Saturday, August 13, 2016
We Live in the Habitation of Dragons
Isaiah tells us we live in the Habitation of Dragons, “And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls” [KJV]. Modern translators render the word for dragons as ‘jackals,” because they don’t believe that there are such things as dragons.
The translators have a harder time re-interpreting the New Testament Greek word, “drakon” as anything other than “dragon.” One primary text where the word “dragon” occurs is in Revelation 12:1-12 where the devil is depicted as a fiery red dragon who is cast down from heaven to earth by Michael and his angels. The Book of Revelation goes on to add, “woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
That is indeed the problem! Humankind tends to operate on the assumption that we live out our lives in a neutral zone where most of our spiritual struggles are with ourselves or with other people.
In reality the place where we live is a habitation of dragons, and in specific, one most unhappy dragon, the devil. This particular dragon has discovered to his chagrin that he is not as lofty, as beautiful, or as powerful as God. Not only that, but he has discovered, to his great wrath, that his time is short. In his wrath the dragon has resolved to rob everybody of the life, joy and vitality that he has lost himself when he was cast from heaven by Michael and the angels of God.
Some limitations of the dragon's ability need to be acknowledged; Unlike God, he is not Omniscient, Omnipotent, or Omnipresent. In plain language, he is a created being; he doesn't know everything, he isn't all-powerful, nor is he present everywhere.
Unfortunately for us the passage in Revelation tells us that when he was cast to earth in great wrath he took his “angels” with him. The New Testament refers to these entities as “devils,” “demons,” or as “unclean spirits.” What it means is that we play out our moral and spiritual struggles on an uneven playing field where unseen malicious enemies are doing their very best to make us as unhappy as they are. The old saying, “misery loves company” is remarkably true in this regard.
We actually live in the habitation of dragons. St. Paul says, “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” On the other hand, living in paranoia and fear only serves the dragon and his fallen angels. James 4:7b also says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” John the Apostle adds, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). Another way of putting it is in the modern proverb, “To be forewarned is to be fore-armed.” In Texas terms, if you are walking through a field with vipers in it, wear a good pair of cowboy boots. Watch where you are walking and keep your guard up.