Lord, I can be so easily intimidated. The past and the future can unsettle me. Grant me faith and hope today.
Read REVELATION 12:1-17
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“God of the church, enable us to be worthy examples of the people for whom Christ died, and in whom Christ lives” (Welton Gaddy).
This is a great picture, with layers of meaning. Three central characters are the woman, her child and the dragon. The dragon is identified as Satan and the man-child is Jesus. As for the woman, she represents God’s people, Israel, who preserved the promise down through the generations, and then the Church thereafter. In this chapter we go behind the scenes, for though the Caesars may strut the stage, they are only the front for those forces that oppose God, and are in the control of Satan. But the child of promise will be preserved. You could say that vs. 1-4 describe the Old Testament age, v. 5 the life of Christ, and v. 6 the centuries since.
The scene shifts, and now we see the same period portrayed as a war in heaven. There is a hint of the original fall of Satan and his angels for aspiring to take God’s role. In another age, this also describes the decisive victory that Christ won on the cross, demonstrated by his resurrection, so it is also a verdict on the eventual outcome of this cosmic struggle. The outcome is not in doubt. That is not to say that the route will be easy—far from it. Knowing he will be defeated makes the devil more dangerous because he can afford to take risks in his desire to cause as much damage as possible and bring down as many as he can with him.
Here the Church, the bride of Christ, is also seen as his mother, for this is the community in which Christ is found. Yet knowing that Satan is a defeated foe gives courage to those engaged in world evangelization. How extraordinary that the weak Church with all its inconsistencies and contradictions ends up on the winning side!
What comfort, hope or other help do you receive from knowing that Satan is defeated? Thank God for that and pray for those you know struggling with his attack right now.
Lord, I pray for myself, my church, and the Church. May we wear the apron of a servant, showing the difference You make in us. Reform Your church, beginning with me.
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