The Unseen World
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. Revelation 12:7
This blog has software that guards it from malicious attacks. These protection programs even notify me of how many hundreds of attacks they’ve fended off in the last week. The software developer could be making those numbers up. How would I know? I don’t understand why anyone would maliciously attack my blog and I certainly don’t understand how these attacks work. I wouldn’t know how to keep my own blog safe, so I trust in and depend upon those who do. There’s this entire world out there that I can’t see and don’t understand, but I do understand what it’s like when the protection fails. A couple years ago, I was getting hacked almost daily, making the blog nearly unusable. I still don’t understand how or why that happened, but I appreciate those who now protect it. I never see my guardians, and I don’t understand how they do their job, but still, I depend upon them.
This isn’t a bad metaphor for the spiritual world. In today’s passage, we’re told of an unseen war in heaven. In the story, Michael – the archangel – led his army of angels against a great dragon, representing Satan. Michael, victorious, threw the dragon down to Earth. Woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath (Revelation 12:12). This seems to bring us to our place in the story, where Satan, having lost in heaven, is still loose upon the Earth, seeking to devour Christ’s church (Revelation 12:17).
The passage reads like a myth or legend – the language is quite symbolic – and so, it’s easy for me to skip over it, dismissing John’s words. If I believe in God though, then I believe in a spiritual world. I can’t see this world. I don’t know how it works. According to John, I’m terribly ignorant of the spiritual battle going on around me. I do though, trust in and depend upon the one who rules the spiritual world.
So, daily, I pray for God to protect me from my own self-destructive nature, but also from the forces of evil in the world. Just like those computer hackers, there are agents out there that would destroy me. On my own, I’m helpless because I can’t see, know, or understand the spiritual world. I must then, depend on God, whom I believe rules that world. I’m sure I don’t know how much God protects me, but I’ve lived outside this protection, and I must say, my life was an absolute disaster. So, daily, I make a genuine attempt to align my life with God’s will, living under his shield. God, protect me from evil.