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Every Thought Captive

Cast Out

Satan, Bound (3)

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I thought that we with ease
our bold objective would attain, for I
had never seen God’s power in wrath, and by
my calculations He could, by surprise
and show of force, be led to quit the prize
I sought and settle for some lesser role.
We came against His temple, all the whole,
vast throng, a third of heaven’s most glorious knights,
and I their captain.1 Each was primed to fight
unto the death to seize the throne and right
this great injustice with a show of might
and fury heaven had never seen before.
But as we marched up to the temple door
it soon became apparent our design
had been discovered, for a lustrous line
of heavenly hosts had been arrayed against
us.2 Our contingent faltered, and I sensed
they knew defeat was imminent. And so
I stood before the ranks and roared out, “Know,
my comrades, you have come too far to balk
and tremble now. Where is your towering talk
of triumph? What’s become of all your boasts
of victory? Look around, my cringing hosts:
You see the best of all creation in
your ranks. Press on! Advance! For we can win
the day if our resolve is firm!” Thus I
harangued the cowardly horde and fixed my eye
with threatening gaze on every one. But when
I turned to lead them into battle, then
I saw Him standing in their midst, aflame
with glory, radiant, fearsome, and His Name
upon His breast: The Word of God. I felt
my being drain away, and would have knelt
before Him, as our custom was, but then
my trembling turned to fury, and again
I urged my minions onward. Not a word
escaped His mouth, but with His fiery sword
He motioned calmly, whereupon there came
forth from His solid side the one whose name
is Michael. He advanced with swiftest speed
in my direction, unaccompanied
by any other. I prepared to meet
him in a dual of champions and defeat
him soundly; then I would assault the Lord
Himself and kill Him with His own broad sword,
and then the throne of heaven would be mine.
The prospect thrilled me, filled me with a kind
of giddiness and glee. I howled and shrieked,
and terror gripped my hosts, who now were weak
with fear and dread. My passion grew into
a frenzy as I drew my sword to do
the great archangel in. But with one blow
he fiercely fell on me and laid me low
upon the court of heaven. Never would
I have imagined that an angel could
such strength accumulate. He stood above
me with his sword raised high. The features of
his face were terrifying, as he drew
his awesome might together. And I knew
that I was finished, so I cursed my foe
with bitter ranting, and implored him, “Go
on, go on! Get it over with!” But he
stood strong and statue-like, and looked at me,
awaiting further orders. Then I heard
a voice that shook all heaven, and the word
He spoke secured my fate: “Expel him! Send
them all from off these lofty heights! 3 Their end
in time shall come. For now consign them to
the place for which they lusted. Cast them through
the veil that separates our worlds, and let
them prowl and skulk upon the earth. For yet
I will my counsel all fulfill, and I
will demonstrate before his lusting eye
the glory that he coveted. And he
will have no power to stop or hinder Me,
until I crush his hate-filled head at last.”

Immediately I and all my host were cast
beyond the veil and tumbled downward through
the heavens, hurtling helplessly onto
the earth. The plummet stunned us all, and for
the longest time we lay in silence, more
from fear than pain. And then I spoke: “He will
regret that He did not let Michael kill
me. Get up, get up now! There’s work to do!
You cringing cowards, your liberty is through;
now you belong to me, and I will rule
your lives from this day on. And let no fool
among you think to try my strength, for though
the great archangel overcame me, know
for certain that no one of you, nor all
together, is a match for me. I call
on earth and heaven to heed my solemn threat:
I will prevail against the Almighty yet!
Now get away from me! Be gone, and let
me think! When I am ready I will set
my plan before you and will show each one
what part he is to play once we’ve begun.”

1 Revelation 12.3, 4

2 Revelation 12.7-9, 13

3 Ezekiel 28,17, 18

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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