And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,…
And there was war in heaven, etc. There is undoubtedly "war in heaven" - in the heaven of our being. War in the soul individually, war in the soul collectively, war within and war without. We "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of this world; against wickedness in high places." The vision brings to our notice the contending armies and the contending issues.
I. THE ARMIES IN THE CONTEST. Who are the armies? "Michael and his angels fought [going forth to war] against the dragon; and the dragon fought [warred] and his angels" (ver. 7). Many expositors will tell us all about Michael and the dragon and their angels, but I cannot. I take them as the ever acting representatives of good and evil. Both have their leaders, their Michaels, and their dragons with their respective followers or angels. Christ and his disciples represent the one. He is the "Captain of salvation;" all iris disciples are enlisted as his soldiers, they are inspired with his purpose and fight under his banner. The "dragon," called the devil and Satan, and his votaries, represent the other. There is not a man who breathes who is not actively engaged in one or other of those armies. The grand question to determine is, "Who is on the Lord's side?" - the side of moral reality, right, and benevolence. "He that is not with me is against me."
II. THE ISSUES OF THE CONTEST.
1. The one army was utterly discomfited. What became of them? "And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven" (ver. 8). The prince of this world is cast out. A Stronger than he has entered the palace, and he is overcome, and "hath taken from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divided his spoils."
"Him, the Almighty power
Hurl'd headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms."
2. The other army was sublimely triumphant. Observe:
(1) The triumphant song. "And I heard a loud [great] voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength [power], and the kingdom of our God" (ver. 10). The celestial paean proclaims the deliverance of man, the reign of God, and the adoration of Christ, and portrays in graphic delineation the miserable victim as the "accuser of our brethren before God day and night" (ver. 10).
(2) The triumphant weapons. How was the victory won?
(a) By the life of Christ. "The blood of the Lamb." What meaneth this?
(b) By the Word of truth. "By the word of their testimony" (ver. 11). The Divine Word is the all-conquering sword.
(c) By self sacrificing love. "They loved not their lives unto the death" (ver. 11). Self sacrificing love is the inspiring spirit in this warfare. "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly" (Romans 16:20).
CONCLUSION. Evil on this earth, though it is strong, has the multitude and the empire on its side. Although it has lived long, won victories, and is active and vigorous to this hour, it will not live forever. Its doom is sealed, its head is bruised, its limbs are withering, and its death approaches. What Christ himself saw will one day be witnessed by an adoring universe. "I saw Satan fall like lightning," etc. - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,