God is omniscient, i.e. He knows all things from past to future. Yet, isn’t it interesting how when something bad He knows will happen actually does occur, He still grieves over it? With the view God has of eternity as the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end – the Lord sees from a perspective out of time. As humans, we’re limited to the here and now and what we know of the past, but the future is unknown. God knows the future, every possible variation of it (which is mind-blowing when you consider that!).
The Lord knew that Adam and Eve would disobey Him. He knew that David would fail to go out to war in the spring of that one year and sin by taking Bathsheba as his own despite her being another man’s wife (2 Samuel 11:4). God knew how stiff-necked – rebellious – and disobedient His Chosen People would be from the very first.
It’s the reason Jesus came to earth. God was very well aware that man could not redeem himself. It was beyond his fleshly nature once sin had entered into it. Regardless of all this advance and comprehensive knowledge, Jesus in His incarnation couldn’t contain His grief at what His children Israel did.
Nearing the time of His crucifixion, Jesus entered Jerusalem. Look at how He reacted in Luke 19:41-42:
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.
Jesus wept over the city. Israel had the opportunity to turn wholly to the Lord, but didn’t. It grieved Jesus so much that He wept. He knew the extent of Israel’s apostasy, but that didn’t keep Him from displaying His true feelings.
In a similar manner, seeing the effect of death when His friend Lazarus died, Jesus likewise wept (John 11:35). Humanity and its failings has continually caused God much distress.
Jesus knew He would die a horrible death. That wasn’t what he wept for here. He poured out tears for Israel because He knew their fate. Some forty years later, the Romans would come against the holy city where he had put His Name. The result would be as Jesus said in Luke 19:44:
“… 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.”
In 70 AD because of the sin of the people, Jerusalem itself, and the magnificent temple within it, would be destroyed. Every stone of the temple would be overturned, as Roman soldiers sought for gold that would melt when fire razed it to the ground.
It broke Jesus’ heart. His Words ring as warning for both Israel in that day and for us in these latter days. Jesus said he wept for His children “because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
God Himself had come to redeem His people and they had no clue, no understanding of the times. God had praised the men of Issachar because they knew the times (1 Chronicles 12:32). When the promised Messiah came to Israel, they were clueless. If they had only known, how different it would have turned out for this nation which God had raised up as His special inheritance (Deuteronomy 32:9).
We have the Word of the Lord as our guide and the means to understand the times. God has given us prophetic warning in almost 1/3 of Scripture. But, people, by and large, don’t read their Bibles today. Seminaries and Bible colleges don’t teach their students the prophetic Word. Pastors, as a result, don’t know or understand what God has said prophetically will happen, and often fear even touching the subject.
Bible prophecy should raise up the church as a light in the gathering darkness to warn an unbelieving world what God intends. It should give believers hope and spur us to action. Instead, it’s ignored while the ears of congregations are tickled and treated so tenderly in the seeker-sensitive format so as not to alarm. Worse, pastors encourage their flocks to seek their best lives now and to focus on the rewards of this world through such teachings as the prosperity or social justice gospels.
Seeing all this today and knowing what is coming, Jesus must weep.
Let us realize that the time of Jesus’ next visitation is drawing near. He will come on the clouds and snatch away His true church prior to God’s judgment. We will be spared from the wrath of God to come as we enjoy being the Bride of our loving Bridegroom and Savior.
I pray that everyone reading this is prepared by understanding the times.