Dec. 19: Revelation 12-13, Psalm 44

Revelation 12

The Woman and the Dragon

1 And 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. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 5 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, 6 and 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.

Satan Thrown Down to Earth

7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And 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. 10 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. 11 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. 12 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!”

13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 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. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 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. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

Revelation 13

The First Beast

1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. 4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”

5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

10 If anyone is to be taken captive,
    to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
    with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

The Second Beast

11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Psalm 44

Come to Our Help

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 O God, we have heard with our ears,
    our fathers have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
    in the days of old:
2 you with your own hand drove out the nations,
    but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
    but them you set free;
3 for not by their own sword did they win the land,
    nor did their own arm save them,
but your right hand and your arm,
    and the light of your face,
    for you delighted in them.

4 You are my King, O God;
    ordain salvation for Jacob!
5 Through you we push down our foes;
    through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
6 For not in my bow do I trust,
    nor can my sword save me.
7 But you have saved us from our foes
    and have put to shame those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually,
    and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah

9 But you have rejected us and disgraced us
    and have not gone out with our armies.
10 You have made us turn back from the foe,
    and those who hate us have gotten spoil.
11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter
    and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You have sold your people for a trifle,
    demanding no high price for them.
13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
    the derision and scorn of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations,
    a laughingstock among the peoples.
15 All day long my disgrace is before me,
    and shame has covered my face
16 at the sound of the taunter and reviler,
    at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.

17 All this has come upon us,
    though we have not forgotten you,
    and we have not been false to your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
    nor have our steps departed from your way;
19 yet you have broken us in the place of jackals
    and covered us with the shadow of death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21 would not God discover this?
    For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.

23 Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
    Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
24 Why do you hide your face?
    Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
    our belly clings to the ground.
26 Rise up; come to our help!
    Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.