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The Wailing God

• Greg Boyd

When Jesus entered Jerusalem he wept as he foretold its destruction. This is important because we gain an profound awareness of how it pains God when we resist him.

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When Jesus finally arrives at Jerusalem, he weeps and pronounces a prophecy about its destruction. As Greg pointed out, this was fulfilled in 70 A.D. The three main points Greg drew from this passage were:

1. God doesn’t always get his way.

2. Jesus is our fullest revelation of God, and here Jesus weeps.

3. It is God’s desire to gather and protect us, but if we are not willing God allows us to resist and face the consequences (Luke 13:34).

The common thread here is that how we respond to God’s love matters both to God and also to us. God does have desires and purposes for our lives and if we resist God, there are consequences (Luke 7:30, Isaiah 30:1). As we learn from Jesus’ weeping, God is deeply saddened when we resist God’s love and purposes for our lives.

Greg built a case from these points that God’s judgment is not a matter of venting wrath, but rather is the inevitable consequence of our having resisted God. This is spoken of in Scripture as God “giving us over” to our desires and the consequences of our actions (Romans 1:24, 26, 28). Other examples of God giving people over to the consequences of their actions include the Passover event in Egypt (Ex. 12:12 and 23) even the crucifixion of Christ (Acts. 2:23). Greg emphasized that it is important to always keep Jesus in mind as we picture God in times of judgment—weeping over the sin and separation experienced as a result of our resisting God.

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Topics: God's Will, Judgment, Love

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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 19:41-44

    As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come on you when your enemies will build an 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 on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you.

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