God All-Powerful Reigns [Revelation 20]
1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;3and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
4Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
This is the chapter I have been waiting for - the one that demonstrates how little power Satan, who is the devil has. A couple of years ago when I saw this passage I just laughed. One angel is all it takes to lay hold of him, bind him and throw him into the abyss.
About 15 years ago I joined Beth in reading scripture looking for the character and heart of God. It has been an amazing journey of discovery as each day I have been writing one thing about God in the Praise column of my EGP Prayer Journal. In the beginning both Beth and I were caught up in the popular habit of attributing way too much power to Satan. We gave him credit for thwarting God's plans and bugging us daily. But the more I focused on God in scripture I gradually became aware that God is actually in control and the devil is just a want-a-be controller. I was amazed when I discovered that throughout history God has let the devil have dominion in the world but that God does not allow him to touch His children. It became clear that his only weapon is deception and that he can only do what God lets him do. As I was spending more time praising God I noticed that a lot of Christians talked about Satan more than God in their prayers. I also became aware of how fear based my thinking was about God's enemy. And yet, God tells me over and over, “Do not be afraid.” The truth in God’s word is setting me free from fear and causing me instead to trust God’s power and authority, His goodness and His love.
At the close of the Bible, Revelation shows that the devil’s time is really short and he knows it. Satan only has power when God gives it to him and soon he will have none. His time is almost up. I wonder what it will be like when his deception is no longer an influence on earth. “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
I praise You, Sovereign God that You are mighty and powerful. Your enemy is just a footstool under Your feet. “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.” Rev. 19:1