Revelation 12 reveals to us things that are happening around us; it provides a briefing about an invisible war in the spiritual realm.
This Conflict Involves a People (vv. 1-2)
The woman symbolizes the nation of Israel (see Genesis 37:9-10; Jeremiah 30; Daniel 10).
The Child is the Messiah (the Seed of the woman; see Genesis 3:15).
Probe: Consider the importance of the Jewish nation throughout history. Why has Satan attacked it with such vehemence?
This Conflict Includes a Perpetrator (vv. 3-4)
The dragon symbolizes Satan (see Revelation 12:9).
He is cruel, vile, and fierce.
He has seven heads. Seven symbolizes completeness; Satan’s intellect is comprehensive and vast.
He has ten horns and seven diadems, symbolizing Satan’s strength and authority in dominating the world.
We see Satan as the dragon he truly is, not his deceptive disguise as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Probe: Consider how Satan disguises himself in our world. What are some of the evil things happening in our culture that drive people from God’s goodness?
This Conflict Entails a Pursuit (vv. 4-6)
Why does Satan hate the woman? Because the Messiah will come through her–the Anointed One, the Christ who will crush Satan’s authority (see Genesis 3; Isaiah 9).
All of Israel and the church’s history centers on Satan’s attempts to destroy God’s people in order to prevent the Messiah’s birth and stop His mission of salvation.
Satan’s quest began with the first murder: Cain killing his brother Abel. Satan further induced others to murder (see Genesis 4; Genesis 6; Genesis 27). All murder and hateful violence toward the Jews is a sign of Satan trying to rid the world of God’s chosen people and, ultimately, the Messiah.
Satan thought he won the ultimate victory at the crucifixion, but then Christ took up His life and rose from the grave.
Probe: How can the church participate in crushing Satan in our society? What can we do to proclaim the victory of Christ and His resurrection?
This Conflict Ends in Primacy (v. 5)
Primacy means dominance and superiority.
The Child will return as King, and He will reign (see Isaiah 9).
Rod of iron: Christ will quell Satan’s rebellion and rule absolutely, shepherding and guiding the Jewish nation.
Probe: Christ is the shepherd and guide for Israel and the church. How has Christ guided you, showing His primacy for your benefit?
Connect Up: We are part of the war that began in heaven and moved to the theater of the earth. How does this reality draw you close to God?
Connect In: How is the church to participate in the drama of the end times? What role can we play now to minister to the church?
Connect Out: How can the church better proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ as we enter the final stages of history? How can we declare the primacy of Jesus’ victory to the world?