Bible Pathways - Sept. 18, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
A spiritual battle, so mighty that God sent to Daniel, a man greatly beloved. . . . Michael (the archangel). . . . to make thee understand what shall befall thy people (10:11-14). (A warning to all of us to keep our armor on Ephesians 6:13-18.) These prophecies are of the nation until the end times. Daniel was told to seal the Book (Daniel 12:4,9). But the Lord did reveal insight and length of time (12:9-13).
In the first year of his reign, Cyrus, king of Persia, issued a proclamation to encourage the Jews to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1). Only about 50,000 Jews responded and went with Zerubbabel to help rebuild the Temple. Only its foundation was laid at the time. Through the years, they faced opposition from enemy forces. Eventually, their enemies persuaded King Artaxerxes to issue a decree to force the Israelites to stop the reconstruction (Ezra 4).
In the third year of Cyrus' reign, Daniel became deeply distressed when he learned of the difficulties his people were facing in Jerusalem. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled (Daniel 10:2-3).
After three weeks of fasting and praying, God revealed to Daniel through an angel that unseen evil powers had, for a time, kept his prayer from being answered. 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 (because of) thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes (of God), came to help me (10:12-13). Even after the heavenly messenger left Daniel, his battle was not over: Now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia (10:20).
There is a constant warfare now taking place in our unseen world. It is vital that we recognize the power of prayer and how much the hand of God is moved as we pray.
The Apostle Paul exhorted his listeners to pray for him and his fellow laborers: Brethren, pray for us. . . . that the Word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith (I Thessalonians 5:25; II Thessalonians 3:1-2). We, like Daniel, should realize that there is a dimension to life beyond what meets the physical eye and our natural resources.
Paul reminded us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
Thought for Today:
If we truly understand what spiritual warfare is, we would understand why God's Word says for us to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17).
As the One that liveth for ever (Daniel 12:7). As One of the Three expressed Persons of the Trinity, Jesus Christ always has been and always will be. Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily (Truly, truly), I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58). I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, saith the Lord (Jesus Christ), which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8, also 4:8).
10:15 dumb =b> speechless; 11:11 choler =b> furious rage; 11:15 fenced cities =b> strongholds; 11:24 fattest =b> richest; forecast his devices =b> devise his plans; 12:7 a time, times, and an half =b> 3-1/2 years.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Millard & Lola Edwards • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Officials: Sen. Robert Bennett (UT), Rep. Jim McCrery (LA), and Rep. John Tierney (MA) • Country: French Guiana (168,000) on the northern coast of South America • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 85% Christian; 9.5% non-Religious/Other; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to the Lord with sincere lips (Psa. 17:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:4