Megiddo. What comes to mind? What if I add the word Mount and write it in Hebrew (Har Megiddo)? Still not register? What if I write it as in our English Bibles and it becomes Armageddon (Rev. 16:16)? Now it grabs our attention! But can we actually go there?
We’ve been gaining Insights to Israel, and today we move to Megiddo or Armageddon.
Join me as we visualize its geography. Megiddo is an elevated knob on the ridge of hills that overlooks the Valley of Jezreel. It is also next to a narrow gap in that ridge. Therefore, any North/South travel along the Mediterranean coast would cross the valley and take the easy road through the gap and pass right next to the hill of Megiddo. Immediately we see why Megiddo has historically been a defense post for any attack on Israel from the North.
With this in mind, lets look at the Bible’s record of this city.
Joshua 12:7 - the King of Megiddo is one of 31 kings defeated by Joshua
Judges 1:27 - the tribe of Manasseh was given the city of Megiddo but did not drive it out its inhabitants.
Judges 5:19f - Deborah and Barak defeated the armies of Sisera by the “waters of Megiddo” (probably the Kishon stream)
1 Kings 4:12 - Solomon places Baana as governor over Megiddo.
1 Kings 9:15 - Solomon fortified Megiddo as a defense post with horses.
2 Kings 9:27 - King Ahaziah flees to Megiddo in his defeat by Jehu
2 Kings 23:29- King Josiah dies at Megiddo when he tries to stop Pharaoh
In each case Megiddo played a significant role in military matters. History tells us it was also the site of the Crusaders defeat (1187 AD) and Allenby’s Victory (1917 AD). Napoleon looking at Megiddo and the Valley of Jezreel is said to have called it the most natural battlefield in the world. Vincent has said:
Megiddo . . . has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in Palestine from the Days of Nabuchodonozor, king of Assyria, unto the disastrous march of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Christian Crusaders, and anti Christian Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors of every nation that is under heaven, have pitched their tents on the plains of Esdraelon (Valley of Jezreel).
Our visit to Megiddo will allow us to walk among the remains of that city and remind us of battles fought in the past. Yet as we stand there we may hear the roar of Israeli jets taking off from the military base a few miles away. We will remember conflict with God’s people, Israel continues. Then we will read Revelation 16:13-16 and read of a coming battle, the 7th bowl of God’s wrath and the Battle of Armageddon.
And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. Behold I am coming as a thief. . . And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
So what is our Insight from Israel?
Megiddo reminds us history records constant conflict and often it is with God’s people, Israel. Megiddo reminds us that the greatest battle for control is yet to come and it will come at the place that has been a battle site since early time. Megiddo also remind us that in the end The Battle is the Lord’s
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