Tuesday, 9 March 2021
So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. Revelation 12:15
The previous verse mentioned the woman flying to a place in the wilderness where she is nourished during the second half of the tribulation period, as it says, “from the presence of the serpent.” These are those of Israel who will take heed to Jesus’ words of Matthew 24:15, 16. They will flee to the mountains as He instructed. For the rest of Israel, there will be consequences for not paying heed. This verse now begins with, “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman.”
The intent here is that of completely destroying Israel in order to thwart the plans of God as laid out in Scripture. This will be done through human agency. The idea of an advancing enemy being equated to a flood is recorded in Isaiah 59. That passage is referring the recorded events of the Redeemer of Zion and it is most likely anticipating this verse of Revelation –
“So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19
The devil will incite a group of people to chase after the woman like a flood. This will be an attempt to destroy the remaining Jewish people of the land. But the Lord will be their Protector and Defender. For those of Israel who failed to heed Jesus’ words and flee to the mountains, His words of Matthew 24 continue, saying –
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:21, 22
The intent of the serpent is to totally exterminate all of Israel. That is seen in John’s next words, “that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.” Being carried away by a flood means destruction. This is the intent of the serpent as he works through this army to destroy Israel. But the Lord will keep safe those who believe His word and flee to the mountains safe.
With this in mind, there are other interpretations given for this verse such as a literal flood of water, or a river symbolizing a flood of lies in the religions of the world which are working against God.
The first option is unlikely because God is in overall control of nature. Even though the devil is allowed to cause natural disaster elsewhere in the Bible, the passage rather supports a wave of people coming against Israel. The second option is also unlikely because of the parallels elsewhere in the Bible which match both the flood of enemies and the judgment from God.
Life application: Revelation is a book of the future. Its contents are given under inspiration, and they will come to pass. But interpreting what is stated there can be difficult simply because it is future. However, there is a likely scenario that will play out, and it is based on the words of the prophets and the words of the Lord.
The symbolism of the woman must be deemed as Israel. Any other interpretation will be faulty. Though it was hardly imaginable that Israel would once again be a nation, that is no longer the case. It is inexcusable to insert the church into the typology now that Israel is clearly understood to be a part of His end-times scenario.
From that springboard, many passages from the Old Testament suddenly come into clearer focus, and the words of Jesus concerning these events do as well. Let us trust that the God who has been so faithful to Israel will also be equally faithful to us. He is the covenant-keeping Lord. We shall be safely kept because of this. Thank God for His covenant faithfulness. Thank God for JESUS!
Lord, the devil thinks he can win against You by destroying the Jewish people and thus showing that You are unable to keep the promises of Your covenant with them. But he is mistaken and so are all the nations who rage against them. You are in complete control of all things, including the preservation of Israel. Hallelujah to You for Your faithfulness! Amen.