“If only I had known…”
We often will look back on our decisions as if we could have fixed them, or even with the assumption that we are wiser now than we were then. “Hindsight is 20/20,” is a pithy saying, but even our hindsight may only be slightly better than our foresight.
Baasha had hindsight. God’s word had come true about Jeroboam’s fall. Baasha, therefore, had foresight of what was expected. Baasha maintained the false worship set up by Jeroboam (and continued by his son, Nadab). This was after assassinating Nadab.
Jehu was sent to announce the consequences. Baasha had a chance and still went his own way, and his family died out as consequence. Baasha had foresight and hindsight…and still, he made the decision of false worship.
While the false worship of idols and such from Jeroboam to Baasha is certainly large and significant, the false worship that Jesus confronts is different. Jerusalem, from a Jewish perspective, was the City of God. It had a special place. One would think that the exile would have dealt with some of that, but it is quite likely that the Maccabean revolution restored much of that perspective.
Along with that was the inability of people to see God moving among them. We’re not just talking about Jesus, but the entire era. The Jewish world was unsettled, with and without Roman oversight. God was shaking things up.
Jesus’ words were aimed at two things. The first was the false idol of Jerusalem. It sounds almost blasphemous. However, transforming, “I will meet you there,” and “I will put my name there,” into only meeting God there is a problem.
The other issue is being unable to see the Kingdom of God when it is right next to you. The phrasing here in Luke is distinct as it is about peace. This contrasts with the imagery of Jerusalem falling in conquest. Seeing (and accepting) the Kingdom of God (peace) is the opposite of the world (conflict).
We often view these words in Luke as a kind of end times prophecy, especially as Jerusalem did indeed fall a few decades later. God, though, isn’t so concerned about a place (not that God isn’t), as God is concerned about the people. It may be that Jesus was looking for people to see the disruption of God’s Kingdom on earth when in the middle of the corrupt world.
- What do you have the greatest hindsight regret for? What do you have the greatest hindsight appreciation for?
- How do you see God moving today in comparison to the story around Baasha, and in comparison, to Jesus going through Jerusalem?
Lord, as you transform us, may we transform the world around us. Help us to look for your hand in the past and look for your grace in the future. Amen.