Luke 19:37-48 – “As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 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. 43 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 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.” 45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” 47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.” ESV
I have often wondered, why would people fail to recognize the time of their visitation? Why did these people fail to recognize the time of their visitation?
Number Two – Preoccupation.
They were preoccupied with self-indulgence to recognize the time of their visitation and discern the times in which they were living. I am reminded of the response of the Children of Israel in the wilderness in Number 11:5. They reminisced about the fish and vegetables they enjoyed in bondage. They complained that they were having to endure any hardship in being delivered. They wanted to satisfy their fleshly desires right then and sadly, so do we.
In Proverbs 16:26 we are reminded, “He that labors does so for himself for his mouth craves it of him.” Also, in Proverbs 27:20 we read, “Man’s eyes are never satisfied.” Our carnal cravings are always for more. Paul addressed that in 2 Timothy 3:4 reminding Timothy that sinful people love pleasure more than God. Too many are seeking physical and emotional gratification rather than spiritual freedom.
Proverbs 21:17 warns, “He that loves pleasure will be a poor man.”
They were preoccupied with the natural pursuit of life. Jesus warned that if we focus on this life and saving ourselves in this world, we will lose our eternal reward. If we place Him first, we will have a life here and hereafter. (Matthew 16:15).
Isaiah warned of the greed for real estate or possessions in (Isaiah 5:8), and Jesus warned of the craving for possessions in (Luke 12:15). The Bible is filled with warnings of the dangers and control of envy, jealousy, and pride.
Paul instructed Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:14 that no person going to war allows himself to become preoccupied with the affairs of this life. His focus is on the war before him. He recognizes that he must win the war to pursue any semblance of life. The word ‘entangled’ means to inweave, entangle, involve, or make the focus that object.
They were preoccupied with the problems and difficulties of life. Their domestic needs and desires outweighed their desire for eternal peace. Matthew 6:33 gives us the prescription – “Seek first…” Seek what? God and His Kingdom above all else and the result is we get both what we need in this life and eternal life.
I want to address this one more step but will pause and encourage you to focus on God not what is before you in life.
May your day be joyous today!