Why Did Jesus Lament Israel’s Blindness If He Blinded Them?

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Greetings,

I was looking for an answer to this on your website and did a search but couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I hope you don’t mind if I ask you directly (my apologies for the length of the question). One verse that has been troubling me recently is Matthew 23:37, when Jesus laments over Jerusalem. He clearly states that he ‘longed’ (or ‘desired’ or ‘willed’….depending on the translation) to gather Jerusalem’s children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but Jerusalem was not willing. A rudimentary reading of it makes it seem like Jesus’s or God’s will was thwarted, that it was Jesus’s will versus Jerusalem’s will and Jerusalem’s will won. Why did Jesus lament over something that He Himself (or God) had caused? Why give any credit to Jerusalem’s ‘will’ as having any power when God controls Jerusalem’s (and all of creation’s) will? Jesus does not appear to be lamenting over the fact that it ‘had to be this way’ or that it was an unfortunate part of The Plan but rather over the fact that Jerusalem was ‘not willing’ to cooperate, and thus Jesus’s longing was not fulfilled.

I once read about there being a duality to God’s will, in that there is His ‘desired will’ that expresses His desire or ‘wishing’ of something to happen, but He will not enforce it and lets nature take its course, so to speak, and then there is His ‘perfect will’ where He actively brings about His desired results and nothing can thwart Him.

I didn’t want to believe in that because I believe God’s will is God’s will, and if He wants something, He’s going to get it because He’s God! But throughout the Bible God echoes similar sentiments of the wishing or desiring of a different result than what ended up happening, due to mankind’s stubbornness and sin, or when He expresses regret over an outcome as though the final result was not what He intended even though He caused events to unfold as they did (such as Gen 6:6 or Sam 15:34).

If anything happens, it’s because God wills it, desires it, requires it to be so. Why then does He lament or regret as though He has no control over the final result(s)?

Any help for this question that you could provide (even pointing me in the direction of an article if you’ve already addressed this type of question) would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

R____

Hi R____,

Thank you for your question. You are asking the same question we all ask when our eyes are opened to understand that God truly is working all things after the counsel of His own will, and that His will is not dependent upon anything mankind may or may not choose to do.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worth all things after the counsel of his own will:

The reason we fail to understand why God makes this statement and at the same time tells us “it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth” is that we do not understand that God is deliberately deceiving those who are not given to understand that Truth is only to be found in “the sum of His Word… line upon line… that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

Psa 119:160 The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever. (ASV)

Isa 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Isa 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

The reason we cannot understand why God tells us that he is working all things after the counsel of His own will and then laments that Jerusalem does not accept His as their Messiah, is that we do not yet fully appreciate the fact that Christ is deliberately speaking in parables to keep the multitudes from understanding the mysteries of the kingdom of God and that when a prophet is deceived, it is the Lord who has deliberately deceived that prophet.

Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
Eze 14:10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

Mat 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

So that is the Biblical answer to your question, when we consider that the sum of God’s word is Truth and that it is purposely written in a way that is line upon line… here a little and there a little…that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

The sovereign God has decided and decreed that He has deceived that prophet, and that He will now punish that prophet and those who listen to that prophet. He then tells us that He has deceived the multitudes so He can reveal Himself and His plan and purpose to but a very few who He will then use to show mercy to the many who He has deliberately deceived:

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

I hope this helps you to understand why the Bible appears to contradict itself so many times concerning God saying that He repents of this or that, and why Christ lamented Israel’s blindness.

I will suggest that if you want a deeper appreciation of how to understand the Bible as the apostles understood it, that you read the article Rightly Dividing The Word at this link: Rightly Dividing the Word

Your brother in Christ,

Mike

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