Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Revelation 12:7-9 ESV
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15 ESV
The reading from Isaiah sounds like it’s about Satan, but it’s also about Sargon II. Thousands of years ago the mighty Assyrian Empire ruled the world. Sargon II was one of its most powerful kings. Early in his reign he conquered God’s people Israel, who had turned away from him. After that he went to war against other places, such as Damascus and the kingdom of Urartu and Babylon. Soon he had conquered almost all the world that he knew about. Sargon II thought of himself as someone as mighty as God, but his power didn’t last. The Anatolian people rebelled against him, and he went to battle against them. Sargon II died in this battle. Worse than that, his army wasn’t able to bring his body home. This was thought to be a very bad omen.
Sargon was something like the devil, or Satan. Satan was an angel in heaven, but he wanted to be like God. He and some other angels rebelled against God, and there was a war in heaven. Just like Sargon II in the battle against Anatolia, Satan lost the battle. He was thrown out of heaven with his evil angels. This made Satan God’s enemy. He hates God and everything that God loves. He hates God’s creation and is always looking for a way to hurt it. He especially wants to hurt people who belong to God. Way back in the beginning he came into the beautiful Garden of Eden as a serpent, or snake. He wanted to make the man and woman disobey God.
We don’t ever have to be afraid of the devil. He is not as powerful as God or his angels, and they will protect us. Jesus came into this world to destroy the work of the devil. Satan thought he’d won the fight when Jesus died on the cross, but when Jesus rose from the dead, he showed that he was stronger than death and the devil. Jesus has won the victory over Satan, and we can count on Jesus to help us and protect us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for winning the battle with Satan. Please help and protect us when he tries to hurt us. Amen.