By Pastor Gary Beck | August 31, 2019
I have always been fascinated by old maps. Some old maps tried to convey what the whole world looked like. When they didn’t have enough information about an area, cartographers would put in a warning about the dangers in the unknown territory. One globe, at the boarder of a huge unexplored part of the earth, states, “Here be dragons.” Called the Hunt-Lenox Globe, it was built in 1510, making it one of the first European globes ever made. It’s tiny, made of copper, and located in the New York Public Library.
Dragons, of course, are mythical, yet the Bible uses the term 20 times to refer to Satan. He is not a mythical character, and we would do well to consider him a real threat. Peter tells us: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him. Be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.” John tells us in the book of Revelation that “When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman (God’s church) who had given birth to the male child. But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.”
“Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth. But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon. And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.”
The time when the church was protected from the dragon is over. We really need God’s help in this battle against the dragon. The problem gets even worse as some of us seem to resemble the dragon in our actions. We sometimes deny the gospel and take on the selfish nature of the devil. Of course, we are well-intentioned dragons. We don’t mean to cause harm to our fellow Christians or the church, but we have been deceived by the devil into thinking that we know better than others and our complaints are fully justified. We don’t consider the large picture, or the struggles others are facing. We only want what seems good for us. Jesus called the Pharisees the children of the devil because their actions resembled the devil, the great dragon.
We need to be careful in unknown regions, for “here be dragons.” But God has promised to never leave us if we want to live a life of faith in Him. He has fought the dragon and won. We do not need to be a slave to the dragon. We need only to be alert and be careful to follow God’s word rather than the words of the world.
Pastor Gary Beck