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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 164, 1902

    Solomon’s Dream


    December 15, 1902 [typed]

    Portions of this manuscript are published in 2BC 1025-1026; 3BC 1128; CTr 158. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    “In Gibeon the Lord appeared unto Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto Thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before Thee in truth and righteousness and in uprightness of heart with Thee and Thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord, my God, Thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father; and I am but a little child; I know not how to come out or go in. And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people, which Thou hast chosen, a great people that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?” [1 Kings 3:5-9.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 1

    “And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself; nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words; lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall there any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor; so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then will I lengthen thy days.” [Verses 10-14.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 2

    This prayer is a most precious lesson of instruction. Especially is it of value to those entrusted with responsibilities in the Lord’s work. It is a sample prayer, indited by the Lord, to guide aright the desires of His servants. It is given also for the guidance of those who today are striving to serve the Lord with singleness of heart.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 3

    “If thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes, and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then will I lengthen thy days.” [Verse 14.] Several times during his reign, David walked in the counsel of his own heart and greatly injured his influence by following his impulses. But he always received the words of reproof sent to him by the Lord. These words cut him to the quick. He did not seek to evade the matter, but bore the punishment of his transgression, saying, “I have sinned.” [2 Samuel 12:13.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 4

    It was in the night season that the Lord appeared to Solomon. During the busy hours of the day Solomon had much to do. Many came to him for advice and counsel, and his mind was fully occupied. The hours of the night, when all was silent, and Solomon was free from confusion, was the time that the Lord chose in which to reveal Himself to him.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 5

    God often chooses the silence of the night to give His servants instruction. He can then gain freer access to their hearts than during the day. There is less to draw the mind from Him.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 6

    When the Israelites were travelling through the wilderness, “the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known to him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” [Numbers 12:5, 6.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 7

    The Lord was testing Solomon. He placed in his mind a desire for the things that would enable him to rule wisely the people of Israel. And guided by this desire, Solomon said, “O Lord, my God, ... I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in. And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered, nor counted for multitude. Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” [1 Kings 3:7-9.] It was such a prayer as this that Solomon was continually to offer in the days of exaltation and glory awaiting him. And thus those who today are standing in positions of trust in the Lord’s work are to pray. Let them beware of lifting up their hearts unto vanity. Only the prayers of those whose hearts are not filled with self-exaltation and haughtiness will the Lord hear. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity.” [Isaiah 58:9.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 8

    God commended Solomon’s prayer. And He will today hear and commend the prayers of those who in faith and humility cry to Him for aid. He will certainly answer the fervent prayer for a preparation for service. In answer He will say, Here I am. What wilt thou that I shall do for thee?17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 9

    The lesson to be drawn from this record is more precious than any earthly treasure. He who led Solomon’s mind as he made this prayer will today teach His servants how to pray for what they need. The same One who appeared to Solomon said to the twelve: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” [John 14:13, 14.] As they asked in His name, their prayers would be as acceptable as the prayer of Solomon. “If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever. ... I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me, because I live, ye shall live also. ... He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” [Verses 15, 16, 18, 19, 21.] “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” [John 15:7.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 10

    “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” “This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” [Verses 8-14.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 11

    “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him. ... We know that we are of God, ... and we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ.” [1 John 5:12-15, 19, 20.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 12

    What greater assurance than that contained in these words could we have? God desires every one of us to have the experience outlined in the following words:17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 13

    “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference, and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.” [Jude 20-25.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 14

    Solomon’s Downfall

    “Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him. ... And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.” [1 Chronicles 29:23, 25.] “Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and glory. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.” [2 Chronicles 9:22, 23.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 15

    The early life of this king of Israel was bright with promise. He chose the wisdom of God, and the glory of his reign excited the wonder of the world. Greatly honored by God, and acknowledged to be the greatest king that ever swayed a sceptre, he might have gone on from strength to strength, ever approaching nearer the similitude of the character of God. But how sad his history. He proved unfaithful to his trust. He yielded to pride and self-sufficiency. The lust for political power led him to form alliances with heathen nations. The silver of Tarshish and the gold of Ophir were procured at a terrible expense, even the sacrifice of integrity, the betrayal of sacred trusts. Association with idolaters corrupted his faith; one false step led to another; there was a breaking down of the barriers that God had erected for the safety of His people; his life was corrupted by polygamy, and at last he gave himself up to the worship of false gods. A character that had been firm and pure and elevated became weak, marked with moral inefficiency.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 16

    Evil counselors were not wanting who swayed that once noble, independent mind as they chose, because he did not make God his guide and counselor. His fine sensibilities became blunted, the conscientious, considerate spirit of his early reign was changed. Self-indulgence became his god, and as a result, severe judgment and cruel tyranny marked his course. From the wisest king that ever swayed a scepter, he became a despot. He was the idol of the nation, and that which he did and said was copied. The extravagance practiced in selfish indulgence necessitated a grinding taxation of the poor of the nation.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 17

    Solomon, who had once solemnly charged the people at the dedication of the temple, “Let your heart be perfect with the Lord your God” [1 Kings 8:61], chose his own way and in his heart separated from God. He might have linked himself with God and have received more and still more of the knowledge of God, but he betrayed his trust and wandered farther and farther from God. A morning of glorious promise ended in dishonor and ruin. His wisdom became foolishness. He failed to walk in the way of the Lord. He went on from weakness to weakness. One false step and another and another led to open violation of God’s law. His mind became confused. His heart was divided. He tried to incorporate light and darkness, purity and impurity, good and evil, but he met with utter failure. He dishonored himself, dishonored Israel, and dishonored God.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 18

    Looking upon this picture, we see what human beings become when they separate from God. One false step prepared the way for a second and a third, and every step is taken more easily than the last. Let us beware of imperilling the soul by departing from the principles of integrity. There is no safety in tampering with the divine safeguards of peace and righteousness.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 19

    Did the Lord make a mistake in placing Solomon in a position of so great responsibility? Nay. God prepared him to bear these responsibilities and promised him grace and strength on condition of obedience. “Then shalt thou prosper,” David said to him, “if thou takest heed to fulfil all the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage, dread not, nor be dismayed.” [1 Chronicles 22:13.]17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 20

    The Lord sets men in responsible places, not to act out their own wills, but His will. So long as they cherish His pure principles of government, He will bless and strengthen them, recognizing them as His instrumentalities. God never forsakes the one who is true to principle.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 21

    Let those in positions of responsibility remember that we are approaching the perils of the last days. The whole world is passing in review before God. Let us remember that tact and ability do not come from God. Let none make erring, finite beings their guide. God is the one who stands behind man, the One from whom every man receives the wisdom and knowledge that enables him to do anything good. And God is willing to help everyone. He is no respecter of persons.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 22

    Let those upon whom the Lord bestows rich gifts be guarded, lest pride and self-sufficiency obtain the control. The man who exerts a wide influence, the one that people are willing to follow, needs to be constantly prayed for and admonished by his brethren. Let them pray that he may be kept from pride and self-exaltation. If he takes glory to himself, he will surely be left to himself, to reveal the sad result of trusting to human frailty.17LtMs, Ms 164, 1902, par. 23

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