You can choose to listen to the audio version here or you can read the devotional below. Enjoy!

Click Here to learn more about the Holy Land and Megiddo with one of our seminars.

As modern history moves further and further into the future, so do the theories about how the world will end. Nuclear War. Global Warming. Alien Invasion. Or an Asteroid. Due to the end-times hype, the term “Armageddon,” made famous by Michael Bay’s 1998 doomsday movie that will definitely not leaving you crying over Bruce Willis in the end, has had this cataclysmic connotation for many years.  

But what does Armageddon actually mean? For John in Revelation 16:16, it’s noted that he is drawing on the Hebrew, “Har Megiddon”, which means “Mountain or Mount of Megiddo.” Of course, Revelation is written in Greek, yet John says here, “in the native Hebrew tongue” and we find no other satisfactory explanation beyond that. Likewise, there is no such mountain of Megiddo. While there is a Tel that exists (Megiddo has over 20 layers of civilizations that have been built up), there is no actual mountain upon which the armies of the world could gather in all their military bravado.

One of the most important characteristics about Megiddo is that the first battle in written history is recorded at Megiddo between Egypt and Canaanite Kings (15th Century BCE). Being centered in the Via Maris, one of the most important roads between Egypt and Mesopotamia, whoever controlled Megiddo, could essentially control the trade routes and who could pass through (and for how much). And so, over time, many important battles were fought here and the Bible lists a few of those in Judges 5:19, 2 Kings 9:27, and the Josiah Story from the last post in 2 Kings 23:29. Thus, Megiddo had become known to many in that region as a place of war and violence.

To understand this connotation of a place of violence in Revelation we must understand that Revelation is written using apocalyptic symbolism and fits within a literary genre called apocalyptic literature. Mitchell Reddish words this ridiculous hype like this, “Revelation 16:16 does not refer to a literal battle that will occur. This scene in Revelation is another example of John’s creative use of symbolic language…Armageddon symbolizes the final desperate struggle of evil against the overwhelming power and goodness of God…If John were writing today for an American audience, then he might locate the “final battle” at Gettysburg or Bunker Hill, places that would connote war to modern readers.” (Reddish, Revelation, 319) Reddish notes that many preachers and teachers have used Revelation like Tarot cards trying to predict the future, rather than properly reading it within its apocalyptic literary genre.

So how do we use this, practically, for today? We know that in the end, God will always have the ultimate power over evil. We look around every day and it’s not hard to find a lot of evil in the world – and unfortunately, a good portion is usually on account of “Christians.” But, if you look a little bit harder, you’ll see that there is a lot of good in the world as well. It’s not always easy to see in a world that creates a biased narrative about who is good and who is bad. Yet, as Christ-followers, we have a duty to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. We may not always see justice, love, and mercy but we have a responsibility to practice and exude those characteristics in our lives. And while we must practice those daily, we must also pray for God to bring His justice and holiness into this world because that is the whole purpose of Jesus, and consequently, John’s Revelation, for Heaven to come to earth. Even though “Armageddon” may not be what you thought it was, it’s still a word we can use to connote God’s goodness and triumph over evil. Maranatha!

Click Here to learn more about the Holy Land and the Megiddo with one of our seminars.

As modern history moves further and further into the future, so do the theories about how the world will end. Nuclear War. Global Warming. Alien Invasion. Or an Asteroid. Due to the end-times hype, the term “Armageddon,” made famous by Michael Bay’s 1998 doomsday movie that will definitely not leaving you crying over Bruce Willis in the end, has had this cataclysmic connotation for many years.  

But what does Armageddon actually mean? For John in Revelation 16:16, it’s noted that he is drawing on the Hebrew, “Har Megiddon”, which means “Mountain or Mount of Megiddo.” Of course, Revelation is written in Greek, yet John says here, “in the native Hebrew tongue” and we find no other satisfactory explanation beyond that. Likewise, there is no such mountain of Megiddo. While there is a Tel that exists (Megiddo has over 20 layers of civilizations that have been built up), there is no actual mountain upon which the armies of the world could gather in all their military bravado.

One of the most important characteristics about Megiddo is that the first battle in written history is recorded at Megiddo between Egypt and Canaanite Kings (15th Century BCE). Being centered in the Via Maris, one of the most important roads between Egypt and Mesopotamia, whoever controlled Megiddo, could essentially control the trade routes. And so, over time, many important battles were fought here and the Bible lists a few of those in Judges 5:19, 2 Kings 9:27, and the Josiah Story from the last post in 2 Kings 23:29. Thus, Megiddo had become known to many in that region as a place of war and violence.

To understand this connotation of a place of violence in Revelation we must understand that Revelation is written using apocalyptic symbolism and fits within a literary genre called apocalyptic literature. Mitchell Reddish words this ridiculous hype like this, “Revelation 16:16 does not refer to a literal battle that will occur. This scene in Revelation is another example of John’s creative use of symbolic language…Armageddon symbolizes the final desperate struggle of evil against the overwhelming power and goodness of God…If John were writing today for an American audience, then he might locate the “final battle” at Gettysburg or Bunker Hill, places that would connote war to modern readers.” (Reddish, Revelation, 319) Reddish notes that many preachers and teachers have used Revelation like Tarot cards trying to predict the future, rather than properly reading it within its apocalyptic literary genre.

So how do we use this practically for today? We know that in the end, God will always have the ultimate power over evil. We look around every day and it’s not hard to find a lot of evil in the world – and unfortunately, a good portion is usually on account of “Christians.” But, if you look a little bit harder, you’ll see that there is a lot of good in the world as well. It’s not always easy to see in a world that creates a biased narrative about who is good and who is bad. Yet, as Christ-followers, we have a duty to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. We may not always see justice, love, and mercy but we have a responsibility to practice and exude those characteristics in our lives. And while we must practice those daily, we must also pray for God to bring His justice and holiness into this world because that is the whole purpose of Jesus, and consequently, John’s Revelation, for Heaven to come to earth. Even though “Armageddon” may not be what you thought it was, it’s still a word we can use to connote God’s goodness and triumph over evil. Maranatha!

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