Devil Persecutes Christians
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Devil Persecutes Christians (Revelation 12.15-13.1a)

"Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring - those who obey God's commands [or "commandments"] and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. And the dragon [some manuscripts read "And I"] stood on the shore of the sea." (Revelation 12.15-13.1a)✞

Serpent Spewed Water

Floods of WaterGod promises in Psalm 32.6 that "Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them." Psalm 124.1-4 adds, "If the Lord had not been on our side — let Israel say — if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away." "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you." says Isaiah 43.2a. This chapter in Revelation finishes with two further pictures of the Devil's persecution of Christians and their rescue. When "the serpent spewed water like a river," the earth swallowed them up and so the woman was saved. This would have been a reminder to John of Patmos that in Asia Minor, near Colossae, rivers were routinely swallowed up in the sand only to reappear after travelling a distance underground.✞

Nature on our Side

Archdeacon James FroudeNature itself is on the side of the person who is faithful to Jesus Christ. The English historian James Froude (1818-1894) wrote about Exodus 19.4, "In the world there is a moral order and in the long run it is well with the good, and ill with the wicked." John of Patmos pictures the dragon going to war with the rest of the family of the woman, that is with the rest of the Church. This tells of the coming spread of Christian persecution over the Church. As John of Patmos saw it, Satan was cast down to earth and in his last terrible convulsion is going to involve the whole family of the Church in the agony of the persecution of Christians.✞

"Devil Persecutes Christians"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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