Pilgrim’s Progress Chapters 8-9

BLOG PP Chapters 8-9

The Valley of Humiliation/Combat with Apollyon

Christian descends the hill and enters the Valley of Humiliation. Discretion, Piety and Charity do not go with him, but they give him bread, wine and raisins and send him on his way. In the valley, a beast named Apollyon meets Christian. Apollyon begins by questioning Christian and reminding him of his unfaithfulness, in hopes of persuading him to abandon God. Upon Christian’s refusal to deny God, the beast resorts to force and the two engage in combat. Eventually Christian is successful in piercing Apollyon with his two-edged sword, forcing the beast to leave.
The rest after the battle was only short-lived because Christian continues into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where two men approach him and urges him to turn back. Yet Christian presses on. The valley was surrounded by dangers, with a ditch on the right and a quag on the left. In the darkness of the valley, Christian was confused by blasphemous thoughts whispered to him by a fiend, which he thought were his own thoughts. Even so, hope remains in the valley as Christian hears a man’s voice, showing that he is not alone and that God is with him. At the end, he sees Faithful and tries to catch up to him.
Reflection Questions
1. What spiritual battles do you fight in your day-to-day life? How does the enemy most often attack you?
2. In what ways can the companionship of other Christians help a person to endure the valley? How has God used relationships with other believers to strengthen your faith?

Library Staff

(Image credit: Answers in Genesis)

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One thought on “Pilgrim’s Progress Chapters 8-9

  1. In these two chapters, we see Christian fighting against Apollyon and walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I think that Bunyan illustrates well the different ways that Satan tries to shake our faith as we strive to walk in righteousness. He attempts to cast doubt on Christian’s new found identity in Christ and points to all the failures that Christian commits on the way. Furthermore, he engages Christian in battle and nearly ends Christian’s life. Contemporary believers often either underestimate or overestimate Satan’s ability to cast us into despair and doubt. The Bible is clear that in this age, Satan has power to inflict God’s people with trials and tribulations but we also have the assurance that God is in control and will always be victorious over the Devil. Furthermore, God equips His people with spiritual armour and weapons to fight against Satan as indicated in Ephesians 6. After fending off Apollyon, Christian heads to the Valley of the Shadow of Death which is where he encounters trials of fears and darkness. In this chapter, two takeaways that I gleaned are the power of prayer. Prayer is so valuable yet we often view it as a chore. However, Christian’s journey shows that prayer is precious in the midst of the darkest trials in our lives. Jesus exemplified the need for constant prayer throughout his life on earth and even today intercedes for us with the Father.

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