The last chapter of Zechariah starts with, “Behold a day is coming for the LORD … will gather all nations against Jerusalem …” and our reading in Revelation contains the only verse in the Bible with the word ARMAGEDDON. We read there how “demonic spirits” (irrational 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” (Revelation 16:14-16).

The word Armageddon appears in our media quite a lot, sometimes in relation to climate change and fearsome weather events. It was also used in relation to world-wide financial instability. The world’s economy has grown dramatically but recent problems have shown just how fragile our trading world really is.

The crisis is kept at bay by Governments throwing heaps of borrowed money into the system. Money has become a “beast” which people worship. It is interesting that Revelation 16 says a replica (image) of the beast causes “harmful and painful sores” on “those who bore the mark of the beast and worshipped its image” (Revelation 16:2).

Zechariah’s chapter also describes Armageddon without using the word. After the LORD goes forth to fight “… the mount of Olives shall be split in two” (Zechariah 14:3,4). We noted that Revelation 16:18 speaks of “a great earthquake such as there has never been since man was on earth.” Zechariah also states that “all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, their tongues will rot in their mouths” (Zechariah 14:12). That sounds horribly like radiation.

But then, writes 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 …” (Zechariah 14:9,16). 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” (Revelation 15:4).

The challenge to us – we quote again “Blessed is the one who stays awake keeping his garments”. We note Revelation 19:8 – “fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints”. We must be with those who are awake, keeping our garments (see Revelation 16:15).