Scripture: Genesis and Revelation
INTRODUCTION: Let's sing the Grinch Song together.
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel.You're as cuddly as a cactus; you're as charming as an eel. Mr. Grinch. You're a baanana, with a greasy black peel.You're a monster, Mr. Grinch. Your heart's an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders; you've got garlic in your soul. Mr. Grinch. I wouldn't touch you, with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch. You have termites in your smile. You have all the tender sweetness, of a seasick crocodile. Mr. Grinch. Given the choice between the two of you. I'd take the seasick crocodile.
Let's face it, during this time of the year, the whole world is thinking about Christmas. We plan special meals around Christmas. We take trips because of Christmas. We gather with family and friends for Christmas. We spend money on Christmas presents. And we watch movies about Christmas. But when it's all over what do we have to show for it: debt, calories and more "stuff" that we don't need but have to make room for.
The Grinch first appeared in a children's book by Dr. Seuss. Anyone want to guess what year that was? The year was 1957 and the book was entitled "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" The Grinch was made into a popular television special ten years later. The Grinch is a big, green, Whoville-hating grouch who's only friend is a big-eyed dog named Max. The Grinch sneaks into Whoville on Christmas Eve to steal all the presents and food in order to "stop Christmas from coming." In the common vernacular a "Grinch" has come to be synonymous with a "grouch", particularly someone who shows great disdain for something wholesome.
Is there a REAL Grinch? Is there an evil, malicious, malevolent being that can't stand it when people are joyful, singing, giving and generally happy? Yes, there is. His name is Satan. And we won't understand Christmas, until we understand Satan. Now my point today is that Satan is the REAL Grinch because Satan tried to stop Christmas. When I say "Christmas" I mean the birth of Jesus.
Revelation 12:4 " A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 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.
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 Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over 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.
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.” When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. (Revelation 12:1, 3-17 NIV).
Satan tried to stop the birth of Christ through many attempts. let us ake a look at several of them: SATAN AT WAR WITH CHRIST
Satan declared war on God when he attempted to overthrow God long before Adam and Eve were here. We believe Satan whose name was Lucifer lived on the planet Earth ruling over all of God's angels. There was plant and animal life plus all of God's angels. Lucifer planned an invasion of heaven taking a third of God's angels with him.
Isaiah the prophet tells us, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High (Isaiah 14:12-14)."
Satan aspired to be like unto God. He rebelled against his Creator, and left the earth waste and void and without form as we find it in Genesis 1:2. But God restored this ruined earth and placed another (Adam) over His creation and gave Adam the dominion that Lucifer once held. This man who now held authority over God's earth became the target of Satan's vicious attack and Satan succeeded. Man came under the curse of the Almighty God when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. But God thwarted or disrupted the ultimate victory of Satan, and revealed a plan of redemption whereby Satan would be ultimately defeated.
God made His declaration in Genesis 3:15. God spoke to Satan and said, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
War is declared on Satan. We are told that the head of the serpent would be crushed and complete victory for the seed of the woman would follow. War is declared and Satan now learns how he will be defeated. The seed of the woman is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. This phrase "the seed of the woman" indicated unmistakably the fact that this coming Redeemer and this coming seed would have a human mother, but not a human father. The reference is to the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan's only hope of victory lay in the prevention of this "seed of the woman" from being born, or to destroy it after it did come. If Satan could only interrupt the line of this coming promised seed, who is Christ, and prevent His coming, he would gain the victory without even a battle.
So now Satan concentrates on the birth of the children in the line of the seed of this coming Redeemer. Satan's first attempt was when Eve gave birth to her first two sons, Cain and Abel. In Genesis 4:1 we read, "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and saith, I have gotten a man from the Lord." Literally Eve says, "I have gotten the man, even Jehovah." Eve evidently believed that Cain, her first-born, was already the promised seed. But Satan knew that Abel was to be in the line of the seed, and so he uses Cain to destroy Abel, the supposed promised seed, believing that in this way he could defeat God's promise of Genesis 3:15.
We know that the murder of Abel was Satan inspired because we read in I John 3:12, "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother." God gives Eve another child Seth through whom the Messiah would come. He also banishes Cain to the land of Nod. This is just one in a whole series of attempts by Satan to stop or hinder God's plan.
In tomorrow's blog post, we will look further into the devils attempts to rob the world of Christmas.
And as always: "Don't Forget to say Your Prayers!"