ways. This prophesy is even referenced by the Lord Himself in the Olivet discourse.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” — Matthew 24:15–16
“So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” — Mark 13:14
This will color our analysis for the rest of Daniel. Something here is very, very important.
We’ll see the verses Jesus quoted at the end of chapter 11. That passage, and its impact later, makes this vision important all by itself.
The people who listened to Jesus’s advice fled to the hills in AD 70 prior to the Roman siege of Jerusalem. The people who retreated into the city (the standard response) had one of the worst outcomes in human history. At one point, the Romans were crucifying a thousand people a day.
The people listening to Jesus knew exactly what he was talking about because this prophesy was familiar to them. It was familiar to them because part of it had already been fulfilled and part of it hadn’t.
Imagine living in the middle of the fulfillment of a prophesy. You’d already seen some of it come true, yet there was more to come.
That would get my attention.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.