Good Thursday morning. I’m asking for your prayers for a single mother named Sherry. Not from our church, but in a really tough place financially. She has two teenaged daughters and has left her abusive husband. She works full time, but can’t make ends meet. Let’s pray mightily that God lifts her up and surrounds her with helpful and loving people.

Revelation 12: 13-18

13 “So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.

18 Then the dragon took his stand on the sand of the seashore.”

This chapter ends with a wild and crazy image! The dragon (devil) has been cast out of heaven and is now terrorizing the earth. He attacks the woman who may represent the people of God, the church, God’s chosen ones. John uses very familiar imagery from the Old Testament. The well known and well loved imagery of the eagle’s wings are a symbol of the arms of God that can lift you up.There are many Psalms that carry the image of the overwhelming floods. So while this picture of the dragon ejecting floods may seem odd and grotesque to us, it comes from a picture which the Old Testament knew well and used often.

 The earth swallowing the river imagery is real. It happened quite often in Asia Minor where rivers were swallowed up in the sand and traveled underground for a distance, then bubbled up somewhere later. John had seen this happen near Colossae. But, what does it mean? The earth was created not to destroy, but to aid goodness, so in our hour of need, nature itself comes to the aid of goodness.

In verse 17, the dragon goes on to make war with the rest of the family of the woman and the faithful in the church. This is a portent of coming persecution of the church.

Read Chapter 13 in preparation for tomorrow.

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue