Saturday, January 14, 2012

Revelation 12 (Part 9) The Fight With satan

By Odon Bulamba (10th August 2007) Revelations 12:7-17

Revelation 12:12,13, "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath , knowing that he has only a short time….And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child".

Amen! This woman is giving birth. Imagine that pain of having a baby, the whole process and tiredness. She is tired and the dragon stood up and said it was now the right time to attack the woman: “I want to kill her. I want to finish her life.” First of all, at the beginning of the chapter, he wanted to kill the child but now he wants to attack the mother in order to kill mother and child together maybe.

Let us think, imagine you are in your house and you see a dragon coming and attacking you while you are holding your new born baby, what would you do? And what if fire comes out of its mouth? You will run…

You see it wouldn’t be easy. This lady with a new born is facing now a dragon, and the dragon is not happy, he is attacking her. The dragon is trying to follow, to pursue her and I can take that picture back in Exodus chapter 14:8 where Pharaoh decided to follow the children of Israel who was behind them. The Israelites were on foot but not him, it took horses, he went with his entire army and said he had to go, like army for a battle. So he went with that power of thinking he would take them back, he would kill, he would take them and they would serve him again. These poor people: in front of them, there is the Red Sea, on the left and the right sides, mountains, where to go?

Imagine a dragon following you and your baby and you are in front of the Waikato River… How will you swim with your baby, what to do and maybe you can’t swim like me. So, what would you do? Would you say: “Dragon, here I am. Kill me.” Or you would call for your husband?

These people of Israel found themselves in a situation where they didn’t know what to do and where to go. “Look now, Moses. You were the one who told us to leave Egypt”. They blamed him and pointed the finger at him: “It’s you! If we die it would be only because of you!”

In Revelations satan came to attack this lady and the lady was alone. As we said last time, the lady represents the church. She was alone, she didn’t know where to go and she didn’t know what to do at that time. But she had hope, the child was already born and the child must live.

Before even the dragon reached the woman verse 14 says that the woman was given the wings of a great eagle so that she might fly in the place prepared for her in the desert. She was given wings. Let’s see you flying like an eagle. What would you say? Most of us will think: This is just magic! Imagine you are talking to someone and suddenly wings appear and the woman can fly! I can tell you that if someone visits me who is flying with wings, I won’t accept to talk to her and if I talk to her, I will always a question in my mind: “Should I ask her about what happened the other day? How did she get these wings? Where were they from?” I will be a little bit curious to know but I will continue to fear: Who is this person?

So this lady was given the wings and she flew. She left the place where she was and God sent her to the desert. In Exodus 19:4,

Exodus 19: 4, "You, yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself."

Amen! It is not talking about bird’s wings, it’s just the direction God gave them. He helped them to leave Egypt, to go trough a certain way and reach a destination and this lady also was given the chance to avoid satan, by going to the desert.

Imagine if I say: we now live in NZ, but is there anyone who wants to live in Morocco, or in the desert in Australia? Can you go there, live by yourself in the desert for 4 years? Would you enjoy it? You would feel lonely. Here it’s cool, nice colours… but if we want to go to the desert to be suntanned … you will see you skin colour changed. If I am black, I will become blacker… if I am red I will be seen as I am cooked… The desert is really hot. I went trough the desert and I can tell you it’s better to live in the Antarctic where it’s extremely cold rather than where it’s extremely hot. The desert is not a good place. It is a place where you can breath suffering: the air is really hot, there is no oxygen, it’s not easy.

So this lady was sent to the desert: difficult to find trees, not easy to find food, not easy to find water, not easy to find people to talk to you. It is true that the wind blows but it’s just the sun to the point that ladies would never leave their hair uncovered. No one will see the beauty of your hair or your face because it’s just sand. Some people went through the desert like John the Baptist who stayed in the desert for years. What was he doing there? Eating honey, why? Why didn’t he go to the shop? He preferred to be in the desert for honey and he was there to prepare the way of the Lord, not just to eat but for a purpose, to bring back the people of God in order to make mountains flat.

You know, every time we have tall situations, tall problems, we, people we are short. People who are short in nature want so much to become angry and prove the taller he is stronger: “Don’t step on my nose because you are taller than me!” And tall people are proud because they believe a short person can’t threaten them. John was sent in the desert like someone who hadn’t t study, someone who knew nothing to come back and preach to people who were educated, people who had knowledge, people who had experience in civilisation, people who very well knew the development of the world.

Look at this man, Jesus, He went there for 40 days only while John stayed there for his entire life. Why 40 days and 40 nights? He went there to pray. But it was not all.

