Friday, December 16, 2011

How God's love would triumph over Satan's Hatred

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,

In this third and final episode of John's vision in Revelation twelve, we see him doing a couple of things:  first he is expanding in more detail upon the previous scene in Revelation 12:4-6 and second, he is including some of the details from the scene in Revelation 12:1-2.  When he does this, we are getting a complete picture of history as scene from both the visible and invisible realms.  Clearly one of the themes associated with this vision is the wrath and hatred of satan for God, Christ and the people of God.  All of these events center upon the moment when Christ entered into time on that Christmas night.  The question we want to know the answer to is: why does satan hate Christmas?

1. Satan was expelled from heaven.  Michael, the archangel and chief guardian over the nation of Israel, led the offense against the angelic rebellion.  We cannot imagine the scale of the battle - being that the combatants would had numbered in the trillions.  We cannot imagine the power involved in such a fight, since scripture records how one angel for instance would wipe out 185,000 human soldiers. (2 Kings 19:35)
That ancient battle did take place, and as a result, Satan and his minions have been on the assault ever since as a result of their defeat.

2. Satan hates the nation of Israel
There are two reasons why Satan would hate Israel.  First is because Michael, the one who led the effort to cast him out of heaven, was assigned guardianship over Israel (please note Daniel 10).  Undoubtedly Satan's memory is still fresh.  But even moreso Satan's hatred for Israel stems from the fact that through that nation, and through the bloodlines of men like Judah and David in its history, God brought God the Son from eternity into time.  No doubt Satan tried to foil God's plan, but of course as scripture reveals, Christ was born, was crucified, raised from the dead and will return once again.

3. Satan hates God's people
As you look at this text, you find out that Satan as turned his attention to accusing and persecuting the people of God.  Revelation 12:11 reveals - “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death."  We read of further details in Revelation 12:17 - "So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." 

These verses points to the saints of God who have lived throughout the ages of the Old Testament as well as this current church age.  They also speak of those saints who will endure to the end of history leading up to Christ's return.  All believing Jews and Gentiles in the Lord Jesus Christ embody the reality to which the hope of Christmas points: the victory of God through Jesus Christ. 

As we close today's blog, I'm reminded of a 500 year old hymn written by Martin Luther entitled "A mighty fortress is our God".  In that hymn we find these words:

"But still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe; his power and wrath are great, and armed with cruel hate, none on earth is his equal."  Then later on in the hymn we find these words: "were not the right man on our side, the man of God's own choosing; Just ask who that may be, Christ Jesus it is He; Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same, and He will win the battle."

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