How Long?

David Bast

Read: Revelation 12

How long before you will judge and avenge our blood? (Rev. 6:10)

If you ask where the Christmas story is told in the Bible, you might not immediately think of Revelation 12. But it’s there in the opening verses—a retelling of the Jesus story for our right brain, rather than our left; for our imagination rather than our rationality.

Revelation 12 also tells our story, the story of the church. What’s the message for us? It’s this: We are living in the wilderness. We are under attack. We have a fearful enemy who pursues and seeks to destroy us. But the enemy has been defeated, cast down from heaven. The reason the devil attacks so fiercely is because he knows his time is short.

The question is, how long is that time? John tells us: we’ll be in the wilderness for 1,260 days, or three and a half years. In Revelation, seven is the number of fullness or completion. So if you ask how long three and a half years is, the answer is “Not forever.” When will the battle be over? Soon enough, in God’s time.

So our challenge is to stay faithful. On earth Satan rages, but in heaven the triune God reigns. The message of the cross is that Christ’s victory is not won by worldly weapons but by the power of sacrificial love. As Christians we believe that the truth is not worth killing for, but it is worth dying for. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). —David Bast

As you pray, ask God for the strength to remain faithful unto death.