And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly (Romans 16:20)
In the humiliating birth of the Son of God we might be inclined to see a defeat rather than a victory. But then the wisdom of God has not entered into our heart. Now, however, we discover the gospel of Christmas in the text quoted above.
The apostle Paul wants the Roman congregation not only to be wise about what is good, but also innocent about what is evil (Rom. 16:19). The latter is possibly more difficult than the former. And that is certainly so when false doctrine deceives the hearts of the simple by smooth words and flattering speech (Rom. 16:18).
But the congregation is not on her own and condemned to her own helplessness. For the God of peace is with her – the God who grants His peace as a rich and delightful fruit of the gospel.
It is the peace with Him through the justification by faith, the peace as it is desired and worked by the Holy Spirit, the peace also in our human relationships as fruit of the Holy Spirit. That’s how Paul wrote to the Romans about His peace.
This God will crush Satan, who tries to infect the congregation with evil, under her feet. Through her service and struggle the congregation will squash him. Satan will be crushed under the power of God’s work. And God will do that shortly, says Paul.
The term shortly expresses the speed with which the Lord hurries towards the moment when at last He will grant us to overcome Satan. For He is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness (2 Peter 3:9).
In writing these words, Paul proclaims the gospel of Christmas. At the birth of the Child the angels sang about the peace on earth of which His coming was the herald. And today, as we celebrate Christmas, we rejoice, for it was the fullness of time, the beginning of shortly, the beginning of the victory. This is the perspective which this great feast offers us. Shortly!
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Father, we have the assurance that You will hear this prayer in Him who humbled Himself for our sake, and therefore received from You a name above every name.
Reading: Revelation 19:11-21
Singing: Psalm 3:4
This Christmas Day meditation was taken from De Unieke Troost (The Unique Comfort)