Monday, December 24, 2012
THE PREEMPTIVE STRIKE
ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE the day that Christ was born. That was the brief summary of the sermon on Revelation 12 which Pastor Tim preached this Sunday morning, December 23, 1212. I am thrilled that he is preaching through Revelation because he has fallen in love with the beauty of it. As he guides us along the way, he presents a picture that is understandable and beautiful and glorious in the name of God.
On this Sunday before Christmas, he showed us an amazing account of what that day is truly all about: The preemptive strike. Think about it from the timeline of His Story: There had been some 400 years of peace and quiet on the earth. No contentious prophets, and no serious uprisings or attacks from the outside. No exile to foreign lands. Submit to the Conquerors and life will go on in a reasonable comfortable way. (And, by the way, Barabbas and his band were having none of that.)
The peaceful existence was not just for the people of God but also for Satan. Many have tried to claim to be the Christ, all have failed, so maybe Satan is feeling a little confident and not paying much attention to what is happening. Keep in mind that Satan is not Omni anything, let alone Omni-present or Omniscient.
So where was he when Christ was born? Visiting Herrod, keeping him in line? Who knows? I sure don’t. But I do know that his peace and quiet was rocked thoroughly that night. It was time to bring the Savior into the world and God did. Right under his nose.
The thing is that we have all heard this preemptive strike term before, and without follow through to completion, they failed miserably. But God never fails and Satan knows that. That is one thing that he is all too aware of. So imagine how angry he was that God had made his move. Certainly angry enough to spit fire! Game on! He and his minions were ready to fight to the death over this. And Michael was ready to whoop them right back to where they belong.
At this point I tend to wonder again why we know so little about Jesus younger days. Is it that Satan was too unsure about who He was to stir up trouble? Was he content to bide his time? We don’t know. But we do know that the attack was on. Herrod didn’t think about killing all those children on his own. And then, as soon as Jesus was baptized and confirmed as the Son of God by God the Father and the Holy Spirit., Satan stepped into His life. Satan was there every step of the way as Christ ministered to the people and disrupted all that Satan had going for him. And we also know that Satan is still trying to undo everything that God has put together. Spiritual warfare is alive and in full action even to this day.
So, as we celebrate all the beauty of Christmas and all the warm fuzziness that comes with that, let’s also remember that this was God’s perfect plan at work leading to the eventual total destruction of Satan. We have awesome things to look forward to because of this preemptive strike. And we need to be praising God excessively as we remember Christ’s birth. God is winning in spite of all the evil that is still in this world. God is in charge, but the battle goes on for our minds and our souls. Some people don’t survive the battle, and some of those take others with them when they just can’t handle the warring going on in them anymore. So, at this time of great joy, let’s praise God for who He is and what He has done and what He will do to finally end this pain we suffer.
What a day this has been. So much to treasure, so much Joy and Praise going on. that we cannot help but shout, “Hallelujah, it is Christmas.” May we all enjoy His Peace and Presence with us through this season of Joy.