Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. (Revelation 12:17 NIV)
This twelfth chapter of Revelation is a story of conflict. On one side are a woman and her children. And on the other is an enormous red dragon. The woman gave birth to a male child who would rule the nations. The dragon attempted to devour this child, but the child was snatched up to the throne of God. Then the dragon tried to destroy the woman, but she was protected from him. And, finally, the dragon turned his attention to the rest of this woman’s offspring, waging war against them.
The woman in this conflict would seem to be Israel, with her firstborn being Jesus. And the dragon would appear to be Satan. But who are the rest of her offspring? They are described as “those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” They are followers of the Lord Jesus.
Battling the Dragon
The book of Revelation was written to churches facing opposition from the world around them. Some had remained faithful, while others had compromised with their culture. This vision that John records here helped them to see that there was more going on than they could see with their eyes. There was a battle raging around them. A spiritual battle. And the enemy, pictured as a great dragon, was trying to destroy them.
And this message was not just for those first-century churches. This great battle with the dragon is still ongoing. As individual believers, and collectively as Christ’s church, we are at war. Not with the people of this world, but with the spiritual forces of evil (Eph. 6:10-12). So put on the armor God provides and join in this great battle against the dragon. Take your stand, and emerge victorious.