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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary

Daniel 10



Verse 1

Daniel 10:1

There are very few things harder to bear, or more often handles of Satan, than those strangely protracted intervals which so frequently come in between prayers and their answers, between promises and their fulfilments, between good desires and their attainments, between the best-laid schemes and their reasonable success. The truth which I wish to press is this: that the space which intervenes in all these cases, and which seems to us so needless, so severe, is as much settled and predetermined by God as the prayer we offer, or the means we use, or the event itself for which we are looking. The two are parts of the same thing; both are ordained, both are covenanted. The time is an appointed one—not loose—definite; and the one is as certain as the other. Consider one or two of the reasons of God's mysterious painful dealing about intervals.

I. God will always be a sovereign—not to be questioned, independent of man's opinions, infinitely beyond man's judgment, and always crossing the hands of man's expectations.

II. In heaven there is no time. It is impossible for us to conceive, much less to pronounce on, the action of one to whom all time is one perpetual now. In God's mind there is never any intermediate period. The prayer, the time after the prayer, the answer, when it comes, are all one—He sees them perfectly identified.

III. It is a rule of God's government, which you will find pervading every part of it, that everything is made matter of faith before it is made matter of enjoyment.

IV. The discipline is very good and necessary, for it addresses itself to two of our weakest points—our impatience and our pride. The man who wishes to have answers to prayer, must be a man who recognises that God is very kind and that he is very little—he must be a child content to tarry his Father's leisure—and the sooner, perhaps, that lesson is learnt the sooner will the Father give His child what He has been keeping from him just till he can say it.

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 7th series, p. 174.

References: Daniel 10:11.—G. T. Coster, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xviii., p. 170; W. M. Taylor, Daniel the Beloved, p. 251. Daniel 10:18.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii., No. 1295.

Verse 18-19

Daniel 10:18-19

Who is this that in the presence of the angel is so weak and feeble that for a while he cannot bear even to hear him speak; that he faints and loses speech and sight before him? It is one than whom few nobler, few greater, or more courageous men have ever been. Daniel is a noble example of the good, great man. He had known what it was to be a captive and a prisoner, and a slave. He knew what it was to be a despot's counsellor and rule half the civilised world; and the one thing which upheld him in his first estate, and guided him to the last, was his clear sense of his own position before God and man; a large wide view of his own being; a clear view of his Master's earthly claims on him, and overspreading and bounding all other things and thoughts, the fear of God, thorough independence of man, perfect dependence upon God.

I. A strong sense of responsibility is the true source of genuine independence of character. To feel and know what we are, where we are, that we have real duties, and are really answerable in the most minute particulars for doing them, and for our manner of doing them—this constant thought of insight is the mother of all real and lasting independence of character.

II. True independence in nothing differs more from vanity than that it has a sense of weakness, a sense of need, a craving of strength from above. Foolishness is strong in its own sight. The prophet with all his independence of character ruling provinces, standing before kings and reproving them, how did he behave when he was alone with God? Remember his softness and tenderness, his window opened towards his home, and the man in prayer upon his knees three times a day there. Or think of him, as when in my text God's message came home to him, and he says, "There remained no strength in me." It was because realities to him were real. Let us pray that we may not live as though the things of sight, touch, and taste were real, heaven and eternity shadows, but that we may feel that God and God's law alone are real, and that usages, however prevalent, however accepted, which are not after God's laws, will one day pass away and leave us, if we have trusted them, solitary, helpless, and broken.

Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 219.

References: Daniel 10:18, Daniel 10:19.—J. Vaughan, Sermons, 14th series, p. 13; Preacher's Monthly, vol. vi., p. 368. Daniel 10:19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xix., No. 1089. 10—Expositor, 3rd series, vol. ii., p. 437; J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 162. 10, 11—W. M. Taylor, Daniel the Beloved, p. 203. Daniel 11:31.—W. M. Statham, Christian World Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 257. Daniel 11:32.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 217. Daniel 11:32, Daniel 11:33.—Ibid., Sermons, vol. xi., No. 609. Daniel 11:36.—Expositor, 3rd series, vol. iv., p. 40. 11—J. G. Murphy, The Book of Daniel, p. 166.

Daniel 12

We have in this chapter:—

I. The hope of the suffering saint. "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is here for the first time broadly asserted, and that in such a way as to connect it with retribution, and make it an encouragement to fidelity under trial.

II. We have here, secondly, the reward of the working saint. "They that are wise shall shine," etc. Among the nations of the earth decorations and honours are given to those who have done the greatest work of destruction. But in the kingdom of Christ it is far otherwise. The places of preeminence under Him are assigned to those who have been likest Him in the holiness of their characters, in the self-sacrifice of their lives, and in the hallowing and ennobling influence which they have shed around them.

III. We have here the rest of the waiting saint. "Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." Do not disquiet yourself about the future. Leave that in God's hands. You shall rest in Him during the remainder of your life on earth, and when that shall end, you shall rest with Him.

W. M. Taylor, Daniel the Beloved, p. 232.

References: Daniel 12:4.—A. Mursell, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxv., p. 40; H. W. Beecher, Ibid.; J. F. Stevenson, Ibid., vol. ii., p. 307; H. W. Beecher, Ibid., vol. xxix., p. 291. Daniel 12:9.—C. Wordsworth, Old Testament Outlines, p. 262.


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Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Daniel 10:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

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