But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time. Revelation 12:14 (NLT)
Our journey through the wilderness in Scripture is nearly complete. We know the dictionary defines a wilderness as uncultivated, uninhabited or undisturbed by human activity. There is often no clear path through it. Metaphorically it is a bewildering situation. We’ve seen a lot happens in the wilderness. Wandering. It is also a place of transition. The restoration of relationships can happen in the wilderness. Sometimes it is an opportunity for instruction. It was a place of temptation. Last week we saw that it was a time for communion with Jesus. It is also a place of protection.
In Revelation 12, John sees some amazing events play out in a vision. He is shown a woman clothed with the sun (v. 1). She gives birth to a son, the one who will rule the nations (v. 5). John also sees a great red dragon, identified as Satan himself (v. 3, 9). This dragon not only tries to devour the woman’s son, but later he pursues the woman to destroy her. Both times, she flees or is carried to the wilderness where she is protected and nourished.
It is easy to read this and immediately begin thinking eschatologically, and get bogged down identifying the woman, setting a timeline and so forth. While I have ideas on those, that is beyond the scope of what we focusing on here. Let’s just look at the events at face value and learn what we can from that.
Satan hates the woman and wants to destroy her and her offspring.
I’m not sure we grasp how deeply, how completely Satan hates us. All of us. And the more suffering he can cause, the more death and destruction he can bring, the more havoc he can wreak, the better he likes it. His attacks are not always physical. Sometimes they are emotional, mental or spiritual. If we had no other recourse, Satan would achieve his goals.
God prepared a place of protection.
Verse 6 and verse 14 both state that God prepared a place of protection for the woman in the wilderness. She is safe. She can rest, and God provides nourishment until she regains her strength.
God knows the attacks will come against us and He has already taken action to deal with them. God has equipped us with His armor and the attacks will either help us gain proficiency with that armor or the attacks will teach us the wisdom and humility to recognize when we are outmatched.
Where are you now?
Are you under attack? Is it time to fall back and regroup? It is not a failure to do so. God has prepared a wilderness place where we are protected and fed. Once we are restored and re-energized we can go back to the battle.
Are you in the wilderness? If so, consider whether God providentially rescued you and placed you in a safe place. Thank Him, then let Him care for and nurture you.