“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man Child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:13-17 (KJV)
I have not mentioned it for some time, but one of my favorite Scripture verses is Isaiah 40:31…
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
I have come to the conclusion that if the Old Testament promises are for the Christian today, then, we need to be accepting of the negative promises as well. If God says it; then, it is true. It will come to pass.
The woman represents Israel (the remnant seed of the woman, and the fifth personality in this scene) and is persecuted by Satan. This is because of great hatred for the Hebrew people.
As mentioned in verse 6, though a little clearer here; she is protected by God. The Scripture gives references as to “bearing on eagle’s wings” (Exodus 19:4). This implies swiftness. The place God has prepared for them is an earthly place not known to us. Some believe it to be a place called “Petra”, but no one can be certain. God supplies them their daily needs just as when He led them out of Egypt. There are striking similarities in both deliverances.
Verse 15 mentions a “water as a flood”. It is not certain whether this is a literal flood of water. It is just as probable to be just all out persecution. The flood does represent wrath in the same sense that the “serpent” represents Satan. In that “the earth helped the woman” we can see this as, though Satan intended it for Israel, instead it affected the “earth” or the “Inhabiters of the earth”. Remember these “Inhabiters of the earth” (Revelation 12:12) are the unredeemed who have on their own, by their own choices have chosen to reject God, His Son, His love, and His grace; and hold on to the material world. Loving the world rather than God.
It is clear from this verse that Satan’s attacks are against the godly remnant. This remnant is the Hebrews who have looked upon Jesus and believed Him to be the Messiah. Satan hates and is greatly enraged against anyone “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”.
It is not said, but it seems that just as in the Egyptian deliverance, so too, in this one there will be some who will not believe despite God’s providential care. They have an “evil heart of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:12) and refuse to have Jesus as Messiah.
The persecution, up to this point has been “anti-semitic” against all Hebrews. Now it is solely against those who “Have the testimony of Jesus Christ”.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12).
He made deliverance for us on the wings of eagles through the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Make haste to come to Him.