Thursday 29 September 2022

Bible Book:

'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah, for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down … they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.' (vs 10-11)

Revelation 12:7-12 Thursday 29 September 2022

Psalm 103


If you have been following 'A Word in Time' every day this week, you will notice we break today in our study of Proverbs. This is because today is Michaelmas, the annual feast of Michael and All Angels, celebrated in some traditions of the Church, and this passage in Revelation is our chief biblical source on Michael (other references are Daniel 10:13, 21 and 12:1, and Jude 1:9). The other archangels are Gabriel and Raphael, with a fourth, Uriel, named in some Protestant traditions. Because it is close to the autumn equinox, Michaelmas was chosen as one of the four quarter days for financial, legal and academic scheduling.

The Book of Revelation not only uses typical story-telling in what we might call a fantasy style to understand its times in the light of the universe’s future, but does so with many flashbacks, and re-telling of scenes from a different point of view, making it difficult to create a chronology of the end times. It also uses many kinds of symbolism whose meaning is sometimes far from clear although that is not an issue with today’s passage.

Michael is Israel’s heavenly champion (Daniel 10:21); his enemy, the dragon, is clearly defined here as “the ancient serpent” (that is of Genesis 3), “the Devil or Satan, deceiver of the entire world.” The heavenly battle between these two chief angels resulting in the banishment of evil corresponds to the warring of good and evil forces throughout the history of Israel until Christ’s incarnation and life through to his ascension, gained the victory. Verse 11 makes clear that death of Jesus and the testimony of his followers is the historic event that corresponds to the downfall of Satan.

To Ponder:

  • In what sense, if any, do angels have meaning for you?
  • Is the kind of story told in these verses helpful to you in understanding the battle between good and evil in the world?
  • If you are one who believes that Christ has won the decisive victory over all evil, what are the practical consequences for your daily life?
  • In what ways, if any, is the Book of Revelation useful to you?
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