The last chapter of Zechariah starts with, “Behold a day is coming …” and our reading in Revelation contains the only verse in the Bible with the word Armageddon. False spirits (attitudes?) “… go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God Almighty. Behold I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake … and they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” (16:14-16).
That word gets used today from time to time, sometimes in relation to climate change and fearsome weather events. It was used in relation to the worldwide financial crisis in 2008; some years ago the AAP reported “In a new record, Australians now owe more in household debt that the country’s entire economy earns in a year”.
The world’s economy was revved up to work on massive spending – continuously. This is the now generation, ‘we must have it now’. The crisis has been “solved” by Governments throwing a heap of largely borrowed money at the problem – worse still, simply printing money. Of course, money is no longer gold and silver, which was its foundation.
In one sense money is the “beast” which people worship. We note that a replica (image) of this beast arises and this chapter tells how harmful and painful sores (symbol of what?) came upon those who “bore the mark of the beast and worshipped its image” (verse 2).
Zechariah’s chapter also describes Armageddon without using the word! “Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations … the Mount of Olives shall be split in two” (12:3,4). A world-shaking earthquake occurs (see Revelation 16:18) “a great earthquake such as there has never been since man was on earth”.
But then, says Zechariah, “the LORD will be King over all the earth … then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship in King, the LORD of Hosts …” (verses 9,16). We have read almost the same in Revelation, “Who will not fear O Lord and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you for your righteous acts have been revealed” (15:4). “Behold a day is coming …” Blessed are those who are “awake” and ready for what God will cause to happen (see Revelation 16:15).
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