Read Luke 19

Key Verse: Luke 19:44 “…you did not know the time of your visitation.”

If you have read even a bit of the Bible, you’re sure to have noticed the awfully serious view it takes of decision-making: especially those decisions about our relationship with God. When we’re vague, or try to postpone, if not water down, the demand of the relationship, He is clear-cut and downright inflexible. We want qualifiers, maybe’s, and wait-and-see’s. He wants either/or. He will work for a while at winning us, but warns that His Spirit will not always wrestle with us. If we put the decision off He’ll eventually stop trying to convince us, and the results, He warns, will be disastrous.

A case in point is Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. The city personifies the nation of Israel, Jesus’ own and God the Father’s chosen people. Not that, even in the context of a heart-rending compassion, Jesus is gratingly blunt in His pronouncement of doom: “The days will come upon you when your enemies will build and embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone ono another…” (vss. 43,44). This is pretty hard stuff; it almost seems that Jesus is foreseeing genocide here.

What makes it even more difficult is the seemingly schizophrenic nature of God in this passage. On the one hand, He loves His people with an everlasting love, on the other He pronounces judgment and appears to be prepared to sit back and let it happen. And this is all because His chosen ones “did not recognize the time of God’s coming” to them.

The lesson? God is love and God is just, and won’t extend His love forever, any more than He will postpone His judgment forever. It’s scary, but true — when God speaks, we’d better listen.