Discover His heart: He defeated the enemy through His birth, death and resurrection
Pink and soft and sweet. There’s nothing like a newborn baby! As we gaze at God’s workmanship, we marvel at the intricate details right down to the tiny fingers and fingernails. No doubt Mary and Joseph we enthralled with their new little bundle of joy.
At Christmas, I enjoy setting up the many nativity sets that I’ve collected over the years. One set is beautiful porcelain made by Goebel, another is elegantly designed by Thomas Kinkaid, but just as precious to me is a rustic wooden set carved in Paraguay. One thing they all have in common is the peaceful, serene setting depicted on that night so long ago when the Prince of Peace came into the world. However, not everyone was at peace that it was Israel that delivered the Savior of all mankind.
@ Revelation 12
“Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth. Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born. She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne.” (1-5)
I’ve watched many Christmas pageants over the years filled with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, angels, shepherds and the erroneous wise men at the stable, but I’ve never seen one that included a huge red dragon with seven heads. I’m thankful for that. Most believe the woman of Revelation 12 to be actually symbolic of Israel rather than Mary, but regardless, Israel brought forth the One who would defeat the enemy.
“Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.” (7-9) Jesus sacrificed his life for our redemption, and it was the final nail in the coffin that secured Satan’s defeat!
“And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.” (17) So, if we’ve wondered why the enemy throws his arrows at us and attacks us at every turn, we now understand it’s because he is angry at us for keeping God’s commandments and maintaining our testimony for Jesus. This is why Paul encourages us to put on all that armor every day found in Ephesians 6:11, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.”
The war will continue until Christ’s return, but we will defeat our enemy in the battles we face each day by suiting up and by using the very things that made Satan angry in the first place: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (11, NKJV)
The enemy’s time is short, and he knows it, “For the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.” (12) And we know it as well, “He who is the Faithful Witness to all these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.” (22:20)
Moving Forward: As I celebrate the birth of Jesus, I am ever mindful of His ultimate mission and the victory He has brought to my life to defeat the enemy.
Tomorrow @ Acts 26-28