Vs. 9, “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.” John uses vivid symbolism to illustrate some very important history. Certainly the dragon is none other than Satan and the stars (vs. 4) represent the rebellious angels. It is quite dramatic as we are given insight into a cosmic battle with Michael the archangel defeating Satan (vs. 7-8). Let’s go back for a moment, the woman probably represents Israel or the remnant of Israel (vs. 1-2). The child that was born represents Jesus (vs. 5-6). The serpent Satan proceeds to make war with those on earth (vs. 17).
Regarding application…Enemy is Desperate. Vs. 12, “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.” Though the enemy’s time is short, he is desperate to wreck havoc wherever he can. Satan is out to destroy God’s people, especially the church. While some believe this verse is speaking of the latter half of the seven year Tribulation, the principle of desperation applies today. We live in a time when we should not take lightly our opponent. Certainly, Jesus has been victorious and will ultimately be victorious. However, that doesn’t mean that we will win every battle in this spiritual war. Let us not grow overconfident but let this be reminder to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6).
Vs. 3, “But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.” It seems Pharaoh’s decree while worrisome, was not completely effective. Moses was born from a Levite family and father (Amram) and mother (Jochebed) (Exodus 6:20) and after hiding him, his mother took measures to try to save Moses (vs. 1-4). Once again, we see the providence of God as Pharaoh’s own daughter would come upon Moses floating in his basket along the Nile (vs. 5-6). Now, this is where it gets crazy! Moses’ sister Miriam comes up to Pharaoh’s daughter and recommends that she have a Hebrew woman help out with rearing the child (vs. 7). Moses’ mom (Jochebed) not only is reunited with her son, but now she gets to raise him and will get paid for it! God works in mysterious ways. Suddenly, we fast-forward forty years (vs. 11) as Moses was educated by the Egyptians (Acts 7:22). But, Moses knew his true identity and encounters an injustice of a Hebrew being beaten by an Egyptian. Sadly, Moses killed this man and would flee the land of Egypt for he was wanted dead (vs. 12-15). We are not given detail to exactly what transpired, but I caution us not to judge why Moses ended up having to kill this man. The latter half of our chapter is Moses’ travel to the land of Midian and his marriage to Zipporah (vs. 15-25). We see Moses’ actions again to seeing injustice with the women at the well (vs. 17). Moses went from being a prince of Egypt to a shepherd in Midian.
Regarding application…Letting Go. Looking back at our aforementioned verse (vs. 3), I can’t imagine the pain it must have been for Moses’ family. They held onto Moses as long as they could, but realized his life was in imminent danger from Pharaoh’s decree. Amram and Jochebed (Moses’ parents) did what many would not have the courage to do: they let Moses go. I can’t help but see the comparison to God the Father doing the same thing for us in Jesus. Moses would become the man to deliver God’s people out of bondage in Egypt. Jesus would become the man to deliver those who believe in Him out of the bondage of sin. God honored Jochebed by allowing her to raise her own son. Question: What are we holding onto that we should be letting go? Sometimes we just have to put our faith into action and know that God is in control in all situations.
Vs. 2, “When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord.” Question: So what is the deal with Gomer (vs. 3)? Hosea’s wife is mentioned to be an adulterous wife. While biblical scholars debate whether or not she was a prostitute before marriage or became one after, we must remember the original intent. Hosea’s marriage to Gomer was to be a living illustration of how God’s people were treating their relationship with Him. Gomer would leave Hosea and commit adultery. Just like Israel would turn their attention to the world. It’s also surprising that their three children would have such ominous names to represent the condition of Israel (vs. 4-9). Yet, in spite of the prophecies of judgment, we see Hosea give them a message/prophecy of amazing hope (vs. 10-11). God will one day bring His people to be united again and ultimately the one leader (vs. 11) points to the Messiah!
Regarding application…A Faithful God. Vs. 11, “The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited, and they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.” Question: How does God show His faithfulness? Recently on Facebook, I’ve noticed a few of my good friends having children and proudly posting their beautiful babies! That reminds me what joy a child can bring to a family. I want you to imagine you will have a baby, but before you even have that baby you are given the knowledge that child will grow to despise and hate you! Would you still go through the process of wanting that child? That’s kind of a small example of what is going on here with God’s relationship with Israel. We could also use the example of finding the love of your life and getting ready to marry them only to have the knowledge that they will cheat on you and leave you. Will you still marry them? Despite, the knowledge of sadness and tough times ahead, God’s promises and faithfulness shine brightly for a people who are living in sin. God is faithful even when we are not. Let that be a huge reminder that this truth is not taken for granted.