Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me.19 And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. 21 But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince. – Daniel 10:18-21
Three touches of God’s grace are given in these verses to Daniel. The angel touches Daniel and gives him strength. He tells Daniel that he is a man “greatly loved.” Although “there is none who contends…except Michael,” there are those who contend for God’s purposes. These three touches of God’s grace – along with the revelation that God had heard Daniel’s prayer on the first day of his prayer, even though it had taken 21 days to bring God’s answer to him.
Perhaps you have had a message of affection our encouragement from one who is no friend. Maybe someone whose support you do not want has offered to support you. There are those who pursue goals with which we are not aligned, and whose alliance with us we do not desire. Thanks but no thanks we may say. There are, no doubt, those who think of God’s affirmation in such a manner. But not Daniel.
There is some question among Bible scholars as to who is the messenger speaking to Daniel here. Some say it is the pre-incarnate Christ. Others say this cannot possibly be Christ for he admits to needing Michael to contend against the prince of Persia. In either case, this is God’s messenger. Entirely trustworthy. Absolutely reliable. And his message is a good one.
The ultimate expression of God’s favor is founded in Jesus Christ. His message is unequivocal: we are greatly loved (John 3:16); God’s angels contend for even little children (Matthew 18:10); Jesus renews us and gives us strength (Matthew 11:28-30).