“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” Daniel 10:12-14
Daniel is further encouraged by the exhortation, “Fear not, Daniel.” To reduce the fears of Daniel still further, the angel informs him that from the very beginning of his intercession, three weeks before, God had undertaken to answer his prayers and send the angelic messenger to him. What a reassurance it is that when we come to God as Daniel did, setting our heart to understand we may expect Daniel’s experience of the response of God that his words were heard and the messenger dispatched. Remember that God answers our prayers. It may not be the answer that we want, but God does answer. The reason for the delay was the opposition of the prince of the kingdom of Persia who withstood me one and twenty days. This prince is not the king of the kingdom of Persia but rather the angelic leader of Persia, a fallen angel under the direction of Satan, in contrast to the angelic prince Michael who leads and protects Israel. That the angel described as the prince of Persia is a wicked angel is clear from the fact that his opposition to the angelic messenger to Daniel is given as the reason for the delay of twenty-one days.
This scripture shows us that there is a struggle going on in the spirit world that we cannot see or understand completely. Paul tells us in Ephesians: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) We are in a war and at time it looks as if we are not winning, but we have the victory, because of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
The particulars of the vision include the experiences of Israel in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes and culminate in the great tribulation just before the Second Advent. Although Daniel probably did not understand the details, he could be reassured that God had a plan which ended in the ultimate victory of divine power. Although the prophecies made clear that there were powerful forces at work against Israel, which would inflict upon them much suffering and loss, in the end the power of God would triumph and Israel would be exalted as a nation.