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Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it, one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. Here at “Word For Life Says,” I want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons and my personal summary notes that I use when teaching. May God bless you!
“A Strong Faith”
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2013 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original tounless properly quoted/cited. I am glad you like to read my personal summary notes that I use when teaching, but as always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well. Blessings!)
Every weight is not the same to carry. Some are heavier than others to bear.
In any area of life, even the strong needs help sometimes. Even more so in our walk of faith. For, while the faith walker presses in and endures through trials and circumstances, he/she knows they didn’t journey here alone. They needed a touch from God to make it through.
Often one can put on the brave face and take the fearless stance but inside there is trembling with uncertainty. The things before us are too wonderful or too fearsome to understand and so, in the unknowing, we need to be encouraged and strengthened.
In today’s lesson, Daniel finds himself in such a position. This staunch man of faith who from his youth stood to fight for and defend what he believed in now is overwhelmed by visions and words delivered to him by way of a heavenly messenger. The realness of what all this meant for him and his people was a heavy load to carry. Everything he was shown was not a walk in the park; rather, the revelation was knee-weakening and he needed the strength of God to hear it, understand it, carry it, and record portions of what was allowed to be written in biblical history.
Daniel 10:10-11 “And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.”
As we left off in last week’s lesson, Daniel was in prayer, interceding for God to hear and forgive, on behalf of himself and his people (Daniel 9:19). While he was praying, Gabriel, the angel of God, who has already appeared to Daniel once before (Daniel 8:16) now makes another appearance (Daniel 9:20-27) who touches him and explains to him the prophecy of the “seventy weeks” which covered different periods of time, broken up into various sections (too much to discuss here) and sketches out the future, that tell of not only the future of God’s people, but the Messiah, and the ultimate end times future that is still yet to come (it is a very complicated set of verses to study which leaves room for debate amongst scholars).
Picking up in chapter 10, we find our studies in the “third year of Cyrus king of Persia,” (Daniel 10:1). It is during this time that Daniel is praying and fasting for “three full weeks,” (Daniel 10:2-3) with a mourning soul (compare Matthew 5:4), when by the “great river, which is Hiddekel… a certain man clothed in linen” appeared (Daniel 10:4-5).
The characteristics of this man told Daniel he was something special. He was not of the ordinary gentlemen one comes across during the day, for his face had “the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire,” (Daniel 10:6). With feet like brass and a voice mighty like a multitude, many believe this to be one of the preincarnate visions of Jesus Christ (compare to how Jesus was viewed in Revelation 1:13-16). Others believe it is to be Gabriel making another appearance or another angel.
Although Daniel was not alone on the edge of that river, he alone saw the glorious sight who stood before him. The others present didn’t see, but rather, felt a great terror that fell upon them (Daniel 10:7) causing them to run and hide. I must wonder if this is similar to the same feeling Abraham felt at the time of the covenant before the LORD Almighty (Genesis 15:12)?
For Daniel, as he stood alone, the sight of the vision before him weakened him and he had no strength (Daniel 10:8). And, although his body showed the weight of what he was experiencing, his ears heard the words that came from that glorious mouth.
Daniel records his experience: “Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.”
It is from this experience and this position where we find Daniel in the next verse where our lesson text picks up today.
“And, behold, an hand touched me” (compare Revelation 1:17). Driven to his knees, weakened by the words and the appearance of the man in the vision, now Daniel receives a touch from an angel. Some believe this is a different being than the one discussed from verse 6 and some believe it is the same.
Heavenly contact was not made with Daniel without purpose. God had more for him to know, more for him to see and understand, and as such, Daniel had to change his position. Daniel’s initial praying and fasting opened him up to receive from God and as God was ready to reveal these things to him, through this heavenly messenger, Daniel needed to be strengthened and raised. The touch did just that. It “set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands,” Daniel said.
We don’t know what those words were that was spoken which drove him to his knees, but these next words he hears are meant to encourage and reassure: “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved,” (compare Daniel 7:23). God had a special connection with Daniel and Daniel found a certain measure of favor in the eyes of God. God delighted in Daniel. One’s personal devotion to God builds the foundation for having and experiencing a special connection with God.
“Understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright.” We know that in last week’s lesson revolving around Daniel 9:1-19, Daniel was confessing and praying for his people as a whole before he received the explanation of the “seventy weeks” by the angel Gabriel.
