There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: folly is set in great dignity. Ecclesiastes 10:5, 6.
In the days of King Josiah a strange appearance could be seen opposite the temple of God. Crowning the eminence of the Mount of Olives, peering above the groves of myrtle and olive trees, were unseemly, gigantic idols. Josiah gave commandment that these idols should be destroyed. This was done, and the broken fragments rolled down the channel of the Kidron. The shrines were left a mass of ruins.
But the question was asked by many a devout worshiper, How came that architecture on the opposite side of the Jehoshaphat ravine, thus impiously confronting the temple of God? The truthful answer must be made: The builder was Solomon, the greatest king that ever wielded a sceptre. These idols bore testimony that he who had been honored and applauded as the wisest among kings, became a humiliating wreck….
His once noble character, bold and true for God and righteousness, became deteriorated. His profligate expenditure for selfish indulgence made him the instrument of Satan’s devices. His conscience became hardened. His conduct as a judge changed from equity and righteousness to tyranny and oppression…. Solomon tried to incorporate light with darkness, Christ with Belial, purity with impurity. But in the place of converting the heathen to the truth, pagan sentiments incorporated themselves with his religion. He became an apostate.
The marks of Solomon’s apostasy lived ages after him. In the days of Christ, the worshipers in the temple could look, just opposite them, upon the Mount of Offense, and be reminded that the builder of their rich and glorious temple, the most renowned of all kings, had separated himself from God, and reared altars to heathen idols; that the mightiest ruler on earth had failed in ruling his own spirit. Solomon went down to death a repentant man; but his repentance and tears could not efface from the Mount of Offense the signs of his miserable departure from God. Ruined walls and broken pillars bore silent witness for a thousand years to the apostasy of the greatest king that ever sat upon an earthly throne.
Conflict and Courage p. 200
—–Please pray that God gives us wisdom and unity. L
—–Please pray for Luana whose aunt just passed away. Rose
When we lived in Washington state, we decided to vacation on the Olympic Peninsula. It was a beautiful place with mountains, rain forests, and oceans. We had fun walking along the Pacific Ocean and seeing a sea lion who was so curious as to what kind of creatures we were that she watched us for a very long time. We were amazed to see huge logs and tree stumps that had washed up onto the shore, escapees, no doubt from some far away logging operation. Their bark was gone and they were bleached white by the sun. Those trees that had once grown so tall and green, were now nothing but huge pieces of driftwood. They were good for nothing. They would never live again. Death is so unnatural. Our Loving Creator never intended for any of His created works to die. He formed the earth to be inhabited by holy, happy beings. He provided everything that was needed to live forever. “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth and made it, he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is none else.” Isa 45:18 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Sadly, through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, death entered into the perfect world that God had created. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Rom 5:12 Praise God! He did not leave us to die! He provided a way of escape! Jesus, our Saviour, died that second death for us, so that we do not have to! “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” 1 Cor 15:21-23 What sacrifice! What wondrous love!
We have the promise that death will one day be no more! Jesus is coming soon! At that time He will gather together both the righteous living and those who died with faith in Him. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thes 4:16,17 “Behold, I show you a mystery, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Cor 15:51-55
What a glorious reunion that will be! Loved ones, torn from us by death, will be raised incorruptible! We will hold sweet fellowship again with them throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity! Together, we will explore all of the wonders of God’s creation throughout the universe. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Cor 2:9 In vision John saw a glimpse of that place that our Dear Saviour has gone to prepare for us. “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.” Rev 21:1-5
May we make our calling and election sure that when we see our Loving Saviour coming in the clouds, we will look up and say, “Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isa. 25:9 Amen!