Focal Passage: Daniel 10:1-3, 10-13, 16-19
The term “prepare for battle” steers my imagination toward the greatest movie franchise of all time, “The Lord of the Rings.” There is a particular scene in the second movie, “The Two Towers,” where the people have taken refuge in a fortress as an enormous, mighty, evil army bears down upon them.
On the eve of battle the fighting force that receives their weapons appear to be nothing more than militia — normal people about to be thrust into a fierce conflict. Three of the main characters — Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas — comment this way on the state of the soldiers.
Aragorn: “Farmers, farriers, stable boys. These are no soldiers.”
Gimli: “Most have seen too many winters!”
Legolas: “Or too few.”
When I consider the cosmic conflict that our passage in Daniel describes, I can feel like one of those stable boys receiving a sword on the precipice of a war that I’m simply not prepared for. Perhaps you feel the same way?
I think we are in good company; Daniel doesn’t exactly embody the characteristics of a mighty warrior. Notice how he’s described in our passage. He is mourning, fasting, old, weak, trembling, fearful and on his hands and knees. Yet, Daniel is the central human figure in these texts that reveal so much about spiritual warfare.
Take note of Paul’s words in the New Testament, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Spiritual conflict is a different kind of war that demands a different kind of warrior. Victory over Satan is possible through God’s power not our own. How can we do this? Daniel’s example can be helpful here.
Leaning into God’s love brings us courage. Twice Daniel was told that he was “greatly loved” by God (Daniel 10:11,19 ESV). Spiritual attacks often bring discouragement that make us feel alone and unloved. Nothing could be further from the truth!
God’s people are protected and can only be impacted by evil as the Lord allows. We see this dynamic the most vividly at the beginning of the book of Job. It should give us courage that God allows attacks because He wants a vicarious victory through us!
The Word and prayer prepare us for battle by bringing us help. Daniel 10:12 reveals that Daniel was seeking understanding from God and praying for help.
These kinds of prayers did not and will not go unanswered. There are angels that come to believers’ aid still today. Matthew 18:10 reveals something incredible about angels, go ahead a read that verse.
The angels are watching God’s face for Him to express concern over one of His children and when He does they take action!
The battle that the farmers and farriers fought in “The Two Towers” was fierce. Just as it seemed like the evil forces would emerge victorious allies descend from the top of a hill in glorious light and good wins the day.
J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings said, “We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of true light, the eternal truth that is with God.”
Though the battle in the books/ movies is an incomplete, splintered illustration of our spiritual battle, it is a helpful one. B&R