While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet. He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. Daniel 8:18-19 (NIV).
All these visions exhausted Daniel; he was overcome and physically spent. Then, the angel (Gabriel) touched Daniel and infused him with energy.
Honestly, I wish an angel would do that for me every now and then. Maybe for all of us. In the last week, I’ve driven 2500 miles, to a birthday party in Arizona, then back home to Texas the next day. Middle age means I don’t bounce back as quick as I used to, and I’ve spent much of this week pretty tuckered out. Usually, when I have an exerting weekend, by mid-week I’ve recovered; some extra sleep, a little extra exercise, watch it on the wine, and so on.
More important than that, however, is our spiritual exhaustion. I’m betting that’s the real source of Daniel’s exhaustion. By the time this vision is given to him (early in the reign of Belshazzar), Daniel has already lived an emotion-filled, physically stressful life. Captured and deported to Babylon; in danger from hostile captives; aide to the fickle Nebuchadnezzar; perhaps a spiritual leader to the enslaved Jewish people; diligent in maintaining his faith: all of these things would have worn at Daniel’s spirit. Not worn it down, or even out, but worn it all the same.
Then came the vision of the ram and the goat and the visions of how they would rise and make war. The Son of Man Himself intervened, sending His special angel to serve as messenger and intermediary. It would have been spiritually fantastical, but also draining, exhausting. Have you ever had a time when you’ve given so much from the heart that you felt emptied and spent? I’m betting that’s how Daniel felt.
Now imagine how overwhelming it would feel to be told, to realize, that you’d been given a special revelation from God Himself, translated to you by one of His most trusted servants. We’d be confounded, bewildered, emptied of all energy.
Maybe that’s why Jesus overwhelmed Daniel: because He wanted his prophet to be spent of human energy so that He could fill him with what He needed Daniel to know and do. It was no ordinary message: it carried great meaning for man’s future. We could use some of that meaning and energy today. Next time you feel drained, turn to God’s word to start finding true rejuvenation.
For further reading: Psalm 102:13, Isaiah 10:25, Ezekiel 2:2, Habakkuk 2:3, Zechariah 4:1, Daniel 8:20
Fill me with Your energy and Spirit, Lord, that I may do Your bidding today.
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