“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. 13 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.” Daniel 10:12-13
I don’t watch the news as often as I used to. It’s depressing and doesn’t change a lot from one week to the next. Oh, I stay up on current events through news on the internet. I’ll watch news on cable a couple times a week, but I don’t spend nearly as much time on it as I had. I’m getting to be more discriminating than I used to be.
ISIS killed more Christians. Russia and Ukraine. Africa. Attacks by Muslim extremists in Europe and the US. The stories stay about the same; just different times, places, and escalating body counts.
I am in no way diminishing the horrible things that are happening in this world. I simply can’t keep letting it get too far into my head. Otherwise, despair sets in when it should not. It’s hard to not get depressed when war is all around us.
Let me both escalate that notion and comfort you in it. The verses above from Daniel describe a war that the angel related to him. Daniel had prayed regarding Jerusalem’s sin and asked for deliverance from God’s wrath. That was 21 day ago. The angel finally showed up three weeks late. Why? He was on his way, but the prince of Persia engaged him in a battle that lasted “one and twenty days.” Even then he needed the help of the great archangel, Michael, to get past him and deliver God’s message. In other words it was a prince of Satan’s, of this world, a demon.
According to The Concordia Self-Study Commentary:
“…Daniel was afforded a glimpse into a world where evil forces such as ‘the prince of the power of the air’ and ‘the ruler of this world’ (Eph 2:2, 6:12; Jn 12:31) do battle with such spiritual powers as the ‘commander of the army of the Lord ‘(Jos 5:14; Is 24:21; Rev 12:7). It is comforting to be told that the rise and fall of worldly empires is contested and fought by unseen armies before soldiers of flesh and blood are brought into the fray.”
That war continues to this day. All countries are being fought over by God’s angels and Satan’s demons, the princes of this world. The United States is included in the war. We are not a safe zone, as many Christians think. The demons look like they are winning at this point in time. They really do. Our country has lost its way and pursues self-destructive actions, governmentally and socially. Europe has by and large fallen spiritually, as her great cathedrals now serve as little more than tourist attractions.
The comfort is two-fold. First, we know that God and His angels are fighting for us. We also know how it is going to end. That is very good!
That is not to say that we will not be exposed to the fighting and troubles.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6
Jesus Himself tells us not to be troubled. These are signs of the times. We, unfortunately, susceptible to the scourges that will happen.
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake…But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9, 13
He has advice for us too.
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house…Behold, I have told you before.” Matthew 24:16, 17, 25
The times are going to get tougher. The brutal, martyring persecution of Christians abroad may or may not reach our shores. Some interpret The Great Tribulation as not necessarily being greater horrors than what we see now, but more widespread. Our task is to endure. Run, if you can.
Do not be fooled by false prophets. Learn to recognize the enemy. Sometimes he seeks to defeat us by outright physical harm. Sometimes he captures us without us even knowing it. Just one more capitulation in our morals, one more step back from what we at least used to know is right.
The war is going on around us right now, both on spiritual and physical levels. Jesus tells us to watch, be aware, flee when you see the signs. Remember who wins.
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:31
Read Matthew 24, sometimes called The Olivet Discourse, in its entirety. Here’s a link to it at Biblegateway.com: