Q: So what is being described here?
A: Since Satan can no longer accuse God’s people before God in heaven, he will seek to persecute them on earth. His primary target is Israel since he failed to kill the woman’s Son so he tries to exterminate all of her remaining seed.
Point: Every historic instance of Anti-Semitism has been and will be Satanic in its origin.
Q: Now some scholars say that the reference to being given “the two wings of the great eagle” is a reference to the role of the United States. How can we determine what the biblical meaning of “the wings of an eagle”?
A: We determine the meaning by examining it as used in other places in Scripture:
- Ex. 19:4 – It’s how God described His leading ancient Israel out of Egypt.
- Dt. 32:11-12 – It’s how God described caring for Israel in the wilderness as a mother eagle would her brood.
- Is. 40:31 – It’s how God described Israel’s return from the Babylonian Captivity.
In other words, it always describes God’s supernatural protection of the believing remnant of His people.
Q: Why would Israel’s escape “into the wilderness” actually be something we’d expect?
A: Again, because it is spoken of in other places in Scripture such as Is. 26:20-27:13 and Dan. 11:41. It specifically states that His people will take refuge in places like Edom, Moab, and Ammon. Jesus Himself in the Olivet Discourse advises that those living in Israel who become witnesses of these events flee in this manner. (Mt. 24:16-21).
Q: What is different about the war that is now taking place?
A: It’s now a dual war wherein God is warring against the unbelieving world and Satan is making war on God’s people. It’s no wonder Jesus said…
“Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
— Matthew 24:22
Q: What do you suppose the symbolism of the water and the flood represent?
A: Often in Scripture great bodies of water are a symbol of all the Gentile nations of the world. It most likely represents how Satan will use everyone possible to persecute Israel during this final 3-1/2 year period.
Q: What is a sure way to avoid this persecution?
A: According to v.17, don’t be someone who “keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus”.
Point: The Great Tribulation has as much to do judging everyone for their treatment of Israel in regards to corporate sin as it does for holding everyone accountable to God’s judgment for personal sin.
Application: The Wrath on Earth