The Review and Herald

1406/1902

November 30, 1905

Lessons From the Life of Solomon—No. 11

Acceptable Worship

EGW

The prayer offered by Solomon at the dedication of the temple breathed sentiments of loftiest piety blended with deepest humility. RH November 30, 1905, par. 1

In all that was said during the dedicatory services, Solomon sought to remove from the minds of those present the superstitions in regard to the Creator that had beclouded the minds of the heathen. He told them that the God of heaven is not like the gods of the heathen, who are confined to temples built for them, but that the true God would meet with his people by his Spirit when they should assemble at the house dedicated to his worship. The Lord visits his people in their homes, or wherever they may be, and cheers them by special revelations of his goodness. And in every place God's children have the privilege of worshiping their Heavenly Father. RH November 30, 1905, par. 2

Centuries later, Paul taught the same truth in these words: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to” “all nations of men” “life, and breath, and all things; ... that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 3

And the psalmist declares:—
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; The people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The Lord looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men; From the place of his habitation he looketh forth Upon all the inhabitants of the earth.” “He hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary.” “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; And his kingdom ruleth over all.”
RH November 30, 1905, par. 4

“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 5

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 by his Spirit. But those who assemble to worship him should put away every evil thing. Unless they can worship him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness, their coming together will be of no avail. RH November 30, 1905, par. 6

If God's people, when they assemble, will let him speak to them through his appointed agencies, all will be united in his service. “Give ear, O my people,” he pleads, “to 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 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.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 7

Words of Approval and of Warning

After the close of the dedicatory ceremonies, “the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house that my name may be there forever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 8

If Israel had remained faithful and true to God, this glorious building would have stood forever, as a perpetual sign of God's especial favor to his chosen people. “The sons of the stranger,” God declared, “that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” And the Saviour himself, in referring to this scripture, declared that the temple was to have been known as “a house of prayer for all nations.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 9

In the night vision given Solomon, the Lord made very plain the path of duty before the king. “As for thee,” he declared, “if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 10

How full are God's promises! Had Solomon continued to serve the Lord in humility, his reign would have been a powerful influence for good over the surrounding heathen nations,—nations that had been so favorably impressed by his father David's reign, and by the wise words and magnificent works of the earlier years of his own reign. God, in his mercy, foreseeing the terrible temptations that attend prosperity and worldly honor, tenderly warned Solomon against the sin of apostasy, and foretold the awful results of sin. RH November 30, 1905, par. 11

“If ye turn away,” the Lord plainly declared, “and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 12

“Let Us Kneel Before the Lord Our Maker”

The prayer offered by Solomon during the dedication of the temple, was not made while he stood upon his feet. The king knelt in the humble position of a petitioner. RH November 30, 1905, par. 13

Herein is a lesson for God's people today. Our spiritual strength and our influence are not increased by conformity to a worldly attitude during prayer. In these perilous times, those who profess to be God's commandment-keeping people should guard against the tendency to lose the spirit of reverence and godly fear. RH November 30, 1905, par. 14

The Scriptures teach men how to approach their Maker,—with humility and awe, through faith in a divine Mediator. Let man come on bended knee, as a subject of grace, a suppliant at the foot-stool of mercy. Thus he is to testify that the whole soul, body, and spirit are in subjection to his Creator. RH November 30, 1905, par. 15

Both in public and in private worship, it is our duty to bow upon our knees before God when we offer our petitions to him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.” And of his disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.” Stephen “kneeled.” Paul declared: “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” And the invitation of the psalmist is: “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 16

“What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul?” “Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence?” “Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 17

“Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.... The eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.” “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 18

“Wherefore ... let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe.” RH November 30, 1905, par. 19