Journal Rev 12 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony—for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Rev 12:10-11
Observation: Revelation gets more difficult for me. As much as I can I want to integrate stuff like this into the Gospel narrative—and that process of organizing the storyline is harder and harder.
Analysis: Today is a conversation with any readers as well as the face in the mirror.
One of my “hobbies” is the tale of the devil. No, seriously, it really is. Not the fictions that most of us have been exposed to but extracting this “tale” from the Biblical storyline—making the fictions all of us know about into the non-fiction data that the Bible provides SO THAT the devil is given the proper place as DATA in the Gospel.
I think that American Christianity (and maybe other places around the world) have an incorrect view of the devil, most of those views resulting in some sort of dualism—God vs. Satan; Jesus vs. Satan; Good vs. Evil; or something like that.
It falls out into the area of understanding the Gospel in this manner: Somehow Sin and the Devil are conflated equally in my person—that is, I can talk about my personal sin as being the fault of the devil. Be careful, it may sound strange, and it may sound like I am splitting hairs if we were to talk seriously about it.
At the end, it is not the God vs. the devil battle that is generally expected, it is a war of rebellion and want of equality.
In Revelation Chapter 12, some of what I see is:
- The dragon stood against the Child.
- War in heaven between Michael and his troops and the dragon and his troops;
- Losing, the dragon and his troops were thrown out of heaven.
There is more detail, but this captures a lot. There is a question of timing (when is this taking place?), but it could be before Eden (Genesis).
Why important? I think it is because this gives the background of why the devil is working a counter-intelligence process, providing accusations and disinformation to the Children of Men, i.e., If the devil can get the Children of Men to actively oppose the rule of God like he did, then the Purposes of the Most High can be thwarted—which happened in Genesis 3.
I can remember Job 1-3: Lucifer wanted to show God that he could get Job to renounce allegiance and love for God. Wouldn’t that be the same ask about us?
Sin is about being traitorous, being a traitor, a rebel to His Will and Ways. It seems to have started with what’s-his-name and getting Man to do the same. And Man does.
The Gospel is the answer…
Prayer: Father, this section of Scripture is opening and providing more clarity to the Tapestry that is the Gospel. The more I understand the nature and background of Sin, the more I understand how much You abhor, fiercely abhor Sin. Any word that I think of is woefully inadequate to describe your emotion of this.
Therefore, O God, work in me a fierce emotion to my own sin by instructing me in your Word, that I may walk in your ways all my days and serve your purposes.