Revelation 12:1-17 (WEB): A great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child. She cried out in pain, laboring to give birth. Another sign was seen in heaven. Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven crowns. His tail drew one third of the stars of the sky, and threw them to the earth. The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that there they may nourish her one thousand two hundred sixty days.
There was war in the sky. Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war. They didn’t prevail,neither was a place found for him any more in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent,he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ has come; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night. They overcame him because of the Lamb’s blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn’t love their life, even to death. Therefore rejoice, heavens, and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you,having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time.”
When the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. Two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, so that she might be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time,from the face of the serpent. The serpent spewed water out of his mouth after the woman like a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream. The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon spewed out of his mouth. The dragon grew angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her offspring,who keep God’s commandments and hold Jesus’ testimony.
Leaders, scholars, and historians disagree about just what Revelation 12 is talking about with its symbolism. Some say the woman is Israel, some say the woman is Mary, mother of Jesus; some say the woman is the church; some say the woman is a prophetess; and so on and so forth. Most agree the child is a reference to Christ and the dragon to Satan,but that’s about all they agree on. The analogy of the wilderness is about as curious to many scholars as the imagery of the woman, and they still disagree as to just what is being visualized in the passage. I’m not going to get into all that, because I think there is some room for interpretation with the prophecy and, it more than likely, refers to more than one thing. What God is showing me tonight is a way this prophecy applies to more than just history – it can apply to each one of us -as God brings things forth within us – and the result therein.
The church is typified in the Bible as being female. Actually, the general body of God’s people has always been typified as female. There are multiple reasons why this is, but in the context of what we are looking at today, the reason for this is because the people of God proclaim eternal life,thus paralleling the woman’s role in birthing life. Within each woman and man, born again, is the promise of life – to multiply and bring forth something deeper and greater from all they do. When Christ is living within you, the enemy will do everything within His power to try and stop that rule. He will tempt, test, try, and send everything conceivable to try and snatch Christ away from your life. He will also try to steal what God plants within you that it may be birthed forth. With a nature to steal, kill, and destroy, he comes with a nature that will disguise, look like something else, and try to get you to think he’s on your side – all in the attempt to steal your life in Christ and the product of that life away from you.
When we are under attack, we sometimes have to entrust our vision to God and move to a place of contemplation and silence. We need to be still, not abandoning what God has given us, but we need to let Him hold it to protect it while He protects us. The imagery of the woman fleeing into the wilderness fascinates me here because just as Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, so the woman goes into the desert to face demonic attack. In the middle of nothing, where she has no one but God to protect her, she finds divine provision. She doesn’t need to run with her child to everyone she knows, hiding and cowering all along the way, but surrendering what she has to God, she receives what she needs to be safe from the enemy. She valued God above her own concepts of safety and self-preservation, totally trusting what God had for her to do.
This passage tells us we overcome by the blood of the Lamb AND the word of our testimony. The woman in Revelation 12 had a testimony! She overcame as she experienced God’s provision in her life. Some of us are spending so much time running from the devil that we aren’t standing long enough to receive God’s provision unto testimony! The enemy got so mad with the woman he went and found someone else to bother. Thus the word on today – it’s time to stop running from Satan. Let him flee from your presence and go bother someone else. Work on “the word of your testimony.” Don’t let Satan have what’s not his!
(c) 2014 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.