As Jewish and Gentile believers, what should our response be to these blatant spiritual attacks, this rising tsunami against God’s people and His Word? We cannot just sit around and wait for the Rapture, right? What then is required of us? The Bible is far from being silent on this subject. While it prophesied these current events, it also asks the believer to be active and implicated providing a sound method to counteracting these things.

And one way to discover these means is to see how other believers, who were in similar situations, acted. We can examine how their faith and prayers moved God’s heart in a very powerful way so that great things happened to them in their lives. We will look at one of these men. His name is Daniel. He was so aware of the times he lived in and so in tune with the prophecies regarding his days. He responded accordingly and he moved many things around him.

This is what is recorded in chapter 10 of his book. Curiously enough, this chapter does not contain prophecies per se, but it is completely devoted to demonstrating how well-prepared Daniel was in facing the times of turmoil he was living in. In fact, chapter 10 of Daniel is like a manual for believers in the end times. There we find a perfect pattern of activity to follow for our own days. It will teach us how to make ourselves ready and to make a difference in this world. We can see how well-dressed Daniel was, with the armor of God so well described by Paul.

Let us open our Bible to Daniel 10:1-3 and read the opening verses which projects us into a difficult situation happening in Israel. In the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia, a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision. In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed.

In these opening verses, we are told that Daniel received a vision, a disturbing one of great conflict to come. However, this vision is given only later in Daniel 11 & 12. We are told in vs.14, that the vision pertains to the days yet future. And that brings us to our days right here and now.  It especially addresses the events about the coming of the Antichrist and how he will invade the state of Israel. However, it was given only later and so we ask why Daniel was so disturbed even before receiving this vision? What did he know? What did he see?

The text helps answer these questions. First, we are given a specific reference of time; it was the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia. That was two years after a remnant from Babylon, a group of about 50,000 Jews, returned to Israel to begin the rebuilding of the Temple and of Jerusalem.

The Book of Ezra begins this account by telling us that this return took place in the first year of Cyrus. So, while in the beginning all seemed to go well, as the first 3 chapters of Ezra recounts, by chapter 4, trouble arose from the neighbors of Israel, and those in the land started to disturb the ongoing work.

We read in Ezra 4: 4-5: Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their counsel. This was the news that Daniel was receiving from Israel, and this is what greatly disturbed and moved him and to pray, to mourn and to fast. He was aware of what was happening in the world. He followed the events in Israel and used this information as a platform of prayer.

Furthermore, look at the word understand repeated twice in Daniel 10:1. Daniel understood the message and had an understanding of the vision. But what exactly did Daniel understand?We know that not only was he following world events, but he also used prophecy to gauge what was happening. We know from the previous chapter that he understood that Israel needed to go back to the land. He said in vs.2 of chapter 9, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

Daniel observed, the Hebrew word here is bina, the same word used in chapter 10 for understanding. Daniel came to understand the times he lived in because Scripture was his lamp of revelation. The Hebrew word bina, meaning to understand or observe, implies an intelligent search. It is defined as a special skill in the art of learning.  Because Daniel studied prophecies, he was given to understand these things. So far, in these 3 verses we are shown a pattern to follow.

First, understand, read, and study the Scriptures, especially prophecies. Second, be aware of world events. Prophecies will help us understand and make sense of the world’s future trajectory. Third, act, pray, mourn, and fast, and be proactive.

This sensitivity and reaction with mourning and prayer is the mark of a believer in God who has reached a high level of maturity. Jeremiah was another one of those who was deeply touched, who also wept over Jerusalem. He dearly loved the people who persecuted him, and understood the times he lived in. He too mourned and prayed.

Paul is another man of faith. He also was so disturbed by what he saw with his own people, Israel, in the Diaspora. He saw them as the eventual victims of rising antisemitism in the world and even in his own day he had to defend how they were being rejected by some newly born churches. It must have weighed heavily for he knew the prophecies of the coming Tribulation and of the Antichrist as he wrote about this in the letters to the Thessalonians. It is beautiful to see what Paul prayed for concerning the believer. Paul said he did not cease to pray that they would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, walking worthy of the Lord and being fruitful. Let us be filled with this knowledge so we do not sit empty just waiting for the Rapture.

Let us get involved and understand all that is going on and pray, fast and mourn. Let us dare to be a Daniel.