The man of God would thunder with authority: “Blow the dust off your Bible and read for yourself what it really says.” The first time I did that didn’t lead to much of a discovery: “The King James Bible.” But once past the cover, it has become a lifetime of daily surprise.
With all the bad news bombarding us daily, we hear talk about the Battle of Armageddon and the end of the world. We’ve heard it all our life, even out here in the bog, but that doesn’t make it so. Believe it or not, Armageddon is the battle that doesn’t exist.
Even at the risk of causing another Dust Bowl, see for yourself in Rev. 16:13-16. Armageddon means “har-Megiddo.” Har means hill rather than something to laugh at, and nobody will be amused at this very sad and terrifying time for humanity. Kings of the earth and their armies will “gather” in Megiddo for “the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Historically lots of battles have been fought here. But not this time.
Precisely put, they gather here but the battle will take place elsewhere. Where?
Megiddo is about 55 miles north of Jerusalem The kings and their armies will mobilize down to the Kidron Valley that runs north and south between the Mount of Olives and the eastern gate of Jerusalem. This makes perfect logistical sense since at His return Jesus is going to stand on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). And you would think He will majestically make a triumphant royal processional walk on into Jerusalem through the Lion of Judah eastern gate that is walled up and reserved for His arrival.
My hooves have stood on the Mount of Olives and walked down to the wall, which is close enough to be the standard for a Sabbath day’s journey and to hardly break a sweat. Of course, if Jesus chooses to just pop on over, who will stop Him!
Not the armies which are merely like grapes clustered in the valley and destined to be stomped in the winepress of His wrath. How do they think they even have a chance fighting the Son of God, except through strong delusion by the one who relentlessly keeps up his losing cause.
Joel 3:11-16 and Zech. 14:12-15 warn about this earth-shaking battle. Joel says the Kidron Valley is also called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Things will be a-jumpin’ there!
Joel also calls it “the valley of decision.” Anybody who gathers in Megiddo or shows up for the Battle of Jehoshaphat in the Kidron Valley has already made the wrong decision!
For anybody fighting Christ, it will be the end of the world! But otherwise the very reason Jesus returns just in the nick of time is to prevent the end of all flesh for the elect’s sake (Matt. 24:13) and to begin “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21).
When all the dust settles, we’ll all be breathing a lot easier.
FUN FACT: Gather and battle? Though we sometimes roam in small groups during summer, and sometimes form large herds in winter, we are generally solitary. Until the irresistible cows make us gather and battle with our horns for mating supremacy in September-October. After that is not the end of the world. We just go our separate ways until the following year and do it all over again!
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