November 3, 2020
Revelation 12:9-12
The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“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 brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
    and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.”

New International Version (NIV)
            My uncle Lloyd and I used to catch snakes together in Illinois when I was growing up.  Because my uncle is a sort of amateur herpetologist, his desire to catch snakes never seemed odd to me.  When he brought a snake to our boys, though, Melanie had a very different opinion on the matter.  In Melanie’s view, snakes and babies don’t go together.
Somehow I had missed the story this summer about a toddler in Tennessee, kept in a cage near a boa constrictor.  A news article described the neglect of parents who did not take care of the eighteen month old child.  It was frightening to read.  The parents are in jail. 
John tells us of a serpent who is a great dragon determined to kill a baby.  It reminds us of King Herod’s desperate attempt to track down and kill the baby Jesus.  After a great war in heaven, the dragon is thrown down to the earth where he cannot harm the baby.  The angry dragon, identified with Satan, is called the accuser of the people of God.
Once again in our reading of Revelation, we wonder, did this already happen, is it happening or will it happen in the future?  Clearly the Evil one is still alive and well on our planet.  He has already been defeated in heaven.  Filled with fury, he seeks to steal, kill and destroy because he knows that his time is short.
Missionaries came home on furlough and told about an enormous snake—much longer than a man—which slithered its way right through their front door and into the kitchen of their simple home. Terrified, they ran outside and searched frantically for a local who might know what to do. A machete-wielding neighbor came to the rescue, calmly marching into their house and decapitating the snake with one clean chop.  The neighbor reemerged triumphant and assured the missionaries that the reptile had been defeated. But there was a catch, he warned: It was going to take a while for the snake to realize it was dead. 
John tells us that the great dragon-serpent Satan has been defeated and is dying.  Until the end, though, he has power to wreak havoc.  We who serve the Son of God who will rule the nations must be sober and alert, resisting Evil, remaining steadfast.  The baby Jesus grew up.  God’s Son has come.  He will win.  We wait for his return.  
Pray with me:         
Father, help your people not to be deceived by the wiles of our Enemy.  Give us the wisdom to discern truth from error.  Deliver us from the Evil one today.  “His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure.  One little Word shall fell him.” Help us to live fearlessly and confidently in the power of the risen Lord.  Let the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts be pleasing in your sight today, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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