Saturday in the Twenty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 12:1-6

The Foiling of the Dragon

The Book of Revelation is the word of God but also a literary masterpiece which continually weaves strands together, intricate and beautiful.  Chapters 12-15 provide our “Third Interlude” and go into more detail concerning Christ’s Church and the demonic powers arrayed against her.  Indeed, these chapters may be seen as supplying commentary to chapters 1-11 by going into depth about Satan, the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Great Prostitute which have been at war with God’s people from the beginning.  So what we shall see is John recording visions, which take us back again to our Lord’s victory over sin and death, and the subsequent persecution of the Church due to Satan’s rage, and carried out by his minions over her history, which is represented by a brief period of time (1260 days).

A woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and wearing a crown of twelve stars is giving birth before a dragon awaiting his meal.  It is obvious that the baby to be born is Christ as he is the one to “rule all the nations with a rod of iron.”  Though some say the woman is Mary, I agree with those who believe she is representative of Israel bringing forth the Messiah and the Church fleeing into the wilderness; that is, she is God’s people spread throughout both dispensations—Old and New.  The dragon is, of course, Satan, and a third of the angels join him in his fall.  The child is “caught up to God and to his throne” symbolizing Christ’s victory over the devil.  The woman (now representing the Church) flees into the wilderness “where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished 1260 days.”  We recall that the children of Israel were protected by God from enemies (such as the Moabites) and fed by God with quail and manna throughout their forty year travail in the wilderness (cf. Deuteronomy 29:5-7).  Elijah fled from Ahab into the wilderness and was fed by ravens.  John the Baptist came out of the wilderness to preach repentance to the people.  The wilderness was the place in which God would “speak tenderly” to Israel (Hosea 2:14).  Thus, the wilderness, though dangerous, was viewed as a place of repentance and holiness by the Israelites, and is so presented here.

But having been defeated by Christ, the wrath of the dragon is great.  We shall see him pursue the woman (the Church) and try to destroy her.  God guarantees that he shall fail.  But that does not mean that many won’t seal their testimony with their own blood; indeed, millions will.  But their place in heaven is secure.  The Church must own her exile on earth, for we are citizens of a greater Kingdom.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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