We have made it to the visions of the dragon and the woman. The dragon is after the woman’s child, but God intervenes and keeps both safe.
The visions here are the hard part of Revelation for me. I think I recognize the symbolism but I’m uncertain. I turn to my bible helps and they offer me some insight, but I’m still uncertain. I’m afraid of leading you down the wrong path. But I feel we have to press on, even in uncertainty. PLEASE don’t take ANYTHING I say here as gospel. Ask God what He would say to your heart and let HIM give you the revelation He has for YOU.
I’m not saying that everyone should have their own interpretation of the bible and hold fast to it no matter what anyone else says. What I am asking you to do though is to read His word with an open heart and see where HIS Spirit takes you. He will not leave you clueless if you ask for His help.
The overall imagery in our reading today is pretty easy to grasp. The pregnant woman I believe is supposed to represent Israel. The dragon certainly represents Satan. And the baby that is snatched up before the dragon can harm it is Jesus. At least that is what my bible helps tell me. I won’t disagree too much with their analogy.
Israel was in turmoil when Jesus walked with us. They were under Roman oppression and yearning to be free. They were eagerly awaiting their Messiah and looking everywhere for Him. But in their searching they refused to see the truth because it didn’t fit in with their ideas. But as any woman knows, once that baby is created there is only one way out.
In our world today the baby is not given a voice in its life. If it is inconvenient or not what the woman wanted, it is easily discarded. If Mary lived in our society today would she have aborted Jesus? He certainly was inconvenient for her and Joseph. Actually, she had a choice. The angel asked permission BEFORE God placed His Son within her. And after God placed His Son in Mary’s womb He protected Him from harm.
Satan has been after Jesus physically from the moment of conception. He would love to have had Joseph stone Mary for being pregnant before marriage. God chose Mary a husband with a kind heart AND told him what was going on. Satan then tried to have Jesus killed as a toddler by Hared. God told the wise men to go home another way and told Joseph to get out of reach of Hared. MANY times Satan tried to have Jesus discredited, arrested or killed during His ministry time. I will include in this the times the seas were stirred up against Him. But God ALWAYS watched over Him.
Satan was NEVER able to harm Jesus until it was God’s timing. I think it is ironic that when Satan FINALLY got what he was after it turned out to be the exact opposite of what he really intended to do. He intended to stop Jesus’ ministry but he solidified its foundation instead. The instant of Jesus’ death was the end to Satan’s free rein.
I’m curious about the crowns on the dragon’s heads. I believe the ten horns represent the ten kings mentioned later in John’s vision. Do the seven heads and the seven diadems represent the seven continents on the earth? Also, where were the horns located on the dragon? Were there ten horns on each head or ten horns in total?
A second question I have is do the stars that the dragon swept down represent the angels who fell with him? My bible helps and GotQuestions.com seem to agree that it does. The bible doesn’t specify a number or fraction anywhere else about how many angels sinned against God and followed Satan but this reference makes sense.
The last point I want to look at is when the woman flees to the wilderness. She goes to a place that was “prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days” (verse 6b). It has been MORE that 1,260 days since Jesus left this earth no matter how you count it. So I’m wondering if the woman or the time frame represents something else here. She is certainly going after giving birth and after God “caught up” the child. Is she still representing Israel of is she now representing the church? The time period for her protection in the wilderness, is it at the end of the tribulation? Does it begin with the murder and resurrection of the two witnesses? Were their eyes open following the resurrection and the earthquake that followed? John says they “were terrified and gave glory to the God of Heaven” (11:13b). Is this when the church that rises during the tribulation pulls away for safety? Is this safety only offered to the Jews? That’s just something I’m curious about. I firmly believe God will have His hand on ALL who come to Him during that terrible time, but how and where He chooses to do so is up to Him.
Father God, thank You for protecting Jesus when He was a helpless infant. Thank You for carefully selecting his parents. I shudder to think about what could have happened if those You chose didn’t choose You back. You knew their answer before You even posed the question but You allowed Mary to make the choice on her own.
Thank You Father for preparing a place of safety for those who believe in You in the last days. Thank You that earthly safety isn’t the final goal for You or Your children. Eternal safety trumps physical safety any day! Thank You that, no matter what comes, my home is with You! Thank You for giving me that assurance.
Holy Spirit, thank You for highlighting things for me to consider today. Thank You for helping others MUCH more learned than me to understand and share their thoughts on John’s letter. Thank You for, once again, meeting me and walking me through God’s word.