KEY THOT: Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem shows us why bad things happen to bad people. But it is not God’s desire for bad things to happen to any people—if we stay under his wings, not stray away. But very often, like Jerusalem & the Jews, we reject the God who alone can protect us and so expose ourselves to destruction and death. Jesus’ lament, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem” shows us his anguish, not anger, over His people. But yet God has always respected our choice. In this case, the Jewish nation has chosen to reject the Lord who called her into being. Jesus expresses God’s will to gather “her brood under her wings” but the sad thing is: “and you would not!” There is no safer place for chicks from preying birds like hawks and eagles than under the hen’s wings. But when we reject God’s protective love, we become exposed to the devil whose purpose is to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10a).
So, Jerusalem rejected the Son and Saviour sent by the Father around AD 30 by crucifying Him and Jesus' word of prophecy to them was: “behold, your house is forsaken” (Luke 13:35). And God finally withdrew His covering over the Jewish nation and 40 years later, in AD 70, Jerusalem was surrounded by the Gentile Roman legions who slaughtered 600,000 men, women and children and burned the city and the temple to the ground. After that, the remaining Jews were captured and sold as slaves while some escaped into other nations. The reason why bad things happen to people is because we are no longer under the wings and shadows of the Almighty. Once we come out of His protection and covering, the devil will seize the opportunity to kill, steal and destroy: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
David was able to fulfill God’s purpose in his days and lived a full life because he was always under the shadows of God’s wings:
- Ps 17:8-9 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.
- Ps 36:7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
- Ps 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
- Ps 63:7 For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.