The Woman, the Dragon, and the Male Child [7-24-22]

Chapter 12 is Biblical storytelling at its finest. There is no need to overthink it or over embellish it. As we'll see, its meaning is quite simple. We are going to break it down into three parts, drawing several key points from each part, and then tie it all together. And we're going to do it all in 35 minutes or less.

Let's look at 12:1-6:

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. 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. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

Here are some key points to ponder.

First, the woman:

  • The fact that the woman is clothed with the sun speaks of glory and brilliance and dignity. This is nothing less than the Biblical truth and promise that salvation comes through God's chosen people…the nation of Israel. Remember, Jesus was born through the lineage of David, King of Israel.

  • The crown was really a garland, or a wreath. The Greek word is "stephanos," which is a crown of victory obtained through struggle and hard work. It is the prize won after a hard race.

  • So here is a woman, Israel, patiently waiting through pain and struggle for the child to be born who will deliver them from sin and death. It reminds me of that wonderful Christmas song, Mary, did

You Know? "This child that you delivered would soon deliver you."

Second, the dragon:

  • In the Bible, the number seven is associated with completeness or perfection. Applied to the dragon, it emphasizes the universality of his power.

  • The dragon's sole mission is to consume and devour all that is good and right and true about God's creation. He stands ready to destroy the child when he is born.

  • We have to be aware of the powers of sin and evil at work in the world. Satan operates through the systems, structures, and organizations of the world. The pain, suffering, and death he wants to inflict on the woman, he wants to inflict on the world.

  • I love this quote from J.C. Ryle: "Warfare with the powers of hell is the experience of every individual member of the true Church. Each has to fight. What are the lives of all the saints, but records of battles?"

  • As 1 John 3:12 reminds us: "We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder

him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous." As God warned Cain in Genesis, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

Third, the male child: