John, in Revelation 12, describes an appearance of Satan. He is a horrifying figure. He takes on the appearance of a dragon, fiery red and invincible. He is a powerful being, imposing his will on the hapless people around him. Only the divine intervention of God keeps him from devouring the hope of humanity, Jesus. Seeing him here, the enemy of our soul is a formidable, frightening scene.
Yet Isaiah saw him in a different light. Looking at him at the end of the age, at the time when he has been laid low by the Conquering Lamb (Revelation 20:10), Isaiah poses a question which oozes with sarcasm.
“Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying, “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?” (Isaiah 14:16-17)
What happened to the great dragon? Where did the roaring lion of which Peter spoke go (1 Peter 5:8)? What happened to the foe who deceived Adam and Eve and has since dominated the landscape of history? How did Lucifer fall from being the father of liars and murderers to the place men walk by him and scoff, even to the point of mockery, asking themselves, “is that the one who created all the pain and suffering?”
This scene tells us the day will come when we fully CONSIDER our enemy (Isaiah 14:16). Another way of saying that word would be to say the day will come when our enemy will be “found out.” We will have dug around and uncovered the truth. Right now, at the moment you read these words, he is, no doubt, a formidable enemy. For us to think otherwise is both foolish and reckless. Many a sound man of God before our time has made the mistake of toying with him and wound up shipwreck. You are I are still warned to be aware of him and his tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11). We are forever called upon to resist him in steadfast faith (James 4:7). Daily prayer to be delivered from him and his schemes is a part of our faith (Matthew 6:13). Yet, despite his immense sway and power in our world, the day will come when we fully realize his impotence compared to the Risen Lamb.
The view given by Isaiah is one of CONQUERING. No longer is he the central figure of the story. Instead, he has made the fatal error of directly confronting the One he considered defeatable. Read with amazement the story of the last battle, the ultimate conflict. No longer is the war conducted by satellite forces. The day of skirmishes, advances and retreats, is over. Satan, at the time of this ultimate battle, senses he has the ability to move in for the kill, the final blow. It is no wonder, for the foe against which he and his forces are aligned looks like an easy target.
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)
Lambs, at least from where I stand, are not the most fearsome, brutal, and effective warriors. Yet that is the nature of the Kingdom. God takes that which is written off, overlooked, marginalized, and pours into that entity His power and anointing. Suddenly, that which has zero hope of victory suddenly obliterates the most pernicious foe of history.
That is how God works. That’s also how he works in our lives. You may feel incompetent, unable to overcome. In fact, you may be incompetent and unable to handle the battle before you. Cheer up…you are a prime candidate for the enabling power of God to turn the tide in your life! Stand strong before your enemy, clothed in the power of His Spirit and draped in the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11-18). The time is coming when you will look upon the one orchestrating the battle in which you are engaged and scoff at him as a conquered foe!
Perhaps the most profound answer to the question of “what happened?” is found in the COMPARISON of this humbled enemy and the majesty of the One to whom he answers. Remember, Isaiah had already witnessed the glory of God (Isaiah 6). By the time you and I gaze with disdain upon this defeated enemy, we will have seen the One declared “worthy to open the scroll” (Revelation 5:5). We will have lent our voices to the choir of millions, singing in majestic harmony, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Revelation 5:12). Our resurrected eyes will have witnessed the Faithful and True One ride a white horse and bring judgment on the earth (Revelation 19:11-16). Our attention will be captured as the Devil is bound for a thousand years and the glory of the Kingdom of Christ reigns on the earth (Revelation 20:4-6). Our senses will even be stimulated as we witness the final rebellion of Satan crushed and the enemy placed into his eternal destination (Revelation 20:7-10). On a side note, if you want to COMPARE our enemy and our God, consider how much of the entire Bible is given to our struggle with him and how little is taken to detail his final demise at the hand of God! Hint…there are 770,430 words in the NKJ Bible. His complete demise takes all of 118 words. There is no comparison to our foe and our Lord!
What happened? He met his match in Jesus! Stay close to our Lord. Lean heavily upon Him. Walk as close to the Chief Shepherd of the Sheep as possible. The day is coming when the enemy will appear to you so utterly defeated, you will wonder why you ever gave him a second thought!