“And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. . . . And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord.” – 1 King, 10:1-5.
We could well inquire how this queen in her far distant country had heard of the wonderful fame of Solomon. He had no mission board to spread abroad the knowledge of his wisdom and kingly glory. But in unseen ways, far and wide his fame had spread reaching in an especial sense unto all unto whom the Lord was pleased to make it known.
In these Old Testament types we have a presentation of Gospel Truth, figures of New Testament and glorious realities. It is only in such character that we desire to refer to these types and truly only in such character that the sacred Scripture would record them. Beyond the kingly glory and fame of Solomon we see the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
“The King of all kingdoms forever is He.”
Beyond the princely beauty of Solomon’s kingly court there looms up before us the dazzling splendor and glory of the Gospel King and Kingdom, unseen by mortal eyes, unknown to mortal powers. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not,” yet the eternal fame of this wonderful King has ever, and will continue to reach unto the uttermost all “that come unto God by Him.” “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” These life-bearing and life-giving rays of immortal light, falling from the throne of God, will penetrate far and near, embracing the “children of the kingdom,” and opening before them the golden path of Truth eternal. It will draw them as it did the queen of Sheba “from a far country,” and will bring them before the throne. “Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.” There opens before them a wonderful and glorious view of the jasper-walled, and golden “City which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.”
But we desire to trace this beautiful figure more on what might appear to be its surface, and not so much in its depths as it reveals the fullness of immortal glory; to refer to some things in its application to the visible church. No mortal eye can see the beauty and glory of this Church any more than such vain curious eyes can behold the glory of eternity. To look upon the outward forms of worship, is not to look upon Zion, and even children of God often go to meeting in their “every day clothes,” beholding no beauty and realizing no enjoyment in the holy service of Zion. But there comes a time when the light of the beauty and glory of God, shines over the hallowed scene, and the splendor of the kingdom opens before them. They see the court of King Solomon, the order of His house, the attendance of His ministers, and His ascent as He mounts His Mediatorial throne. His glory and splendor are there. In all this is seen the “meat of His table, and sitting of His servants.” An holy and solemn order clothes it all.
Each regulation fills its place; each reflects the glory of the King leading “captivity captive.” The glorious assent of the wonderful King is revealed in the shout of triumph heard in His kingdom. The eternal vital union between the living Head, and the living members underlies the glorious triumph of the members of the body of Christ. They suffer with Him, and are glorified together with Him. They ascend in His ascension and triumph in His triumph. The “winding stairway” up which our King passes to His throne, is manifested in our experience here, in the experience of His visible church, step by step He leads them, or,
“Each opening leaf, and every stroke,
Fulfills some deep design.”
They can not see nor trace the way by mortal sight,
“But trusting to His piercing eye,
None of their feet to ruin go,
Nor shall the weakest fail or die.”
Deeply inwrought in each living heart is the faith that overcomes the world, yes, that “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouth of lions;” the revelation of the glorious triumph of our Lord. The Mediator has ascended His throne. The Lord makes bare His arm in the travel of His church. “Let God arise,” says the Psalmist, “let His enemies be scattered.”
Elder William Smoot