- From Battle to Victory. Are you surprised to learn that Daniel prayed for three weeks? That’s a long prayer time, so it must have been important to him. What was his primary concern as he prayed? Hadn’t his prayers been answered already? Does he have reason to be so concerned about God’s people at this time? Even today a distance of a thousand miles would seem like a huge separation. “Prayer,” your lesson states, “prompts God to do something concrete and real.” Imagine it. Separated from God by many days and from fellow Israelites by a thousand miles, how does Daniel deal with this?
- A Vision of the Prince. For us “mere mortals” it takes a lot of concentration and prayer even to imagine what Daniel saw next. He saw God! Some would say he saw Jesus. But isn’t Jesus God as well? If you take a short breath and feel strangely weak, you are imagining what it must have been like for Daniel to experience this demonstration of the glorious and powerful God. How is he portrayed? How do you think Daniel was able to endure being so close to divinity? If you had an experience even remotely like Daniel’s, what would make it possible for you to endure it?
- Touched by an angel. As thrill follows thrill, now what physical evidence of heaven itself does Daniel experience? What happens when an angel touches Daniel? How many times does he touch Daniel? The first touch causes Daniel to _______ and _______ . The second touch opens Daniel’s _________ so that he can speak. The third touch makes Daniel _________. What do you think the angel would have said if Daniel had asked why these messages were given to him? Why was that explanation unnecessary?
- A great conflict. What powers are waging a battle against each other in this vision? What is the prize the Jews seek to have? What is the position of Cyrus, the king of Persia when it becomes clear that the Jewish people want to restore their temple? Why was there a struggle over this need of the Jews? How was the battle fought?
- Heavenly beings join the conflict. Heavenly beings begin a struggle with the king of Persia to let the Jews continue the reconstruction of the temple. We know from the opening of Daniel 10 that the king of Persia is Cyrus. However, a human king left by himself cannot offer significant opposition to a heavenly being. This indicates that behind the human king stands a spiritual agent who directs Cyrus to stop the Jews from rebuilding the temple.