Revelation – The Woman, The Red Dragon and The Child

Today, we delved into Revelation 12, and David began by posing a question: “Do you think that we underestimate and trivialise the devil?” In this chapter, three crucial symbols took centre stage: a woman, a red dragon and a child. David meticulously explored and explained each one.


The Woman

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. (v.1)

This initial description may seem peculiar, but it harks back to Genesis 37, where Joseph dreams of the sun, moon and 11 stars bowing down. Consequently, this woman signifies Israel. As we continue, she gives birth to a child (Jesus), making her representative of Mary.

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... BUT THE WOMAN WAS GIVEN THE TWO WINGS OF THE GREAT EAGLE SO THAT SHE MIGHT FLY FROM THE SERPENT INTO THE WILDERNESS, TO THE PLACE WHERE SHE IS TO BE NOURISHED FOR A TIME, AND TIMES, AND HALF A TIME.

Nourished by God in the wilderness, symbolising Israel’s journey to the promised land, the woman becomes the target of the dragon. This parallels Israel’s care in the wilderness. She represents the church on a journey amid challenges, lasting 1260 days or 3 ½ years, signifying the time between Jesus’ first and second coming – the last days. The woman embodies the Church, Israel and Mary concurrently as a ‘SIGN’.


The Red Dragon

ANOTHER SIGN APPEARED IN HEAVEN: BEHOLD, A GREAT RED DRAGON, WITH SEVEN HEADS AND TEN HORNS, AND ON HIS HEADS SEVEN DIADEMS... THE GREAT DRAGON WAS THROWN DOWN, THAT ANCIENT SERPENT, WHO IS CALLED THE DEVIL AND SATAN, THE DECEIVER OF THE WHOLE WORLD – HE WAS THROWN DOWN TO THE EARTH, AND HIS ANGELS WERE THROWN DOWN WITH HIM.

The ancient serpent, devil, embodies completeness with the symbolic numbers seven and ten. Representing authority (head), strength (horns), wealth (diadems) and blood (red). This dragon is significant. It echoes the Garden of Eden where the serpent caused mayhem. This dragon has been around for a very long time, hellbent on wrecking lives. So he is not a trivial being. But he is a defeated being.

“THEREFORE, REJOICE, O HEAVENS AND YOU WHO DWELL IN THEM! BUT WOE TO YOU, O EARTH AND SEA, FOR THE DEVIL HAS COME DOWN TO YOU IN GREAT WRATH, BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT HIS TIME IS SHORT!” ... THEN THE DRAGON BECAME FURIOUS WITH THE WOMAN AND WENT OFF TO MAKE WAR ON THE REST OF HER OFFSPRING, ON THOSE WHO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AND HOLD TO THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS.

Six times in the chapter, we read that the devil is thrown down because he knows his time is short. Aware of what lies ahead, he is furious, waging war on the rest of the offspring – us. He is actively seeking to devour.


The Child

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.

This echoes back to the Old Testament, particularly Psalm 2, a messianic psalm about the Lord’s anointed one, the promised Messiah – Jesus. This verse connects to the first Christmas, a moment the devil sought to devour, as seen in Herod’s attempt to kill the infants. As Eugene Peterson noted, “Jesus’ birth excites more than wonder; it excites evil.” From birth to ascension, from manger to the throne of the universe, the devil remains infuriated by Jesus’ coming and enthronement.

AND I HEARD A LOUD VOICE IN HEAVEN, SAYING, “NOW THE SALVATION AND THE POWER AND THE KINGDOM OF OUR GOD AND THE AUTHORITY OF HIS CHRIST HAVE COME, FOR THE ACCUSER OF OUR BROTHERS HAS BEEN THROWN DOWN, WHO ACCUSES THEM DAY AND NIGHT BEFORE OUR GOD.”

The war was won through Jesus coming to earth, dying on the cross, and rising from the dead, defeating death. However, the battle continues until Jesus returns and we reach the promised land. Satan comes after us in three ways:

  1. Accusation: Underestimating the devil’s accusations before God puts us in danger of entertaining his charges and assertions.
  2. Deception: Satan operates through promises and fuels deceit and lies. Underestimating him puts us at risk of losing sight of the truth.
  3. Seeking destruction: Represented by the colour of blood, Satan aims to destroy our faith, undermining it and draining the life out of it.

Connecting to Ephesians 6 about the armour of God, the battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual darkness and evil forces. Putting on the armour of God is crucial in resisting these attacks. Being aware of the devil’s schemes (accusation, deception and destruction) enables us to overcome him and stand firm.

“AND THEY HAVE CONQUERED HIM BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY, FOR THEY LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES EVEN UNTO DEATH.”

We conquer the devil:

  1. By the blood of the Lamb.
  2. By the word of our testimony: Speaking the truth about Jesus, for if the Son sets us free, we are free indeed.
  3. By being willing to die: Overcoming the devil by surrendering to Jesus, decreasing ourselves as he increases. Living a life where, for us, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Reflection:
Living this way defeats the enemy. As God’s people journey through life, the dragon rages, but we await Jesus’ return with unwavering focus. Firmly standing by the blood of the Lamb, the cross remains central. We speak truth about Jesus, living for him, even if it costs us our lives.
It’s all about Jesus!

Jesima Dawood

Jesima Dawood

Hi, I'm Jesima, and I'm part of the Deep Dive team at Windsor. I started coming to Windsor in 2022. I am an international student at Queen's studying medicine. I enjoy playing the guitar, and in my free time, I'm on Facetime with my family back home! Windsor is like a new home to me, and I am so blessed to have this connection!!
Jesima Dawood
Hi, I'm Jesima, and I'm part of the Deep Dive team at Windsor. I started coming to Windsor in 2022. I am an international student at Queen's studying medicine. I enjoy playing the guitar, and in my free time, I'm on Facetime with my family back home! Windsor is like a new home to me, and I am so blessed to have this connection!!