Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, September 28, 2015
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” (Revelation 12:1–5).
Following the revelation of many incredible judgments, much commotion, and many woes that comprise the history and future of our world in chapters eight through 11, the Lord saw fit to give John a vision of something I think is incredibly special. It is so special that it is represented as a great wonder in heaven!
A woman appears in the vision. Here is our first key in interpreting symbolic Bible prophecy: A woman is God’s people (Isaiah 54:5-6; Jeremiah 6:2). In this case, based on what we see next in the vision, it is God’s people in her purity (although, she has not always chosen to remain pure). You may wonder how we know that this is not just a literal woman. That’s a great question. The vision itself gives the clues. Let’s continue. This great wonder of a woman is clothed with the brightness of the sun and standing on the moon. I don’t know of any actual women who fit this description. It’s symbolic. She has a crown of righteousness on her head with 12 stars. God’s people have often been described in 12s. You may recall the 12 sons of Jacob, 12 tribes of ancient Israel, 12 disciples, 12 apostles, and so on. I love how orderly God is when He is trying to get our attention. This woman is about to give birth to a Son who would rule all nations and eventually ascend to the throne of God. This Son who was born among God’s people, and who ascended to the very throne of God, is Jesus Christ (Psalms 2:8-9; Isaiah 9:6; Acts 7:55; Revelation 3:21). The woman appears in the simple radiance of beauty befitting the people of God who are satisfied with being covered in His righteousness and not our own (this will be a contrasting reality as we continue our devotionals).
However, wherever there is a great wonder of Jesus and His beautiful people pictured in Scripture, there is another diabolical wonder—the devil doing devilish things. The vision continues by revealing the devil who was cast out of heaven and took some sympathizing (now evil) angels with him according to verses seven through nine. He could not wait for Jesus’ miraculous birth on earth. Perhaps he thought a vulnerable baby would be fair game for destruction, since in Jesus’ divinity the devil was no match. It was Jesus who kicked Satan out of heaven for extreme disobedience, revolt, and unrepentance against the government of heaven. It was Jesus who consented to eventually follow the devil here. Jesus would demonstrate the same dominance over evil while living here as He did in heaven. He was to fulfill the prayer He prayed to the Father, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven…” The battle would be fierce, as we have already seen in the Revelation, and will see even more as we continue, but the Lord must prevail.
We will see some foreboding scenes in the conflict between God and Satan in the remaining chapters of the Revelation, but the end of the story is that God will prevail! Will God prevail in your life? Will He prevail in my life? Will we read and study these things and be transformed by the truths written therein, or have a head full of facts that have no converting influence in our lives. The truth of God’s victory over evil in heaven and earth is revealed in these hallowed pages, and nothing can alter the blessed fact. However, our stories continue to be penned. What will be the outcome? I hope, for your sakes and mine that we will choose to receive the same victory by faith. It just wouldn’t make sense not to.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please teach us to walk in the simplicity of accepting your righteous covering and obedience to your commands. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.