How Abusers Act Like the Enemy
When the Dragon saw he’d been thrown to earth, he went after the Woman who had given birth to the Man-Child. The Woman was given wings of a great eagle to fly to a place in the desert to be kept in safety and comfort for a time and times and half a time, safe and sound from the Serpent. The Serpent vomited a river of water to swamp and drown her, but earth came to her help, swallowing the water the Dragon spewed from its mouth. Helpless with rage, the Dragon raged at the Woman, then went off to make war with the rest of her children, the children who keep God’s commands and hold firm to the witness of Jesus. Revelation 12:13-17, The Message Version
I have been reading the book of the Revelation because I have slowly attempted to read through the New Testament and this was the only book left. I had not been too excited about it because I don’t really understand much about it. But, I do know that it is probably important for us to know the book, just in case we see some signs. I really do not think that Jesus is coming back in my lifetime but I feel like a responsible Christian for reading through it. (Smile!) When I got to chapter 12, I perked up. I think I might “get” some of this better than other chapters. When I read prophecy, I do not really try to decode anything . . . I just try to learn about the nature of God, the nature of humanity and the nature of evil.
The Dragon is obviously Satan, as previous verses make that clear (“Satan”, “that serpent of old”, “the Enemy”). He wanted the child the woman birthed. He wanted to devour Jesus and he was not allowed. So, he went to Heaven to get the Lamb and fought a war with Michael and his angels there. Satan lost and was hurled to the earth with a third of his angels-turned-demons. When he realized what had happened, he was angry. He could not have the Child so he went after the mother (I assume this is Israel). But, there were boundaries everywhere. He could not have the mother so the enemy goes after us (Believers). The Enemy just keeps on going . . . never giving up and never stopping. Angry, he lashes out at whomever he can get . . . well, if I can’t get HIM, I’ll get her . . . and if I can’t have HER . . . I’ll have THEM. Satan was angry:
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
and the bold word of their witness.
They weren’t in love with themselves;
they were willing to die for Christ.
So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
but doom to earth and sea,
For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet;
he’s had a great fall;
He’s wild and raging with anger;
he hasn’t much time and he knows it. Revelation 12:9-12, The Message Version
Such is the nature of evil. Such is the nature of accusers. And there is wisdom, I believe, in understanding this. Those who work like the Enemy never stop accusing . . . day and night they accuse. Abusers whisper lies in the ears of their victims night and day. . . they gossip and whisper to others night and day . . . they do not stop. And, if they cannot have one part of our lives, they try to take another. The Enemy goes after whatever is vulnerable (or so he thinks?). Abusers are the same way. They go after what is vulnerable. And, if boundaries go up, they go after the children until boundaries are drawn again and then again and again. It is exhausting work to be in the path of an angry and evil abuser. It is why being a warrior is sometimes so very necessary.
The Enemy accuses and the enemy lashes out at anyone associated with Christ. And it is systematic. If an abuser can no longer abuse you, he will go after those associated with you . . . friends, family, co-workers and the like. He does not stop, I believe, unless he has found a new victim. That is why we read story after story of survivors who have lost their families because the abuser only sets out to destroy.
The good news is that the Enemy cannot destroy us . . . not really . . . not if we cry out to God. To be sure, he can hurt us, scar us, near-break us . . . but he cannot take our souls, which is want he really wants. Abusers cannot take our souls, they are safe in the care of Jesus. I believe it makes them so angry. They are entitled, they want to own . . . but they cannot own our spirits. Our spirits are sealed. And that is one of our many hopes.