And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom. 1 Kings 4:34.
In the days of Solomon the kingdom of Israel extended from Hamath on the north to Egypt on the south, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the river Euphrates. Through this territory ran many natural highways of the world’s commerce, and caravans from distant lands were constantly passing to and fro. Thus there was given to Solomon and his people opportunity to reveal to men of all nations the character of the King of kings, and to teach them to reverence and obey Him….
Placed at the head of a nation that had been set as a beacon light to the surrounding nations, Solomon should have used his God-given wisdom and power of influence in organizing and directing a great movement for the enlightenment of those who were ignorant of God and His truth. Thus multitudes would have been won to allegiance to the divine precepts, Israel would have been shielded from the evils practiced by the heathen, and the Lord of glory would have been greatly honored. But Solomon lost sight of this high purpose. He failed of improving his splendid opportunities for enlightening those who were continually passing through his territory or tarrying at the principal cities.
The missionary spirit that God had implanted in the heart of Solomon and in the hearts of all true Israelites was supplanted by a spirit of commercialism. The opportunities afforded by contact with many nations, were used for personal aggrandizement….
In this our day the opportunities for coming into contact with men and women of all classes and many nationalities are much greater than in the days of Israel. The thoroughfares of travel have multiplied a thousandfold. Like Christ, the messengers of the Most High today should take their position in these great thoroughfares, where they can meet the passing multitudes from all parts of the world. Like Him, hiding self in God, they are to sow the gospel seed, presenting before others the precious truths of Holy Scripture that will take deep root in mind and heart, and spring up unto life eternal.
Conflict and Courage p. 195
When we moved to Washington state, Esther was six years old. The church that we attended there often had social functions where the members could bond and become like a family. Sometimes we would go to a campground for the weekend or out to a lake for the day. Some church members opened their home for a church picnic. Differences were overlooked as we relaxed and socialized together around a campfire or at a talent program.
Esther occasionally reminisces about the first picnic that we attended there. It left quite an impression on her six year old mind. Jerry and Judy had opened their home for a church get-together. That year there had been a lot of rain and they had water down in their backyard because the creek had risen too high. Of course, that was where all the children wanted to play. They the children take turns paddling around in the shallow water in their canoe. Esther and her friend, Gene, begged to have a turn. They were having so much fun until somehow the canoe tipped over. The water was not deep, but they got really wet. Esther was very distressed because she lost her pink patent leather shoe in the mud. Those shoes were her favorites. She didn’t have but two pair of shoes anyway, so she really needed those shoes. She started to cry.
When Gene’s father rescued them out of the water and mud, he told her, “Don’t cry, your shoe will grow a pink shoe tree, and then you will have lots of pink shoes.” That thought dried her tears. She believed him. For several years Esther would go out into Jerry’s backyard looking for that shoe tree to poke its head out of the ground. As she matured, she realized the impossibility of such a thing.
Children have perfect trust, perfect confidence in us. They believe what we say. They watch what we do. They model our words and actions. This is why our Dear Saviour used a little child to teach the disciples an important lesson. “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:1-4 Jesus wants us to have the same perfect trust and confidence in Him as does a little child to his parents. He desires us to believe His promises with our whole heart. “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established, believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chr 20:20 As Jesus went about teaching and healing the people, He would tell them that their faith in Him had made them whole. When He went to Nazareth, He healed only a few sick folk because of their unbelief. < Mark 6:5 > “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb 11:6
May we have the confidence of a little child in our Loving Heavenly Father. May we have that perfect trust in Him that He longs for us to have. May we declare as did David, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Ps 42:1,2