After reading Revelation 12, understanding the spiritual warfare begins with understanding who the Pregnant Woman is. The chapter introduces four main characters.
- The Pregnant Woman about to give birth
- A Dragon
- The Male Son of the pregnant woman
- The archangel Michael (with his army of angels)
In this post, we will take a look at who the pregnant woman is. The next post will cover who the dragon is, then the following post will look at the male son and the archangel and tie together the story.
So who is this pregnant woman and why is she so important? The pregnant woman about to give birth is widely recognized as Israel; the one who carries the male son, the Messiah, in her womb.
So what’s the story with her and why is she important?
The First Sign
As the chapter opens, we see the Pregnant Woman clothed in the sun with the moon under her feet and a crown on her head made with 12 stars representing the 12 tribes of Israel. When we first see her, she is very pregnant, in much pain and about to deliver her male child. She is in labor!
The woman leaves and goes to the wilderness to be protected for 1,260 days (3 1/2 years). This amount of time may be symbolic. Some scholars believe that each day represents a year, in which case it would be 1,260 years. I’m a little cautious about asserting symbolism where it’s not clear from the context, but want to give a fair hearing to other interpretations. If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them in the comments. The important part of all this, though, is found in God’s love for her and the protection He gives her and has given her throughout history.
How God Loves His People, Israel
Throughout scripture, we can find several passages that demonstrate how God truly loves His people Israel. It is through the family line of Abraham, the father of the Israel, that the male child described early in this post, Jesus Christ, came. It’s through this gift of Jesus Christ that God fulfills his promises to us. Jesus (The Lamb found in this chapter and way back in chapter 4) shed His blood which is the means by which the angles and the pregnant woman overcome in chapter 12; but it’s also how we overcome now!
Yeah, But Why Did God Choose Israel?
God said that Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness, and because of that, God blessed him and made promises to him about the blessing that would come through his family line.
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.Genesis 15:6
These next few verses describe so well Israel and God’s love for His people and why He chose and loves them.
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”Deuteronomy 7:6-9
The Lord appeared to us in the past,[a] saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”Jeremiah 31:3
Hosea Tells How God Loves The Woman
The book of Hosea describes Israel as a woman (sound familiar? Just like in Revelation 12). In fact, in this context, the woman is a prostitute who is very unfaithful to her husband, God. Hosea tells us that Israel (the woman) continues to leave her husband (God) for other men. Yet the husband (God) loves her so much. God even tells Hosea to take a prostitute as his wife as an example of God’s own experience with Israel. He tells Hosea to love her anyway, no matter what she does, just like God’s love for the unfaithful Israel. God says though to show your wife again, your love! This is picture of God’s incredible love, perfect love! No other love besides God’s love truly cares regardless of what someone else does, even when it is terrible sin and a terrible affront to Him. What an example that God gives us! Love and forgiveness only shown by God through His Son. Please read the whole passage in Hosea 11:1-12. I only posted the first two verses below but you will see clearer how Israel acted and God continued to love regardless.
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”Hosea 3:1
Here are some additional places where God expresses His love for Israel.
“Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today.”Deuteronomy 10:15
So What Does This Mean To Me?
Jesus (The male child) is the fulfillment of that promise that God made to Abraham (and Israel) and He is the Savior of the world to anyone who receives Him as their personal Lord and Savior. Many children of Israel honored God, many did not! There were wars but God still sent His Son to save the world. He loves us just like He loved Israel. He gave His Son as a sacrifice to those who believe. This is something He chose to do out of love for His creation. You!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16
In the next couple of posts, we’ll see just how far God goes to protect the woman He loves (Israel) and those who are Christ-followers by extension.