Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)


Ms 5, 1912

Diary/Sacrificing in High Places

En route from California to Washington, D. C.

1912 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2BC 1025, 1030.

(Diary: On the way from California to Washington, D.C., circa 1909.)

This morning I awoke long before daylight. We are passing out of the desert into a more fertile country of vast prairies. My mind is much exercised. In the night season I seem to be speaking to companies of people. The subject that is impressing my mind is found in the third chapter of First Kings: 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 1

“And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days. And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 2

“And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place; and a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto Thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before Thee in truth and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with Thee; and Thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on this throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great people? And the thing pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then will I lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream.” [Verses 1-15.] 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 3

The Lord saw Solomon’s danger, and as a wise man, Solomon should have made God his first consideration. 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 4

The first thing that Solomon should have thought of in connection with the building of the temple was how to obtain all the strength and ability possible from the people whom Christ had been training by the communications given through Moses for Israel. 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 5

After God had given the ten commandments, He gave numerous specifications to guide the Israelites in their treatment of one another. How many today study these directions? 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 6

“He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed. Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.” But how many there are who depart from this command! “If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. If thou lend money to any of My people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” [Exodus 22:20-25.] 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 7

To return to Solomon: he knew that it would take much time to carry out the grand designs given for the building of the temple; and before building the house of the Lord or the walls about Jerusalem, he should have prepared a temporary place of worship for the people of God. He should not have encouraged them, by his own example, to go to the high places to offer sacrifice. But we read, “Only the people of Israel sacrificed in high places.” [1 Kings 3:2.] This is mentioned as a matter that should have been otherwise. 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 8

Solomon changed his place of worship to Jerusalem, but his former act in sacrificing in a place not made sacred by the presence of the Lord, but dedicated to the worship of idols, removed from the minds of the people something of the repulsion with which they should have regarded the horrible performances practiced by idolaters. This mingling of the sacred and the profane was the first step in the practice of Solomon which led him to suppose that the Lord was not so particular in regard to the worship of His people. Thus he was educating himself to make still great departures from God and His work. Little by little his heathen wives led him to make them altars on which to sacrifice to their gods. 25LtMs, Ms 5, 1912, par. 9