Read Daniel 10:20-21. What is revealed to Daniel here?
The heavenly messenger pulls the curtain aside and reveals to Daniel the cosmic war that transpires behind the scenes of human history. As soon as Daniel begins to pray, a spiritual battle starts between heaven and earth.
Heavenly beings began a struggle with the king of Persia to let the Jews continue the reconstruction of the temple. We know from the opening of Daniel chapter 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 instigates Cyrus to stop the Jews from rebuilding the temple.
A similar situation occurs in Ezekiel chapter 28, in which the king of Tyre represents Satan, the spiritual power behind the human king of that city. So, it should not be surprising that the kings of Persia against whom Michael comes to fight include Satan and his angels. This shows that the human opposition to the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem has a counterpart in the spiritual realm.
Read Daniel 10:13. What kind of battle is described here?
“While Satan was striving to influence the highest powers in the kingdom of Medo-Persia to show disfavor to God’s people, angels worked in behalf of the exiles. The controversy was one in which all heaven was interested. Through the prophet Daniel, we are given a glimpse of this mighty struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. For three weeks Gabriel wrestled with the powers of darkness, seeking to counteract the influences at work on the mind of Cyrus; and before the contest closed, Christ Himself came to Gabriel’s aid. ‘The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days’, Gabriel declares; ‘but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia’. Daniel 10:13. All that heaven could do in behalf of the people of God was done. The victory was finally gained; 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”. — Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 571, 572.