(cf. Rev. 12:13-17)
Now in verse 13, the dragon who had been thrown down to the earth is going to attack the woman who gave birth to the male-Child (Messiah). Here the woman is seen as the New Testament People of God (church), while in chapter 12 verse 1 it refers to the Old Testament people of God (Israel). Notice she was given 2 wings, signifying God’s protection and provision. This could go back to Exodus 19:4; Deut. 32:11; Psalms 36:7; or Isaiah 40:31, where eagles wings are used in beautiful ways about God’s provision and care. She is taken to that wilderness place, and i think it’s futile to find some Old Testament allusion like Elijah being fed by the ravens. I don’t think it’s that kind of thing. It’s just that she’s taken away to a place of safety, and here this Biblical number is mentioned again, “time, times and 1/2 times”. This time of persecution she’s protected in, seems another word for these persecuted Christians. God’s going to protect them. They may die physically, but God’s going to protect them ultimately and He’s going to have His hands on them, and they’re going to be safe from the presence of the serpent.
Notice the dragon tries to kill her by spitting water out of his mouth. Now, what that means, I really don’t know. Some say it’s an allusion to Psalms 18:4 or Psalms 124:4-5 maybe; it’s the idea of an overwhelming flood but we have no allusion to that. The earth drinks it up, and the woman is protected again. So, the dragon couldn’t get the child, now he tries to get the woman, but he couldn’t get her. So, what he does is to go after her children, the idea of the church. This seems to be the metaphor used in 2nd John about the ‘chosen lady and her children’; this is the seed of the Old Testament people of God are the new Israel of God (cf. Gal. 6:16) which is the church. Now look how they’re talked about; those who keep God’s command and who bear testimony to Jesus. Friends, Jesus has already won the victory. His people are asked to hang in there, to hold on, to trust God, to have faith because it’s all going to work out. Now I think it’s important that we link these last few verses to chapter 14:12, because here we have the idea that nothing can overcome the church. The gates of Hades cannot prevail against her. The evil one may kill some of us, but he can’t kill all of us. And even if he can kill the body, he can’t kill the soul. Our Christ has overcome. Friends I don’t know what you’re going through, but I want to tell you this book has more to say to the modern church, than just to a first-century persecuted world. It has a word to modern-day Christians; wherever they may be in countries where they’re persecuted, or in countries like ours where they’re seduced in more subtle ways, but I want to tell you this – God has overcome. Evil has been defeated. Yes, he’s around a little longer. Yes, he’s still messing up our lives. Yes, he is still here in terrible ways, but that vanquished foe has been dealt with. He is a dog on a chain, the chain’s running out. He is doomed, hallelujah! The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God and His Christ. Hallelujah!