Monday, March 28, 2016

Revelation 12:6-12

As John’s vision of the great war between Satan and the angels of God continued, he described the characters in the vision that he was seeing. The first was a woman who represented Israel and who was going to give birth to a child. The second character in the vision was a great dragon who represented Satan and who was waiting to devour and destroy the promised child. The third character was introduced as a man child who represented Jesus and who was born in fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies. As the child was born, God protected Him and He was taken to His throne in heaven with God.
Now, John’s vision continued with the aftermath of the success of the birth and glorification of Jesus. Warfare took place between the angels of God, led by Michael the archangel, and the dragon and his angels. Eventually, the forces of the dragon, Satan, were defeated and were cast from heaven down to the earth. Now, Satan was no longer given access to accuse the saints before God. Instead, he was banished to the earth to grovel amongst mankind. The blindness of the pride of Satan, however, is that he never gives up. Having been plainly defeated by God, he still scraps and scrapes to overthrow and upturn whatever he can. Now that he is exiled to the earth, instead of surrendering to the awesome and indomitable power of God, he lashes out at the people of God and seeks to inflict agony on those who are the followers of God.
But yet again, Satan is not the victor. In verse 11, John tells us that those whom Satan attacked eventually overcame and conquered him by “the blood of the Lamb.” It was not that they were strong enough and warred with the dragon. It is not that they had the self-will to overcome. It was not that they outsmarted, or outwitted him. He is powerful, and deceptive, and cruel. There is no way that these followers of God could overcome such a being with the strength of their own might. Instead, “God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem them.” – Galatians 4:4
Now the people of God rejoiced at the deliverance offered to them through the conquering blood of Jesus. He had overcome Satan and defeated Him. There was no battle that the saints would win in their own power. All victories would come through the help and strength of the one who had once for all defeated Satan through the sacrifice of His own blood. Jesus offered/offers help to all those who come to him. Satan does not get to be the victor in the future, and he certainly doesn’t get to be the victor in the present. Falling on Jesus and trusting in His atoning work and saving power is the only hope we have at victory of temptation and the wiles of Satan.

Reflect: Read Job 1:6-12. How does this connect to Revelation 12:10?