In the verses preceding our lesson text, we wonder if Daniel’s “mourning” and praying and fasting for “three full weeks” are along the same lines of those mentioned events, or was it something altogether different he was mourning and praying for? The truth is we can’t exactly specify, but what we can hone in on is that Daniel had a searching heart. And, that heart led God to want to reveal things to Daniel for him to “understand.”
To “understand” a thing is more than just knowing about it. Understanding comes with a special revelatory unfolding that the average person may miss or just not get or perceive fully. God wanted Daniel to fully get or comprehend the ins and outs of “the words” that this messenger speaks. God holds all the mysteries and secrets of all things. It is up to Him, whom He chooses to share deeper revelations of it with (compare Deuteronomy 29:29).
Thus, he was made to “stand upright.” This is a position of attention. When one is in an upright position, I believe, it gets you ready to receive, it makes one more aware and more apt to engage in their surroundings. So, Daniel is made to stand.
“For unto thee am I now sent.” God gets personal. This visitation wasn’t for just anybody. Perhaps that’s why the others didn’t see and were made to flee. It was for Daniel alone. While God reigns sovereignly and omnisciently, He also gets in contact personally and up close with His people.
Daniel “stood,” but he did so with “trembling.” The awe of everything he was feeling on the inside showed in his wobbly stance. Pride will lull some into a false sense of security believing they can stand before God any kind of way. This man of faith, known as being beloved, trembled at it all. May we all learn to tremble more before God.
Because of his trembling, perhaps this was the need for the next words spoken.
Daniel 10:12-14 “Then said he unto me, 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 thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.”
“Fear not, Daniel.” Oh, how he must’ve needed to hear those words. In the overwhelming nature of all he witnessed and soon will understand, these words would be a soothing balm to the place where turmoil and confusion may be.
“Fear not” are some of the sweetest words in the Bible and powerful enough to have been added some 365 times in one form or another. Those words stiffen the backs of God’s trembling people and combat the darts of doubt that may be shot at God’s holy treasure.
The reason Daniel didn’t need to fear was that not only was he and his prayer noticed by God, but God was responsive to him: “For from the first day… thy words were heard.”
What an encouragement even for us today. Previously, I wrote:
“Sometimes the heart, as faithful as it can be, needs the additional support of knowing God hears.
‘I called on the LORD!’ God has so many wonderful characteristics and attributes, but one of the things that always strikes me as impressive is the fact that He hears my prayers, Psalm 54:2. In all lowliness of mind and heart, we come before Him freely. The Sovereign of the universe becomes attentive to us, to our needs, and bows down His ear to take on our concerns. He doesn’t have to but He is mindful of us, Psalm 8:4. He centers Himself to focus wholly and completely on us.
‘The LORD answered me!’ God responds! Our deepest heart’s desires do not fall on deaf ears. God is not playing cat and mouse with us. He wants us to seek Him that He may be found. ‘Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near,’ (Isaiah 55:6, NKJV). Then, He can respond!“ (Know that God Hears/WordForLifeSays.com)
Daniel’s “heart” in prayer was to “understand” to the point that he willingly “chasten thyself,” and so, the messenger let him know, “I am come for thy words.” When one is earnestly seeking God, God promises He will be found of that individual (Proverbs 8:17).
But, this won’t happen with pride and sin in the way. Daniel came to God in humility and brokenness. Isaiah 66:2 puts it like this: “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word,” (emphasis mine). And, this was Daniel’s spirit and heart before God.
Then, why the delay?
There were forces at work behind the scenes. There is a very real spiritual realm with a very real spiritual battle going on that many forget about. While we worship and serve our great and wonderful God who resides in heaven, there is still an enemy to contend with while we are living on this earth.
Daniel’s prayer was heard from day one, “but the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days,” said the angel currently delivering the message. There were, and are, evil and Satanic forces that work against or try to hinder the plan of God. There is an adversary who is a thief who “cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” Jesus once warned His disciples (John 10:10). Therefore, we are taught to not be ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Here, it appears he has a strong demon over the area where Daniel was praying that this particular angel had to contend with. The struggle was so intense that “Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me,” (see also Daniel 12:1).
