As we approach the celebration of Jesus’ entrance into our world this Christmas season, we’ll find interestingly, in our study through the book of Revelation this week, the birth of Christ from an apocalyptic perspective. Well be reading chapter 12:1-17.
Once again in our study we’ll see that things aren’t always as they appear. As the curtain is pulled back behind the serene scenes of a baby lying beneath the stars in a manger, we’ll find a sinister character lurking in the shadows. We’ll see the birth of Christ as the invasion it truly was into enemy occupied territory.
Is the red character described in vs 4 the one that comes to mind this time of year? When you think of Christmas do you see it as the turning point of an epic battle? Could recognizing our world as a war zone help bring any comfort as we walk through the trials and difficulties of this
Verses 7-9 Clearly identify the dragon as Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. Who else might we wrongly or unwittingly mistake as our enemy? Have you ever found yourself in the midst of life’s difficulties wondering or feeling like God was against you? Our text gives us a glimpse of the battle that was going on behind the scenes of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. It says God’s angelic army lead by Michael, defeated Satan and his cohorts. Does that victory bring any comfort or clarity as to the source of our troubles? Remember in Matthew’s gospel (12:24-25) when the pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the devil? He said a kingdom divided against itself couldn’t stand. Could our God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, be the source of both good and evil?
In verses 10-12 we get some insight into our role in this epic battle. They expose Satan’s age old strategy of accusing and condemning God’s people who overcome it says by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony…We overcome in other words, by accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf and by how that effects our identity. When we invite Jesus’ to be Lord of our lives the word assures us we’re not the same old people we were before.(2 Corinthians 5:17) His influence in our lives radically changes everything!! How has embracing Christ changed your view of yourself? Who are you ,according to Him?
Finally we see a picture seemingly right out of Godzilla with the dragon stomping through the streets spewing water at the woman…clearly he is trying to drown her out once and for all… Who does vs 17 identify as those the dragon is making war with? Does knowing that you’re not alone as you undergo constant assault provide any sense of peace? The church has been under attack from the very beginning. What comfort have you found in our fellowship of believers. Have you ever considered those sitting in the rows beside you as allies in this spiritual battle? How could meeting together regularly with your own seal team (Navy) prove helpful as you walk out this good fight of faith?
It should be an interesting study!