"Michael fought the heav'nly battle, godly angels by his side; Warred against the ancient serpent, foiled the beast, so full of pride, Cast him earthbound with his angels; now he prowls, unsatisfied.
"Long on earth the battle rages, since the serpent's first deceit. Twisted God's command to Adam, made forbidden fruit look sweet. Then the curse of God was spoken: "You'll lie crushed beneath His feet!"
"Now war arose in heaven" (Revelation 12:7a). That is not something we really want to hear. Wars are earthly events and heaven is supposed to be a place of lasting peace. This unearthly conflict that took place outside of time was a response to historical events that took place within our earthly timeline.
Satan, the ancient serpent of Eden, sought to destroy the work of God. Making "forbidden fruit look sweet," the devil tempted Adam and Eve, who turned from God's Word and followed their own desires. Death and eternal separation from God awaited them and all of their descendants, but in that dark hour of sin, God spoke His Word of hope. The woman's Offspring would do battle with the serpent. Bruised in the strife, the promised Offspring would triumph. The serpent's end was already determined: "You'll lie crushed beneath His feet!"
At the right time, the Son of God, the woman's Offspring, came into this world to do battle with Eden's accusing serpent. Through His death on the cross and His triumphant resurrection, Jesus defeated the evil foe who sought to deceive and accuse us. Jesus took our sin and guilt onto Himself. He endured the sentence of death that we deserved for our sins. At the cross, in the deadly conflict foretold in Eden, Jesus and the evil foe engaged in bruising battle, but only the Savior arose in victory, crushing death and Satan beneath His nail-scarred feet!
The risen Lord was exalted to reign in glory. Jesus' triumph was mirrored in heaven's war as Michael and his angel army banished Satan from the courts of heaven. The victory was announced: "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" (Revelation 12:10b). Satan, the accuser, has been thrown down. Although the evil foe now prowls the earth, still raging against the people of God, "we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1b). We have a Defender in heaven, Jesus, in whom we have forgiveness for our sins. In Him we have the promise of eternal life and peace in His presence, where there will be no more war.
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, my Advocate, through faith in Your name I have forgiveness, life, and peace! Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn "Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken," which is number 521 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. When has God stepped into your life with a word of hope when times were desperate?
2. How is Satan able to make "forbidden fruit look sweet" in our lives?
3. Wars are easy to recognize in the world. Do you notice any "wars" going on in your own life? How has God helped you in overcoming them?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"