by Pastor Jim Strelan
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But after the three and a half days, a breath of life from God entered them (Revelation 11:11a).
Read Revelation 11:1–14
Days of persecution. The beast (the enemy of the Lamb) attacks. Three and a half days – half of the perfect number (seven) – so an imperfect attack, but still fierce in intensity. And then the breath of life from God. In the constant turmoil we read about in these chapters, terrible as it is, God is always there. He cares for his own. God looks out for those who are faithful in their worship. He rescues. He saves.
You are familiar with the phrase, ‘the breath of God’. We recall the act of creation when God took some soil and shaped it, moulded it and then breathed his breath into what he created, and it became a living being: a breath-filled, spirit-filled being. And then, when Jesus met with his disciples after the resurrection, he ‘breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”’ – the holy breath, the breath of life (John 20:22). When the breath of life from God goes in, there is a lifting up, there is a linking of spirit with Spirit, there is safety, security, salvation.
In the cosmic battle between good and evil that is being waged all the time (not just at the end of times), good always triumphs. The Lamb on the throne defeats the beast from the abyss. The first readers of this revelation can know that, and you can, too.
CS Lewis said that there are two dangers for Christians when thinking about Satan: to not give him enough attention and to give him too much attention. When we read these words in Revelation, we need to give attention to the terrible, divine punishment for those who constantly refuse to repent. But we also need to not give this so much attention that we miss the ultimate truth: God wins. Jesus defeats the enemy. You can be unafraid. God breathes his creative breath into his faithful ones, and they can stand firmly on their feet (verse 11). The end result is that the God of heaven receives glory (verse 13).
Creative God, continually breathe your breath into me so that I can stand strong when the attack is fierce. Amen.
Pastor Jim is a retired pastor living on Brisbane Northside. He served in Papua New Guinea and as school pastor in a number of schools and congregations with schools. He is married to Ruth and has three children and seven grandchildren and loves them all unconditionally. He loves to share the gospel as simply and clearly as he can.