9 The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
As I read this passage, I was reminded of a story told by Max Lucado in his book: In the Grip of Grace. It seems a youngster was shooting rocks with a slingshot. He could never hit his target. As he rounded the corner into his Grandma’s backyard, he spied her pet duck. On impulse, he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck was dead. The boy panicked and hid the bird in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching.
After lunch that day, Grandma told Sally to help with the dishes. Sally responded, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you Johnny?” And she whispered to him, "Remember the duck!" So, Johnny did the dishes.
What choice did he have? For the next several weeks he was at the sink often. Sometimes for his duty, sometimes for his sin. "Remember the duck," Sally would whisper whenever he objected.
So, weary of the chore, he decided that any punishment had to be better than continuing to wash more and more dishes. He decided to confess to his grandmother that he had killed her duck. Which he did.
"I know, Johnny," his grandma said, giving him a hug. "I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you" I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave out of you."
Wow! The young lad had been pardoned, but he thought he was guilty. And why? All because he had chosen to listen to the words of his accuser! The devil is "the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night… " (Rev. 12:10).
But praise God! He has silenced our accuser: "The wages of sin is death," explains the judge, "but in this case the death has already occurred. For this one died with Christ.” (cf. Isa. 50:7-8). Amen!