Last time in Revelation we saw God’s temple in heaven open and there were signs of His power and might, flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. Powerful indeed. Now another great sign appears in heaven, a pregnant woman.
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.
Anyone who has had children will know how special a time pregnancy is; physical, emotional, spiritual changes and ‘the glow’ that people talk about!
Who then is this pregnant woman from whom a male child will be born, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron?
Well, if we take the child to be Jesus, the woman would have to be the Biblical nation of Israel. When we see that on her head she has a crown of twelve stars, this helps us to see that we are talking about Israel. Genesis 37.9-11 also helps with this sign.
Who is waiting? A great red dragon…actually here we need not wonder who it is as v.9 tells us explicitly…who is called the devil and Satan…He plans to devour the child, the devil tries to do everything that he can do derail the plans of God, even using men such as Herod to try and kill infant/toddler Jesus in Matthew 2.16.
It didn’t happen then, it doesn’t happen here in Revelation, and it will never happen. To quote Gamaliel, a teacher of the law we read of in Acts,
“…if [this plan] is of God, you will not be able to overthrow [it].”
Just like God providentially provided protection for the woman here for three and a half years, just as He providentially protected infant Jesus by allowing escape to Egypt, He will do for you too if you trust Him. Our God is everywhere, knows all, sees all, has power over all, and works everything to our ultimate good, our salvation in Christ.
Poet Robert Burns wrote
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.
Our accuser will lay plans against us, and when he sees we are living for the Lord they will be well-laid plans. But, we are to take heart, for Jesus has overcome the world and everything in it, including the best laid plans of mice, men, and dragons.