Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:11.
By his own bitter experience, Solomon learned the emptiness of a life that seeks in earthly things its highest good. He erected altars to heathen gods, only to learn how vain is their promise of rest to the spirit. Gloomy and soul-harassing thoughts troubled him night and day. For him there was no longer any joy of life or peace of mind, and the future was dark with despair.
Yet the Lord forsook him not. By messages of reproof and by severe judgments, He sought to arouse the king to a realization of the sinfulness of his course…. At last the Lord, through a prophet, delivered to Solomon the startling message: … “I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.”
Awakened as from a dream by this sentence of judgment pronounced against him and his house, Solomon with quickened conscience began to see his folly in its true light. Chastened in spirit, with mind and body enfeebled, he turned wearied and thirsting from earth’s broken cisterns, to drink once more at the fountain of life…. He could never hope to escape the blasting results of sin; he could never free his mind from all remembrance of the self-indulgent course he had been pursuing; but he would endeavor earnestly to dissuade others from following after folly….
The true penitent does not put his past sins from his remembrance. He does not, as soon as he has obtained peace, grow unconcerned in regard to the mistakes he has made. He thinks of those who have been led into evil by his course, and tries in every possible way to lead them back into the true path. The clearer the light that he has entered into, the stronger is his desire to set the feet of others in the right way.
Courage and Conflict p. 196
—–Baby Caleb is in the hospital with a lung infection, and other problems due to lack of heat where they are living in the mission land. Please pray for him and his parents D and K and that they can get heat in their dwelling. Rose
When I was a teenager, I used to like to take long walks on the weekends. My mother, although very tired from working hard all week, would often go with me. We used to walk past my school, which was 2 1/2 miles from our house, and continue on into a section of town where the very rich lived. The houses were huge and the lawns expansive. Some were nestled in a stand of trees and others seemed to be on display. I used to imagine, as we walked by them, what it must be like to live in one of those houses. It seemed like the people in those houses had no worries as to where the money would come for their next meal, no cares about how to pay the bills. In my imaginings the people there lived in constant happiness and bliss. Of course those people had just as many problems as my mother and I did, they were just a different set of problems.
In this life each person is filled with cares and perplexities, but Jesus points us to a better place, a place where there is joy forevermore. He says, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3 What wonderful news! Our Dear Saviour is preparing a home for us that far surpasses any earthly dwelling! Even the mansions and castles of this world pale in comparison.
The loving disciple, John, was given a glimpse of the New Jerusalem that gives us a little taste of what it will be like. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son….And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal, And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare….And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones…. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass….And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there….And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true….Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be….Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Rev 21:1-22:14
Isaiah also was shown some of the glories of that place. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying….And they shall build houses, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit, they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble, for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat.” Isa 17-25 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Isa 11:6-9
Let us look for that city as did Abraham, for we are told that “he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb 11:10 Let us get ready to be an inhabitant there. Let us daily be filled with the joy and anticipation of the glorious home that our soon-cooming Saviour has prepared for us.