Bible Pathways - Dec. 27, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
The scene changes. Prophecy is acted out! Seven players. (1) The woman (12:1-2); (2) the red dragon (12:3-4); (3) the Child (12:5-6); (4) Michael, the archangel (12:7-12); (5) the remnant (12:17); (6) the beast of the sea (13:1-10); (7) the beast of the land (13:11-18). Note 2 verses: Overcomers(12:11); the number of man (13:18).
Chapter 12 opens with John's vision of a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun (12:1). And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. . . . And . . . a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. . . . And the dragon stood before the woman . . . to devour her Child. . . . A Man Child, who . . . was caught up unto God. . . . the woman fled. . . . And there was war in heaven . . . and . . . the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God. . . . And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony (12:2-11).
The trial of the remnant of God occurs in the wilderness (12:6) to illustrate the desert-like moral condition of this world ruled by a great red dragon (Satan) (12:3).
The great dragon . . . that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world (12:9), is in opposition to the faithful people of God, always seeking to destroy the likeness of Christ and His Word wherever it exists. Satan is given four titles: the great dragon — the seven heads, ten horns, and crowns of the dragon indicate the great influence and the many forms of Satan's malicious, evil activities in working through people to oppose the work of Christ; that old serpent points out his deceptive character used in the Garden of Eden; the Devil reminds us that he is a slanderer and a liar; and Satan means adversary. Your adversary the Devil . . . walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (I Pet. 5:8). But, praise God, we are more than conquerors through Him (Christ) that loved us (Rom. 8:37). A Christian is able to have peace even in difficult situations because he knows God is in control and peace comes from knowing His Word (John 14:26-27).
Christians in every generation overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony (God's Word that became their way of life); and they loved not their lives unto the death (Rev. 12:11). He may bid us die for Him.
Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night (Rev. 12:10).
Thought for Today:
How quickly our world today is becoming a moral desert. It shows more clearly how much we need the life-giving water that is revealed in the Bible (see John 4:14).
For Rev. 12:5: See Is. 66:7. Rev. 12:14: See Ex. 19:4. Rev. 13:1: See Dan. 7:8,24. Rev. 13:5: See Dan. 7:8.
12:6 threescore =b> 60; 12:17 wroth =b> furious.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA) • Country: Swaziland (985,000) in southern Africa • Major languages: English and siSwati • Religious freedom • 67% Protestant; 19% animism, spirit-possession cults, and divination; 11% Roman Catholic; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Seek God as more important than food to satisfy your hunger (Prov. 3:13-18).
Memory Verse for the Week: John 14:6