Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 20 (1905)


Ms 18, 1905

The Reign of King Solomon


February 20, 1905 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2BC 1026, 1029-1030.

“And Solomon ruled over all kingdoms, from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt; they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life. ... And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even unto Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon.” [1 Kings 4:21, 25.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 1

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men, ... and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall; he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.” [Verses 29-34.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 2

Never was Israel so greatly honored as during the first part of Solomon’s reign. The righteousness and wisdom revealed by the king bore continual witness to the nations around Israel of the power of Jehovah. For a time the Israel of God shone forth as the light of the world, showing, by their superiority over other nations, the greatness of Jehovah. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 3

The Building of the Temple

“And Solomon sent unto Hiram, saying, Thou knowest that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God, for the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent. And behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David, my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto My name. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 4

“Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants; and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint; for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 5

“And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the Lord this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people. And Hiram sent unto Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for; and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea; and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me; and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them; and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.” [1 Kings 5:2-9.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 6

David had lived in friendship with the people of Tyre and Sidon, who had not in any way molested Israel. Hiram, king of Tyre, acknowledged Jehovah as the true God, and some of the Sidonians were turning from idol worship. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 7

Today, in our dealings with our neighbors, we are to be kind and courteous. We are to be as signs in the world, testifying to the power of divine grace to refine and ennoble those who give themselves to God’s service. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 8

“And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this house which thou art building, if thou wilt walk in My statutes and execute My judgments, and keep all My commandments to walk in them; then will I perform My word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father; and I will dwell among the children of Israel.” [1 Kings 6:11-13.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 9

The preparations made for the building of this house for the Lord must be in accordance with the instructions He had given. No pains must be spared in its erection; for in it God was to meet with His people. The building must show forth to the nations of the earth the greatness of Israel’s God. In every part it must represent the perfection of Him whom the Israelites were called upon to honor before all the world. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 10

The specifications regarding the building were often repeated. In all the work done, these specifications were to be followed with the utmost exactness. Believers and unbelievers were to learn of the importance of the work from the care shown in its performance. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 11

Character Building

The care shown in the building of the temple is a lesson to us regarding the care that we are to show in our character building. No cheap material was to be used. No haphazard work was to be done in matching the different parts. Piece must fit piece perfectly. Just as God’s temple was, so must His church be. Into their character building His people are to bring no worthless timbers, no careless, indifferent work. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 12

“Concerning this house which thou art building, if thou wilt walk in My statutes, and execute My judgments, and keep all My commandments, to walk in them, then will I perform My word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.” [Verses 12, 13.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 13

This word was sent to Solomon while he was engaged in the building of the temple. The Lord assured him that He was taking notice of his efforts and of the efforts of the others engaged on the building. God exercises the same watchcare over His work today. Those who labor with a sincere desire to fulfil the word of the Lord, and to glorify His name, will gain increased knowledge; for the Lord will co-operate with them. He watches with approval those who keep His glory in view. He will give them skill and understanding and adaptability for their work. Each one who enters the service of God with a determination to do his best will receive a valuable education, if he heeds the instruction given by the Lord and does not follow his own wisdom and his own ideas. All are to be teachable, seeking the Lord with humility and using for Him, with cheerfulness and gratitude, the knowledge gained. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 14

God has given instruction as to how every line of work in our churches and institutions should be carried on; and He will co-operate with all who strive to honor Him. Let us remember that we are living at the close of this earth’s history and that time is precious. Let those who have a part in God’s work labor with honesty, faithfulness, and perseverance, showing unvarying kindness and courtesy to all who are connected with them. Let them not draw one thread of selfishness unto the web. Let them meditate on the Lord, seeking Him for wisdom, making music for Him in their lives. Thus they are drawing nearer and still nearer to the Source of all wisdom and knowledge. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 15

All who engage in the work of God should choose as associates those who will help them to keep the way of the Lord and to do justice and judgment. They should ever cherish a spirit of consecration and obedience. Let all, whether teachers, directors, superintendents, apprentices, or helpers in other lines, remember that they are working under the eye of God. Let them labor with fidelity, for God says, “I know thy works.” [Revelation 3:15.] Let them keep in mind this thought: The Lord sees and knows all my works and ways. I will show forth the lovingkindness of my God. Our work is to be an example of purity and justice. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 16

