And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, BECAUSE YOU DID NOT KNOW THE TIME OF YOUR VISITATION. – Luke 19:41-44
Jerusalem was the “prized possession” of the Jewish people. Ever since it was taken over by King David from the Jebusites, it became the capital city of the nation, and was fondly and affectionately referred to as the “City of David.”
In time, David brought the Ark of the Covenant and Tabernacle (reminders to Israel of their election as God’s “prized possession” and of His enduring Presence) to Jerusalem.
Solomon, David’s Son, and Israel’s third king, eventually built a beautiful temple to house the Ark of Covenant. Sure enough, the spiritual temperature of Israel came to be measured by what went on in Jerusalem and then eventually, Jerusalem came to represent the whole of Israel so that “as in Jerusalem, so in Israel.”
Jesus’ prediction was fulfilled with “frightening accuracy” in A.D. 70 and then several decades later when the Jews were completely dispersed by Emperor Trajan, and the then Palestine was “repopulated by others.” However, the fulfillment of the prophesy isn’t the focus of this note.
My focus was on Jerusalem’s unfortunate rejection of the one thing it needed most – Salvation, because it didn’t look like what they were expecting or come like they had expected.
Israel had waited in hope for several centuries for the promised Messiah, the Son of David, who would sit on his father, David’s throne forever.
They watched and waited, they longed and prayed; but when the answer to the prayer finally came, they missed him completely.
The Apostle John’s sad commentary on Israel’s (and in deed the world’s) failure to recognize it’s king is captured in John 1:10, 11 ‘He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him.
How often are we like Israel, when we ask God to help us and his help comes to us in the things that challenge our deepest and fondest assumptions.
The one who prays, “God let me not be deceived” closes his heart to the very answers to his prayers because:
“He/she didn’t like the way the man/woman who shared the truth made him/her feel”;
“They sounded too logical/ complex and truth must always be simple” (By the way, the ONLY thing truth must be is be TRUE)
“They were proud/puffed up in the way they passed the message across.”
So then, the very answers to one’s prayer to be “grounded in the truth” are despised because they didn’t come as we expected, from whom we expected or even from where we expected.
May God help us not ignore his answers because “we did not know the ‘day of our visitation’