The Review and Herald

1415/1902

January 25, 1906

Lessons From the Life of Solomon—No. 19

In the Thoroughfares of Travel

EGW

Upon the Israelites God bestowed great privileges, blessing them richly from his abundant goodness. He looked for them to honor him by revealing the principles of his kingdom. In the midst of a fallen, wicked people—a world in which violence and crime, greed, oppression, and the most corrupt practises were indulged without restraint—the Israelites were to represent the character of God. In the holiness of their lives, in their mercy and loving-kindness and compassion, they were to show that “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” RH January 25, 1906, par. 1

Through the Jewish nation it was God's purpose to impart rich blessings to all peoples. Through Israel the way was to be prepared for the diffusion of his light to the whole world. The nations of the world, through following corrupt practises, had lost the knowledge of God. Yet in his mercy God did not blot them out of existence. He purposed to give them opportunity for becoming acquainted with him through his church. He designed that the principles revealed through his people should be the means of restoring the moral image of God in man. RH January 25, 1906, par. 2

The Lord's vineyard, his own chosen possession, was planted in the land of Canaan. And as the tower in the vineyard, God placed in the midst of the land his holy temple. In the temple his glory dwelt in the holy Shekinah above the mercy-seat. RH January 25, 1906, par. 3

In the days of Solomon, the kingdom of Israel extended from Hamath on the northward, to the border of Egypt on the southward, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River. Through this territory ran many natural highways of the world's commerce. Caravans were constantly passing to and from distant lands. Thus there was given Solomon and his people a most wonderful opportunity to reveal the character of the true God so clearly that men of all nations would be taught to reverence and obey the King of kings. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service, Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto him should live. All who, like Rahab the Canaanite and Ruth the Moabitess, turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God, were to unite themselves with his chosen people. As the numbers of Israel increased, they were to enlarge their borders, until their kingdom should embrace the world. RH January 25, 1906, par. 4

But Solomon lost sight of God's high and holy purpose. He failed of improving the magnificent opportunities for enlightening the representatives of all nations who were continually passing through his territory and tarrying for rest at the principal cities. A selfish use was made of the strategic points along the well-traveled highways. Solomon sought to strengthen his position by building fortified cities at the gateways of commerce. He rebuilt Gezer, near Joppa, and lying along the road between Egypt and Syria; Beth-horon, to the westward of Jerusalem, commanding the passes of the highway leading from the heart of Judea to Gezer and the seacoast; Megiddo, situated on the caravan road from Damascus to Egypt, and from Jerusalem to the northward; and “Tadmor in the wilderness,” along the route of caravans from the East. All these cities were strongly fortified. RH January 25, 1906, par. 5

The commercial advantages of an outlet at the head of the Red Sea were developed by the construction of “a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, ... on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom.” Trained sailors from Tyre, “with the servants of Solomon,” manned these vessels on voyages “to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold,” and “great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.” RH January 25, 1906, par. 6

The missionary spirit that God had implanted in the heart of Solomon and in the hearts of many true Israelites, was rapidly supplanted by a spirit of commercialism. The precious opportunities afforded by contact with many nations, were misused for personal aggrandizement. The revenues of the king and of many of his subjects were greatly increased, but at what a cost! Because of the cupidity and the short-sightedness of those to whom had been entrusted the oracles of God, the countless multitudes that thronged the thoroughfares of travel were allowed to remain in ignorance of the true God. RH January 25, 1906, par. 7

Our Opportunity

To the church of today God has given the care of his vineyard. The workers of today are called to do the work that Israel failed of doing. The salvation of God must be made known to all the people living on the face of the earth. God's glory is to be revealed, his word established, and Christ's kingdom set up to give deliverance to the world. His followers are now to arise and shine. RH January 25, 1906, par. 8

Those who, in response to the call of the hour, have entered the service of the Master Workman, may well study his methods of labor. During his earthly ministry, our Saviour took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel. It was at Capernaum that Jesus dwelt in the intervals of his journeys to and fro, and it came to be known as “his own city.” This city was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour's work. Being on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt, and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was a great thoroughfare of travel. People from many lands passed through the city, or tarried for rest on their journeyings to and fro. Here Jesus could meet all nations and all ranks, the rich and great as well as the poor and lowly, and his lessons would be carried to other countries and into many households. Investigation of the prophecies would thus be excited, attention would be directed to the Saviour, and his mission would be brought before the world. RH January 25, 1906, par. 9

In these days of travel, the opportunities for coming in contact with men and women of all classes and of many nationalities, are much greater than in the days of Israel. The thoroughfares of travel have multiplied a thousandfold. God has wonderfully prepared the way. The agency of the printing-press, with its manifold facilities, is at our command. Bibles and publications in many languages setting forth the truth for this time, are at our hand, and can be swiftly carried to every part of the world. RH January 25, 1906, par. 10

We are to give the last warning of God to men, and what should be our earnestness in studying the Bible, and our zeal in spreading the light! Let every soul who has received the divine illumination, seek to impart it. Let the workers go from house to house, opening the Bible to the people, circulating the publications, telling others of the light that has blessed their own souls. Let literature be distributed judiciously on the trains, in the street, on the great ships that ply the seas, and through the mails. RH January 25, 1906, par. 11

Christians who are living in the great centers of commerce and travel have special opportunities. The believers in these cities can work for God in the neighborhood of their homes. They are to labor quietly and in humility, carrying with them wherever they go the atmosphere of heaven. If they keep self out of sight, pointing always to Christ, their influence will be felt. RH January 25, 1906, par. 12

The truth is not to be hidden in the corners of the earth. It must be made known; it must shine in our large cities. Like Christ, the messengers of the Most High today must take their position in the great thoroughfares of travel, where they can meet people from all parts of the world. Like him, they are to give the true light; they are to sow the gospel seed; they are to rescue truth from its companionship with error, and present it in its original simplicity and clearness, so that men may comprehend it. The third angel's message is a worldwide message. It is to be given to all cities, to all villages; it is to be proclaimed in the highways and the byways. RH January 25, 1906, par. 13

In the world-renowned health resorts and centers of tourist-traffic, crowded with many thousands of seekers after health and pleasure, there should be stationed ministers and canvassers capable of arresting the attention of the multitudes. Let these workers watch their chance to present the message for this time, and hold meetings as they have opportunity. Let them be quick to seize opportunities to speak to the people. Accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, let them meet the people with the message borne by John the Baptist: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The word of God is to be presented with clearness and power, that those who have ears to hear, may hear the truth. Thus the gospel of present truth will be placed in the way of those who know it not, and will be accepted by not a few, and carried by them to their own homes in all parts of the earth. RH January 25, 1906, par. 14

A great work is to be done, and those who know the truth should now make mighty intercession for help. The love of Christ must fill their own hearts. The Spirit of Christ must be poured out upon them, and they must be making ready to stand in the judgment. As they consecrate themselves to God, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others. We must no longer sleep on Satan's enchanted ground, but call into requisition all our resources, avail ourselves of every facility with which Providence has furnished us. The last warning is to be proclaimed “before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings;” and the promise is given, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” RH January 25, 1906, par. 15

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.... I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.... Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” RH January 25, 1906, par. 16