Conflict and Courage


Disgraceful Monuments, July 13

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: folly is set in great dignity. Ecclesiastes 10:5, 6. CC 200.1

In the days of King Josiah a strange appearance could be seen opposite the temple of God. Crowning the eminence of the Mount of Olives, peering above the groves of myrtle and olive trees, were unseemly, gigantic idols. Josiah gave commandment that these idols should be destroyed. This was done, and the broken fragments rolled down the channel of the Kidron. The shrines were left a mass of ruins. CC 200.2

But the question was asked by many a devout worshiper, How came that architecture on the opposite side of the Jehoshaphat ravine, thus impiously confronting the temple of God? The truthful answer must be made: The builder was Solomon, the greatest king that ever wielded a sceptre. These idols bore testimony that he who had been honored and applauded as the wisest among kings, became a humiliating wreck.... CC 200.3

His once noble character, bold and true for God and righteousness, became deteriorated. His profligate expenditure for selfish indulgence made him the instrument of Satan's devices. His conscience became hardened. His conduct as a judge changed from equity and righteousness to tyranny and oppression.... Solomon tried to incorporate light with darkness, Christ with Belial, purity with impurity. But in the place of converting the heathen to the truth, pagan sentiments incorporated themselves with his religion. He became an apostate.27Manuscript 47, 1898. CC 200.4

The marks of Solomon's apostasy lived ages after him. In the days of Christ, the worshipers in the temple could look, just opposite them, upon the Mount of Offense, and be reminded that the builder of their rich and glorious temple, the most renowned of all kings, had separated himself from God, and reared altars to heathen idols; that the mightiest ruler on earth had failed in ruling his own spirit. Solomon went down to death a repentant man; but his repentance and tears could not efface from the Mount of Offense the signs of his miserable departure from God. Ruined walls and broken pillars bore silent witness for a thousand years to the apostasy of the greatest king that ever sat upon an earthly throne.28The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 2:1032, 1033. CC 200.5