Royalty and Ruin


Israel’s Greatest Glory

Strengthened and cheered by the message from Heaven, Solomon now entered the most glorious period of his reign. “All the kings of the earth” began to seek his presence, “to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.” 2 Chronicles 9:23. Solomon taught them about God as the Creator, and they returned with clearer ideas of the God of Israel and of His love for the human race. In nature they now saw a revelation of His character, and many were led to worship Him as their God. RR 17.5

Solomon’s humility when he acknowledged before God, “I am a little child” (1 Kings 3:7), his reverence for things divine, his distrust of self, and his exaltation of the infinite Creator—all these traits of character were evident at his dedication prayer when he knelt as a humble petitioner. Christ’s followers today should guard against the tendency to lose the spirit of reverence and godly fear. They should approach their Maker with awe, through a divine Mediator. The psalmist has declared: RR 17.6

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6
RR 18.1

Both in public and in private worship it is our privilege to bow on our knees when we offer our petitions to God. Jesus, our example, “knelt down and prayed.” Luke 22:41. His disciples, too, “knelt down and prayed.” Acts 9:40. Paul declared, “I bow my knees to the Father.” Ephesians 3:14. Daniel “knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God.” Daniel 6:10. RR 18.2

True reverence for God comes from a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence. The hour and place of prayer are sacred because God is there. “Holy and awesome is His name.” Psalm 111:9. Angels veil their faces when they speak that name. With what reverence, then, should we take it on our lips! RR 18.3

After beholding the vision of the angel, Jacob exclaimed, “The Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. ... This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Genesis 28:16, 17. RR 18.4

In what he said during the dedication services, Solomon tried to remove the superstition about the Creator that had clouded the minds of the heathen. The God of heaven is not confined to temples made with hands, yet He would meet with His people by His Spirit when they assembled at the house dedicated to His worship. RR 18.5

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; ...
You are the God that does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples. Psalm 33:12; 77:13, 14
RR 18.6

God honors the assemblies of His people with His presence. He has promised that when they come together to confess their sins and pray for one another, He will meet with them by His Spirit. But unless those who assemble to worship put away every evil thing, their gathering will be of no benefit. Those who worship God must worship Him “in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” John 4:23. RR 18.7