Summary: To overcome the forces of evil in your own life, believe that Jesus has already won the war and boldly declare your allegiance to Him.
Just a little over a year ago (May 2019), Police in western Germany say divine intervention saved a speeding driver from getting a ticket. That’s because a pigeon photobombed a traffic enforcement camera at just the right moment.
Just as the radar clocked the driver at 54 km/h in a 30km/h zone and the camera flashed, the pigeon flew in front of the car. It obscured the face of the driver with its spread wings and concealed the necessary evidence of who was at the wheel.
Police say, “Thanks to the feathered guardian angel,” the driver was spared a 105 euro ($117) fine but should take it as “a sign from above” to slow down. (Associated Press, “‘Guardian Angel’ Pigeon Helps Driver Avoid Speeding Ticket” Weird News, HuffPost.com, 5-28-19; www.PreachingToday.com)
God is always intervening in human affairs. Sometimes it is not so obvious, and sometimes it is. For example, God sent angels to announce the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and angels will be involved before His second coming, as well.
You see, we are part of a great cosmic conflict – which involves angels and demons on a grand scale. Behind the scenes, there is a war going on in heaven, which affects what happens here on earth.
The current divide in our country is NOT simply an irreconcilable difference of opinion between people. It’s part of a larger spiritual battle between the forces of evil and the forces of good in heavenly places.
Ephesians 6 says, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
So how do you battle those forces? How do children of God engage the real enemy of their souls? How do you fight and win? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Revelation 12, Revelation 12, where we get a behind the scenes look at the cosmic conflict and how God’s people win in that conflict.
Revelation 12:1-2 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. (ESV)
This is the first of four scenes in this cosmic conflict, and the first scene is a woman in labor. Now, this woman is none other than the nation of Israel. In several places, the Old Testament describes Israel as a woman in labor (Isaiah 66:7; Micah 4:10; 5:2-3). And the sun, moon and stars here are clearly an allusion to Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37. There, Joseph, one of Israel’s sons, has a dream where he sees the sun, moon and 11 stars bow down to him, a 12th star. It’s a description of Israel’s family – the father, the mother, and 12 sons, who later become the founders of the 12 tribes of Israel. You can’t miss the allusion here in Revelation 12. It’s clearly a reference to the nation of Israel, who throughout the Old Testament, like a woman in labor, anxiously awaits the coming of her Messiah and Deliverer. The first scene is a woman in labor.
The second scene is a dragon waiting.
Revelation 12:3-4 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. (ESV)
This red dragon is none other than Satan himself. He waits to devour the long-awaited child of the woman. He waits to destroy the long-awaited Messiah of Israel.
At one time, this red dragon was God’s highest archangel, but he rebelled against God and recruited a third of the angels to join him. That’s what it means when it says in verse 4 that “his tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven…” A third of the angels joined Satan in his rebellion.
After that, God pronounced his doom through the “seed of the woman” in Genesis 3:15. So Satan is out to get this “seed.” He is out to get Israel’s Child, the Messiah, who would fatally wound that old serpent.
We saw it when Jesus was born. Herod, in a satanically inspired plot, killed all the children in Bethlehem two years old and under in an effort to get at this new-born King of the Jews. However, God had warned Joseph in a dream, so he and Mary fled with Jesus to Egypt before Herod’s henchmen could get to Him.