In times of perplexity and distress, when a heavy strain is brought to bear, it will plainly be seen what kind of timbers have been used in the character building. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 17

“What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” [2 Corinthians 6:16.] The church is to be the temple of the living God. The whole church is addressed in the words: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [Verses 17, 18.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 18

“We then as workers together with God beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. ... Giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed; but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” [Verses 1, 3-10.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 19

These words show what timbers are to be used in the building of character. As co-workers with Christ we are to heed the instruction given. God has said, “Ye are the temple of the living God.” “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean.” Separate yourselves from the proud and world-loving. God desires His people to stand where He can supply them with the grace that they need in their character building. He calls upon them to come out from among those who are placing unsound timbers in their characters and gives them the promise, “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” [Verses 16-18.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 20

This precious promise will be abundantly fulfilled to those who comply with the conditions laid down. Those who bring into their character building the material God has provided will be chosen by Him as temples for His indwelling. A church composed of such members meets the divine requirements. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 21


“In Judah is God known; His name is great in Israel. In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion.” “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God. Thou art the God that doeth wonders; Thou hast declared Thy strength among the people.” [Psalm 76:1, 2; 77:13, 14.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 22

Although God dwells not in temples made with hands, yet He honors with His presence the assemblies of His people. He has promised that when they come together to seek Him, to acknowledge their sins, and to pray for one another, He will meet with them. But as they assemble to worship God, they are to empty their hearts of every evil thing. Unless they can worship God in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness, their coming together will be of no avail. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 23

If God’s people, when they come together, will let Him speak to them through His appointed agencies, all will be united in heart, speaking the same things. “Give ear, O my people, unto my law; incline your ear to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old; which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and the wonderful works that He hath done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded to our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.” [Psalm 78:1-8.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 24

The Danger of Exalting Self

Nothing that God has created is to be given the place that He alone should occupy. Man is not to be placed where God alone should be. Of the danger of doing this, an illustration is given in the experience of Moses when leading the children of Israel through the wilderness. “Furthermore,” he said, “the Lord was angry with me for your sakes.” [Deuteronomy 4:21.] Provoked by the conduct of the people, Moses failed to do expressly as God had commanded. The Lord told him to speak to the rock, and it would give forth water; but instead, Moses struck the rock twice and then brought himself and Aaron into prominence by saying, “Shall we bring you forth water out of this rock?” [Numbers 20:10.] Often today a great and good work is spoiled because those connected with it bring self into prominence. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 25

“Furthermore the Lord was angry with me,” Moses continues, “and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go into that good land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. ... Take heed unto thyselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of anything which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of anything, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke Him to anger; I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 26

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto His voice, (for the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.” [Deuteronomy 4:21, 23-31.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 27

“Thou shalt keep therefore His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee forever.” [Verse 40.] 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 28

This instruction is as verily given to us, on whom the ends of the world are come, as it was given to ancient Israel. Let us study it diligently, that we may not be ignorant of God’s requirements. Let us review the history of the wanderings of the children of Israel in the wilderness and their sojourn in the land of promise. If we are sincere and truthful in our religious experience, it will be because we have received the encouragement, the warnings, and the admonitions of God’s Word, which point out so plainly the path of obedience. In this Word we are shown the condemnation that those who are favored with great light bring upon themselves when they refuse the wisdom of God. Human wisdom is worthless. But those who walk before God in a perfect way walk securely. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 29

Again and again God has declared that obedience to His commandments will bring eternal life. He charged the children of Israel to hearken diligently to His law. And we, too, are bidden to obey this law. On obedience to it depend our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. In obedience there is life and health, peace and assurance. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 30

Let us compare our experience with the instruction given in the Word of God. The Lord has His workers, whom He has ordained to bring the work into straight lines, that all who follow after may make no mistakes. Continually that will be done which will pain the hearts of God’s true and faithful workmen. But they are not to be discouraged. They are to bring from the Word of God the cheering, uplifting promises He has given and walk by faith. It is high time that the people of God educated themselves to walk, not by sight, but by faith, as seeing Him who is invisible, looking constantly to Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. 20LtMs, Ms 18, 1905, par. 31