“Michael” is an “archangel” (see Jude 9) who is named in the Bible several times. Michael is also noted in Revelation in a fighting position against the dragon (see Revelation 12:7). Through what we read of him, we see that he is a particularly strong, fighting angel.
This is a very important verse to study because we see some of the spiritual competitions that take place need more help and strength than others. Jesus even noted the difference in the strength of overcoming some evil spirits when He said, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting,” (Matthew 17:21).
For Daniel, stronger fights require stronger angels, and this was the reason his answer to prayer was held up. But, “now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days.” Now, having come through those twenty-one days of contention against evil, the angel is ready to reveal what God wants Daniel to know. There may be hindrances along our spiritual journey and obstacles that try to block the way, but ultimately what God wants us to have, see, hear, or experience will happen. Nothing can stop God.
Although in chapter 9, Gabriel revealed portions of the future of God’s people, some of which have already been fulfilled, all of it is not yet complete. There are some events that still must take place and be fulfilled (refer Daniel 9:20-27). This, along with what is soon to be divulged in chapters 11 & 12, point to not only events in their near future involving the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms and powers, but the distant future as well, the end times, described in our lesson as, “latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.”
Daniel 10:15 “And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.”
Daniel was taking a lot in at one time. The visions, the words, the understandings, the revelations of their future – it was all too much and drove him to look “toward the ground.” This is a position one often finds themselves in when they feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders and they just don’t know what to do. Daniel is no exception. This was some heavy stuff to take on and he was once again overwhelmed to the point that his speech left him without words and he “became dumb.”
Daniel 10:16-18 “And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me.”
When Daniel couldn’t speak, “one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake.” Either the same or another heavenly being “touched” Daniel for the purpose of opening his “mouth.” When the visions and understandings left him too weak to respond, God provided the way through this heavenly agent. Angels are often seen being sent on missions to assist people in a variety of ways (see Psalm 91:11; Acts 12:7; Hebrews 1:14). They are God’s servicemen created, employed, and deployed to operate under His divine will.
When Daniel was able to speak again, he admitted, “O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.” Take a cue from Daniel and never be afraid to admit one’s weaknesses to God, for He already knows. When we have no strength, He provides the strength. When we can’t see our way, He guides us through faith. When we fall completely on Him in trust, He lifts us up and encourages us. God has the answer for every need or thing that we think we can’t do or handle. John Flavel is quoted as saying, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity,” and even when he felt “there is no breath left in me,” God would send another special “touch” to strengthen him some more.
If we will pay close attention we will see that Daniel was touched a lot from heaven, both in today’s text and in other noted text. I like it because it shows, as I stated before, how personally involved God gets with His people, even through the use of these messengers. But, lest we downplay what Daniel was going through in his experiences of these visions, it shows us, due to the heaviness of them, there was just cause for him needing to be constantly strengthened by God and God doesn’t mind for His word says, “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength,” (Isaiah 40:29). God is here for His people to provide strength when they need it the most. He equips His people for the tasks that He assigns to them.
Daniel 10:19 “And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.”
Once again Daniel found himself receiving verbal encouragement from the heavenly messenger: “O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.” Today, we can find the same encouragement written in the Word of God. Messages from heaven that inspire us to keep going, not give up, and not give in. Notes from God written in His Holy Word remind us in Him we are loved, and we find peace and strength.
“Be strong.” Daniel was encouraged and empowered by God, through this messenger, to handle the weight of everything before him. These two words are used in other areas of the Bible to speak strength into the lives of other individuals as well (see Deut. 31:6; Josh. 1:6; Isa. 35:4).
Daniel wasn’t in this alone and when those blessed words came forth, he found the strength to continue with the mission God had for him: “when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.” Now that he received strength he was ready to receive fully the message of God.
A strong faith in God requires a strong connection with God. One, where one can readily receive from Him everything they need to do the work He has called them to do.
Therefore, be strong. For “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” (Psalm 46:1).
Standard Print PDF: A Strong Faith Sunday School Lesson Summary Standard Print
Large Print PDF: A Strong Faith Sunday School Lesson Summary Large Print
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Coloring Page: A Strong Faith Coloring Page
Memory Verse: A Strong Faith Memory Verse
Below are Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
“Daniel Course Activity Book” (Many printable worksheets to go with the book of Daniel but, scroll down to pages 21-23 for the worksheet specifically for this week’s lesson. Enjoy!)