God told the people of Israel: “Leave Egypt now”. After crossing the Red Sea they went where God told them and found themselves in the desert for 40 years, walking around and around and around. They didn’t move on: we could say that God put a tornado in their lives, just turning and turning at the same place. They got lost in the desert, it is still a mystery. In Deuteronomy 8:3 the Bible says that the people were there for 40 years and they didn’t change their clothes, they didn’t change their shoes, they didn’t worry about food.

Imagine if I leave with my son now, he is 13, when we come back he will be 53. As he was growing, the clothes too, and the shoes also. This is powerful and miraculous. When he grows, everything on his body also grows. The clothes didn’t wear out, the shoes didn’t have holes because of the long walking and after 40 years, they discovered they had not bought shoes or clothes and everything was provided by God.

If I experience something like that, I think I will save a lot of money, day after day, and I will be so happy. Just having something that looks newer every time, I will say: “Yes, God, You are so good!” But these people were not really happy, and God said He would cook for them. He started to send manna: “ Don’t worry about cooking, don’t worry about standing in front of the wood to cook, No. I will take care of that. Just sit back and relax. If you have a game of cards, play cards, if you have the Torah read it, if you want to play basketball, do it. Don’t worry about your clothes, don’t worry about water. Don’t worry about life. And every morning the one thing you will do, collect the food. Take at much as you want under just one condition, to eat it and finish it.”

I am a little bit curious to know what the food tasted like. Did it really taste like Indian food, Chinese food, European food, I don’t know. But if someone told me today: This is manna. Have a taste. I think I would say: “Yes, God, I can die today, because I want so much to taste it. But complainers came, they were not satisfied, the food wasn’t good, they blamed God and said: “You are not good! We didn’t come here to eat manna, we didn’t come here to stay in the desert. We are tired!”

How many times do we complain against what God has provided for us?

- Lord, I hate my life. Lord, look how big my lips are, why didn’t you give me someone else’s lips?
- Look at my ears, there are so big, I don’t like my hair color, my neck my feet…

And we complain about everything. To the point that I met a lady who complained about her nails. She said she couldn’t keep her nails 2 weeks without breaking, and she said she hates that.
- I hate that!
- Come on, they are only nails. Can your really hate something like that?

I know that accidentally another lady went to a saloon and asked someone:
- Do such and such on her hair.
- Fine, just wait for me. I’ll be there within 2 minutes.
Another silly boy came with clippers and started to cut her hair:
- What are you doing?
- Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I thought that was my customer.
- Put my hair back. I need my hair back.
- Your hair will grow back.
- No, no I need my hair back. I will complain. Who is the manager here?
- I am the manager.
- I have to sue you.

And we can complain about anything. You can book an appointment with someone and ask God to help you meet with that person. God will give you the chance to be there, and the person will just be 5 minutes late. You start to complain:

- You are always late. You are such and such…
- Hey, hang on. You should maybe ask the person first of all why the person was late. There might have been a reason, something happened.

We always complain and when we are late we don’t want others to complain, we want them to shut up and accept the situation and carry on as normal.

So these people of Israel were complaining. The desert is a place where God will send you to learn his will. The desert in a place where you human beings you start to fight the desires of your body. Your body wants to do something wrong, but you will fight against it, you will start to remove all the routes of sin in your live. For instance if you make the decision to follow Jesus Christ: “From now on, I won’t take Marijuana anymore. From today on, Jesus will become my Saviour. From today on I won’t steal anymore, or do such and such and such anymore, then you will start to find that desert life, hard life, tough life, tough against yourself.

Then that lady was taken away where God should look after her, and she was in a desert that’s where God wanted her to be looked after. God fed her, the same way He fed Elijah for 3½ years. The ravens fed him, they would come with food. Imagine a raven came to you with food, will you really eat it? I’m not sure, I might think about it 7 times. That food again: a piece of bread and meat. Where did that meat come from? The raven cannot go to the butcher and buy meat, the raven cannot prepare or cook the meat for him. It must come from somewhere, somewhere dirty maybe.

Then Elijah, 1 Kings 17 went to see that lady who offered him oil. So we can see now, that in the desert where there is suffering, hunger, but God continues to provide. In your life, full of the desires of the flesh, God continues to provide you with something small for your soul to carry on living, to continue to survive. Do you accept what God offers you as meat or not? People will say: “Today I went to church, I didn’t enjoy the preaching”. The only preaching they will enjoy is the kind of preaching their soul will not enjoy. They need something their bodies will enjoy, that’s all. How to enjoy the preaching, how to enjoy the message from God? They might sometimes be enjoyable and other times not: they sometimes will correct us, or bless us and sometimes they will even curse us and we have to accept all of that.

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