A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head…
…Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.”
Revelation 12:1, 10-12
I must admit that I was very apprehensive when I realised my blog posts for this week would be drawn from the Book of Revelation! But as I read these scriptures carefully and meditate on them, I am so encouraged by the images that I see through the words of this passage in particular.
Revelation 12 dovetails into our current morning series on the Attributes of God. I can clearly see God’s sovereignty/omnipotence (total rule and control over everything), His omnipresence (He is everywhere) and His omniscience (He knows everything past, present and future) in this chapter.
In verse 7 we have this fearsome image of Satan and his demons that are defeated in the heavens and flung to earth. Here on earth he leads us astray, but he knows that his time is short (verse 12b).
Through the blood of Christ, and what He did for us on the cross, we don’t have to fear this terrifying red dragon who symbolises the distractions of this world, which ultimately lead to separation from God.
Our God knows that He will triumph over Satan and through the sacrifice of Jesus, already has. I guess that this is why Satan is so furious (verse 12b) and is working so hard at causing us to stumble and fall away from God before he is flung into the eternal pit.
Verse 17 is a very sober warning to all Christians – until Jesus returns, Satan will always be at war with us. He is constantly chipping away at our spiritual armour and wanting us to place our reliance on ourselves, and not on God. In our relatively comfortable society, Satan’s distractions are very subtle and we fall into the trap of thinking that we are ‘good’ people and ‘alright’ in God’s eyes. Beware of that dangerous dragon! As we learnt a few weeks ago in Graham’s sermon on God’s holiness: God is so infinitely superior and so perfect, that without His help, we can never come into His presence unless He makes us perfect. Thanks be to God, He did, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
So, as we learnt in Ecclesiastes, we can enjoy this earth and what God has given us, no matter how big or small. But we must guard against making the here and now into a false god, and must constantly remind ourselves to turn our eyes to Jesus and to focus on eternity.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on You and what You have done for us in Jesus rather than be distracted by Satan and the things of this world. Amen