“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” Luke 19:41-42
The Lord had finally acknowledged to the Jewish leaders that He was their promised Messiah, riding into the city on a donkey’s colt in fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-7), but they refused to accept and prepared to crucify Him. Therefore, Jesus wept over the city, for He knew it would soon be destroyed “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44).
There are many other cases of such tragic ignorance in the Bible. For example, “Samson . . . wist not that the LORD was departed from him” (Judges 16:20), and it cost him his great strength and finally his life.
The ungodly sinners in the days of Noah “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). Of the northern kingdom of Israel, it was said: “Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not” (Hosea 7:9). These “strangers” were the pagan Canaanites who had turned the people away from the true God.
This is a real danger facing many church and parachurch organizations of the end times, typified by the church at Laodicea. The Lord says to such churches, “I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:16-17).
May God deliver each of us from tragic ignorance of our need before Him. We should pray with the psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). – Dr. Henry M. Morris