I don’t remember most of my dreams. Most of the ones I do remember, I do not understand – and are forgotten soon after I’m awake. Reading the book of Revelation, I am hearing the dreams of John. It is a challenge to make sense of what he sees. So it is helpful to remember why he has written this book. His purpose is to offer encouragement and hope to people in the midst of persecution and ready to give up.
In Revelation 12, John offers this dream of the woman and the dragon. The dragon is in pursuit and the woman is able to slip away. However, the dragon does not go away. The chapter ends with the dragon looking out over the sea (from which the people of the first century believed monsters arise). The woman represents God’s people – believers. They are under attack and it’s not over yet. But the victory has been won. The final outcome has already been determined. Listen to the “loud voice in heaven”: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah… They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb.” (vs 10-11)
To be a follower of Christ, does not mean the challenges have ended. To be a believer, does not mean we will never feel our faith is under attack. Such challenges and attacks are not over. But the final outcome has already been determined. Salvation has come to those who will believe and will follow. What we have today and tomorrow is the power to live through whatever we face because the One who dwells in us is always and forever greater than the one who is in the world.
The dragon will return. How will the story conclude? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you already live that answer.
Today’s readings: 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 40-41; Revelation 12