The Woman and the Dragon

The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born (Revelation 12:4)

I read somewhere recently that Billy Graham, the famous evangelist who brought so many to Christ, really regretted getting involved in politics and wished he’d spent more time with his family.

I thought that was interesting because it is sometimes a temptation, isn’t it, to get involved in social and political causes (however ‘noble’ they may seem) that can actually lead you away from the things that really matter i.e. your nearest and dearest – which in turn can cause you to drift from Christ. Even a man as strong in the faith like Billy was clearly vulnerable to this kind of thing.

The book of Revelation is full of curious images and symbolism and one of these is of a woman in labour about to give birth to a son. But it turns out that, unbeknown to her, there is a terrifying dragon who is lurking, waiting to devour her child the minute he is born. (Revelation 12: 1-6)

But notice the child is safe until he is born. Inside the womb he is protected – it is a haven where he can develop and grow without any outside interference, and he is being sustained completely by the mother. The dragon can’t get his ‘claws’ on the child until he is outside the mother’s protective womb.

This illustrates exactly what God does with us too doesn’t it? The Lord often gives us times of ‘incubation’ where we are alone with him for an extended period of time – away from the ‘outside world’ where he can help us grow in spiritual strength. These times are not always easy because some of us are ‘chomping at the bit’, desperate to get out there and get ‘involved’ in something! But we need to be very careful that we don’t try to rush things or take matters into our own hands because this could result in a premature birth. In other words, we will go out there unprepared, vulnerable, not fully developed and not totally up to the task. Thus when we are hit with all of life’s ‘slings and arrows’ which come from all directions, we stumble, lose our footing and lose sight of God and the things that matter.

The ‘slings and arrows’ often come from a place we least expect, don’t they? Perhaps we get involved in a charity thinking we are helping others and it turns out there’s infighting and money being spent on the wrong things, or it may even come from the church itself.

We may think we are strong but our sustenance comes from Christ alone – very quickly our lights will be extinguished when we are faced with never-ending demands, accusations or internal politics which we are ill-equipped to deal with.

So the message for me, (once again!) is be careful – keep the focus on Him. Incubation periods can sometimes feel long and protracted but we must remember that the ‘devil’ is out there ready to devour us. And if your intense incubation period is over, keep coming back to Him regularly for nourishment and sustenance; don’t end up like Billy – full of regrets!

7 thoughts on “The Woman and the Dragon

  1. Excellent blog. There is one thing I have noticed about the church organizations. Your journey with Christ is a personal thing and it will involve others but people go and get involved with churches and may find that lo and behold they drift from the path with Christ. Usually this is a result of getting too involved in church projects and helping with the running of the church in one form or another. This can bring you down and you might feel a bit lost. lovely blog Dom.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great blog post! Very uplifting to know that sometimes what you are *meant* to be doing is in fact NOT necessarily what the world might tell you you ought to be doing, or what they consider to be ‘good’ or ‘right’. Like Steve says, the journey is personal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Why didn’t Jesus ‘get alongside’ the fishermen instead of just calling them to follow Him? Why didn’t he get friendly with the religious community instead of finding fault with them all the time? Why didn’t he make some kind of impression with the Romans and other authorities? Surely, any one or all of these enterprises would have helped his cause, wouldn’t it?

    He didn’t do any of these things, neither did he get engaged with any other human institution – something that the church seems to think is virtually essential, and something that Billy Graham ‘fell for’ and, of course, regretted.

    This excellent blog points out something fundamental that all believers need to know and to practise – something that Dom, Steve and Tess plainly already know, that not only is our life in Christ individual but also intensely personal and above all, spiritual. Jesus didn’t win hearts by ‘making friends and influencing people’, that’s the world’s way. He won us by dying for us, a death that points out dramatically what’s wrong with us and tells us the truth about ourselves and offers us the solution.

    “No one serving as a soldier (of Christ) gets entangled in civilian affairs.” (2 Tim. 2:4 NIV)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is really interesting and insightful Jack. I have just read a great poem by someone called Sheldon Vanauken which illustrates what you are saying here – do you know him?

    The GAP
    Did Jesus live? And did He really say
    The burning words that banish mortal fear?
    And are they true? Just this is central, here
    The Church must stand or fall. It’s Christ we weigh.

    All else is off the point: the Flood, the Day
    Of Eden, or the Virgin Birth–Have done!
    The Question is, did God send us the Son
    Incarnate crying Love! Love is the way!

    Between the probable and the proved, there yawns
    A gap. Afraid to jump, we stand absurd,
    Then see behind us sink the ground and, worse,
    Our very standpoint crumbling. Desperate dawns
    Our only hope: to leap into the Word
    That opens up the shuttered universe.


  5. What a wonderful poem Dom. I’ve never heard it before but I think Vanauken’s famous book ‘A Severe Mercy’ very much echoes the poem. He, too, knew that a Christian must be entirely taken up with and taken over by Christ. To dabble in the institutions of this world is to be led astray. and from his own experience he showed that even a beloved wife can (in the best possible way) ‘get in the way’ of that relationship.


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