Thursday, December 2, 2010

Waiting for Deliverance (Revelation 12)

What is your favorite part of Christmas? What is your favorite part of the Christmas story? Why?

Why do you think many people have a sense of longing as they approach Christmas? For what are they waiting?

What is something you are waiting for in your life?

Read Revelation 12:1-9.

Remember that Revelation is a book that is full of imagery. No chapter has more symbolism than Revelation 12. Whenever we read this kind of writing, we must be careful not to read more into the symbols than the author intended. This isn't easy, so we should do it humbly and with the understanding that we might not get it exactly right. Therefore, our interpretation of chapters like these should lead us to be more like Christ, but should not lead us to fight with our brothers!

The two key characters in Revelation 12 are the woman and the dragon. Verse 9 tells us who the dragon is.

Discuss why each of the following might be represented by the woman.
  • Eve
  • Israel
  • Mary
  • the Church
When a woman is pregnant, she anticipates giving birth for nine months. The nation of Israel anticipated the coming of the Messiah for thousands of years. Now we are anticipating the second coming of Christ. Why are you most excited for the second coming of Christ?

Rather than think about the timing of the war in heaven (verses 7-9), consider the meaning of the outcome. Verses 10-12 are a song or poem celebrating the defeat of Satan.

How should your life be different knowing that Satan has already been defeated by Christ? How does this knowledge impact your understanding of temptation?

Do you ever feel like you are waiting to be delivered from a particular sin or temptation? What advice does the group have for those who find themselves waiting this way?

How will you pray for and support one another this week?

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