"In that day Yahweh with his hard, great, and strong sword (חֶ֫רֶב) will punish (פקד) Leviathan (לִוְיָתָן) [Satan] the fleeing serpent (נָחָשׁ), Leviathan the twisting serpent (נָחָשׁ), and he will slay the dragon (תַּנִּין) that is in the sea." - Isaiah 27:1
Writing around 700 bc, Isaiah predicts that in the end times Yahweh will punish Leviathan (v. 1), a sea creature that is a metaphor for Satan. Sometimes in the Bible, Leviathan is just a large sea creature (Genesis 1:21; Job 41:1; Psalm 74:13-14; 104:26). But here, Leviathan represents Satan, similar to these passages:
"Now the serpent (נָחָשׁ) was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord Yahweh had made." - Genesis 3:1
"So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world." - Revelation 12:9
The myth of a struggle between a high god and a sea/chaos monster was widespread in the ancient Near East. In Ugaritic literature reference is made to a seven-headed creature called Leviathan. Isaiah refers to this myth to make a point. His message is that when God finally defeats Satan, it will be like the slaying of the chaotic dragon Leviathan.
We also learn from this verse that Yahweh will use a great sword to punish Satan (v. 1). This great sword is a metaphor for God's powerful word (see Revelation 19:15).
Finally, notice this Leviathan operates in the air (fleeing serpent), on the ground (twisting serpent), and in the sea (dragon in the sea)(v. 1). This shows that Satan has been allowed, temporarily, to invade all domains of creation. Thus he is called the ruler of this world by Jesus:
"'Now is the judgment of this world. Now will the ruler of this world [Satan] be cast out.'" - John 12:31
So in the end times God will totally rid the domains of air, land, and sea of Satan’s presence and influence. This is the great hope of mankind--Satan gone, his influence smashed, and Jesus the true King ruling on earth.
Father, we cannot defeat or punish Satan. Only you can do that. So we wait patiently until you do so. Thank you for saving us from sin, death, and Satan's influence over our lives. One day we will be totally free from his grasp. In the meantime, help us to love you and one another, and to proclaim the gospel to all creation. We look forward to the coming of Jesus and the inauguration of his kingdom. Please help us to endure with courage. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman