Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Solomon Tabernacle-Temple Celebration

By Mary Vee
I Kings 8, II Chronicles 7

From Solomon's Scrolls

I finished the prayers to our loving God and stood after kneeling before the altar while offering prayers and supplications.

I turned to the people again, and blessed all of Israel in my loudest voice:

"Praise be to the Lord who has given us rest just as He promised. He has never failed us, not for even one promise which was given to Moses. May the Lord our God be with us as he was  with our fathers. May he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to Him to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments, decrees, and regulations. 

May these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord be near to our Lord and God both day and night that he may support us in our cause according to each day's need, so that all the people of the world may know the Lord is God and there is no other.

But, you Israelites, your heart must be committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as you are at this time.

And then the most amazing thing happened. Fire came down from heaven and totally consumed the sacrifice on the altar behind me. 

The people fell to their knees amazed. Some cried out, some sang praises, some laughed with joy, but all worshipped God saying, "He is good, his love endures forever."

The Glory of the Lord then filled the temple. The priests stood at the temple door, unable to enter as a result.

The people and I offered sacrifices t the Lord. To show my devotion I offered twenty thousand sheep and goats. Our sacrifices completed the dedication of the temple of God.

All the Israelites stood as the Levites played their instruments, leading the people in praises to God.

I set aside a place in the middle courtyard for more sacrifices. There I also offered burnt offerings, the fat of the fellowship offerings. because there wasn't any more room on the other altar.

I ordered all the people to observe the festivals for this time for seven days. We celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the festival for seven days more. On the twenty-third day of the seventh month I told the people to go to their homes. They sang as they walked, a glorious sound. The sounded faded in the hills along with the people. 

Our hearts were so deeply glad for the good things the Lord had done for us.

Thank you, Lord God, our Almighty Father. 

Photo courtesy of

1. After Solomon finished the prayers he turned to the people and _________
2. The Israelites were expected to be committed to _____________. To live _______
3. After the blessing what happened to the sacrifice?
4. The people fell _____________
5. The Levites _________ at the celebration.
6. How long did the people celebrate?
7. After the festivals, what did Solomon tell the people to do?

Monday, February 25, 2013

HudsonTaylor-I saved the Concertina

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

My twelfth missionary journey continues. William Burns and I have stayed in Swatow. We found God's hidden protection. It took some time for me to notice. For this I am thankful, but also sorry I did not see sooner.

Hohner D40 Concertina 
While Burns and I continued to share God's love to the people in the villages we learned that a wealthy man had been captured by the local people. He was taken to the center of the city and beaten. The attackers wanted his family to pay a ransom. Since he didn't tell them where his money was or give names of family members to pay the ransom they beat him, smashing his ankles until he finally gave them the money.

Burns and I could have been kidnapped at any time. But our loving Father protected us, guided our steps away from those who would have captured and harmed us. I am so very thankful to Him.

One day the mandarin from Swatow became severely ill. He had heard about the medical services I gave local people and chose to summon me. Under the medical treatment, the mandarin became well. He was so pleased he asked Burns and I to set up a hospital. He helped us lease an entire building. Something quite impossible for a foreigner to do.

Burns and I lived in Swatow for five months. During that time I came down with a terrible case of dysentery. I hardly knew what to do with myself I became so terribly ill. 

In July, we ran out of supplies. William and I prayed for God's leading. God spoke to our hearts and directed me to return returned to Shanghai, to my former home, to rest and get well and to get supplies. Burns continued the ministry in Swatow

When the ship docked in Shanghai, I learned all the medicines and most of the equipment had been destroyed in a fire. This ended my twelfth missionary journey. Returning to Swatow was not possible at this time.

I could not and would not give up on the calling God had given me to be a missionary in China and to use my medical knowledge to provide medical help to those in need. I had one hope. I packed all of my belongings which had been in Shanghai, my bed, a watch, a camera, surgical equipment, a concertina, and a few expensive Chinese language books on a ship. 

I decided to visit my old friend and roommate, Dr. Parker, missionary in the norther city of Ningpo, to see if I could purchase equipment from him cheaper than I would have to pay in Shanghai. 

And so my thirteenth missionary began.

Please pray that God will completely heal me from the dysentery, and that I can show the love of God to those I meet.

In His Service,
J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions?

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Solomon's Temple-Dedication Prayer II

By Mary Vee
I Kings 8, II Chronicles 6

Reader, the fanfare and time spent for the dedication of Solomon's Temple is such a lesson for us. During this lenten season, plan to spend extra time in worship with God. Mary Vee

From Solomon's Scrolls

This is the second half of the prayer I gave in the presence of all the people at the dedication of the new temple built for the Name of the Lord. The first half can be read in the last post.

"When there is not rain because your people have sinned against you, and when the people pray toward this temple and confess your name and turn from their sin because you sent the punishment, then hear from heaven and forgive our sins, your people, Israel. Teach us the right way to live and send rain on the land you gave us as an inheritance.

"When famine or plague comes to the land or blight or mildew, locust or grasshoppers, or when enemies attack any of our cities, whatever disaster or disease comes, and when we pray or plea, holding our hands toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. 

"Forgive, and deal with each man according to all he does, since you know our hearts, (and you alone know our hearts). Then we will fear you and walk in your ways all the time we live in the land you gave our fathers.

"As for the foreigners living in our land, when he prays toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you so that all the people of earth may know your name and fear you like your people Israel and know this house I built bears your Name.

"When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and pray to you facing this city and temple I have built for your Name, then hear their prayer and plea and help them.

"But when we sin against you, there is no one who does not sin, and you become angry and allow us to be captured and taken far away or near, please hear us when we have a change of heart, repenting and pleading with you, saying, 'We have sinned. We have done wrong. We acted wickedly.' Hear us when we turn back to you with all our heart and soul and pray to you facing the land, the city, the temple you gave us. Hear us from heaven, your dwelling place. Hear our prayer and plea and fight for our cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you. Forgive all the wrongs against you and cause our conquerors to show mercy. For we are your people and your inheritance whom you brought out of Egypt.

"May your eyes be open to our plea and may you listen to us whenever we cry out to you. For you have chosen us from all the nations of the world to be your inheritance, just as you declared through Moses when you, O Sovereign Lord, brought our fathers out of Egypt.

"Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this temple.

"Now arise, O Lord God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.

"May your priests, O Lord God be clothed with salvation, may your saints rejoice in your goodness.'O Lord God, do not reject your anointed one.

"Remember the great love promised to David your servant."


The people rejoiced with singing again. Their voices filled the air. O how the Lord must be pleased.

photo courtesy of

1. When the people sin and it doesn't rain, Solomon said, teach us to ___________
2. When disease or disaster hits and the people pray, facing the temple Solomon asked God to ______________.
3. Who is the only one who really knows our hearts?
4. What did Solomon ask God to do for the foreigners who prayed facing the temple?
5. When at war, and the people face the temple to pray, what did Solomon ask?
6.Here is a good verse to memorize:  May your eyes be open to our plea and may you listen to us whenever we cry out to you. For you have chosen us from all the nations of the world to be your inheritance, just as you declared through Moses when you, O Sovereign Lord, brought our fathers out of Egypt.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Solomon's Temple-The Dedication Prayer

By Mary Vee
I Kings 8 and II Chronicles 6

From Solomon's Scrolls

The music played again at the celebration to dedicate the temple built for the Name of the Lord. The people shouted with joy. Such a magnificent temple for the Lord. And now we needed to quiet our minds and dedicate the temple in prayer.

I held my hands high to quiet the people. They all raised their hands with me. The hush stirred my heart. I stood in front of the altar of the Lord on a large platform. It was the only way my voice would carry to all the people. I knelt before the crowds and spread out my hands before heaven and prayed:

"O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heave or on earth. You who keep your covenant of love with your people who are dedicated wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You have fulfilled that promise today. This is your temple.

"Now, Lord, God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant David, when you said, 'You will always have a man from your family sit on the throne of Israel.' And in exchange we who sit on the throne are to be careful to walk according to your laws. And now, O Lord, God of Israel, let your promise come true."

"O Lord, this temple has been made for your Name, and yet you can not be contained inside this temple. The heavens, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built. I pray, give me mercy, O Lord my God. Hear my cry and prayer given in your presence. May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this sacred place of which you said you would put your Name. Hear my prayers for this place, this temple made for you. Hear the prayers of your people Israel when they pray in this place. Hear us from heaven, your dwelling place. And when you hear . . . forgive."

"When a man does evil against his neighbor, judge between him and his neighbor, repaying the guilty with punishment for what he has done. Declare the innocent not guilty. 

"When we have been defeated by an enemy because we have sinned against you, and when we turn back from our wicked ways and confess your name, praying in this temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people, Israel and bring us back to the land you gave us and our fathers."

Because the prayer is so long, as such an important prayer should be, I will continue the prayer in the next post.

photo courtesy of

1. Where did Solomon stand to give the prayer.
2. Who all was there to hear the prayer?
3. In the prayer, Solomon first tells God what?
4. Second, Solomon asks God to remember what?
5. Third, Solomon says he realizes what about the temple?
6. Fourh, Solomon asks that the innocent be declared _______
7.  Fifth, Solomon asks when the nation has been defeated because of sin, and they confess, then ____________

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Being a Missionary is Not Easy

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

I have been in China for two years, now. It seems much longer with all that I have learned and been given opportunity to do. 

Since arriving, I have been on eleven missionary journeys, changed my appearance by wearing only Chinese clothing and wearing my hair as the Chinese, a single braid down my back. I have also become quite proficient in Mandarin and have also learned pieces of other dialects.

What adventure God has for me next is totally a mystery.

The most difficult part about being a missionary is not what must be dealt with physically, but the rejection of the people.

Last time I mentioned that my new friend, William Burns and I both felt God's leading to go to Swatow to start a ministry with the people on the island across the way. On the island, foreigners have set up drug and slave businesses. Chinese men are told they can have great job and travel to foreign countries if they will leave their homes and come to the island. The men freely walk on the boats hoping for a great future. They are then thrown into the lower parts of the ship, crowded with thousands of others who have been tricked and disappear into slavery.

William and I refused to live on the island, but our hearts ached to minister to the people. After the captain took us to Swatow we searched for housing. No one would rent to us. They thought we were evil foreigners like the men on the island. Fortunately, William spoke the Cantonese language. 

He made friends with a merchant who was quite surprised to see a foreigner had learned his language. He said he would be willing to help us find an apartment. The merchant had a relative who was a high ranking official. The two men helped us rent a small apartment. 

The apartment was located above an incense shop. To get to our apartment we had to climb a ladder from the shop up to the second floor. We hung sheets to separate two tiny bedrooms and a small area for studying. With summer coming, the room became intensely warm. We couldn't touch the ceiling tiles, they were so blazing hot.

We set out to begin our ministry. No matter where we went the people did not trust us. We tried to give away New Testaments and preach, but the people thought we were like the evil foreigners on the island across from the city. 

The captain who told us about the need to have missionaries in this city came back for a visit. He saw our tiny apartment and was surprised. "Couldn't you find anything bigger. This apartment is so tiny!"

William and I both agreed, we would rather be where we were, living with the Chinese than on the island with the evil foreigners.

We continued to try to witness to the people. But the foreigners on the island had created such a problem, the Chinese simply would not give us a chance. The Chinese yelled at us, "foreign devil, foreign dog, foreign pig."

Burns and I went to the villages surrounding the city. This didn't help much either. There was no law, no order in any of the villages. Each town had walls around their land and they fought with each other. So, when we went to one village and made friends, telling people about God's love, the next village found out and refused to listen to us. They said we were friends with the first village and therefore must be enemies.

Sometimes I just feel tired. Tired when people don't want to hear about the God who loves them so very much. And then I wonder if I should stay in this city. God has led us here for a reason and I can't wait to find out what it is. Please pray for me to know what God would have me do.

J. Hudson Taylor

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Solomon's Temple - The Dedication

By Mary Vee
I Kings 8, II Chronicles 6

From Solomon's Scrolls

I sent messengers to all corners of Israel, summoning the elders of Israel, all the heads of tribes, and the chiefs of the Israelite families. They were to attend the bringing up of the ark of the Lord's covenant from Zion, the City of David and the placement in the new temple. They all arrived in time for the festival in the seventh month.

The Levites picked up the ark and all the sacred furnishings from the tent of meeting, the place where the priests held worship for the Lord before the temple was finished. The people and I went before the ark, offering sacrifices to the Lord the God of Israel.

The Levites carried the ark to its place in the Most Holy Place and set it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The priests then backed away from the area. 

The Levites who were musicians started the celebration. One hundred and twenty priests sounded trumpets. And the singers joined in unison, as one magnificent voice to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Oh, if you could only hear the sound! Then the cymbals and other instruments joined and the people sang:
"He is good
His love endures forever."

As the voices rang into the air a cloud filled the temple. The priests could not see what they were doing because the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God. How our hearts were stirred.

At the end of the song I stepped to the platform before the people and said:

"The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever."

And then I blessed the people:

 “Blessed be God, the God of Israel, who spoke personally to my father David. Now he has kept the promise he made when he said, ‘From the day I brought my people Israel from Egypt, I haven’t set apart one city among the tribes of Israel to build a Temple to fix my Name there. But I did choose David to rule my people Israel.’

 “My father David had it in his heart to build a Temple honoring the Name of God, the God of Israel. But God told him ‘It was good that you wanted to build a Temple in my honor—most commendable! But you are not the one to do it—your son will build it to honor my Name.’

God has done what he said he would do: I have succeeded David my father and ruled over Israel just as God promised; and now I’ve built a Temple to honor God, the God of Israel, and I’ve secured a place for the Chest that holds the covenant of God, the covenant that he made with our ancestors when he brought them up from the land of Egypt.”

The celebration continues next time. Come back and sing with us.

photos courtesy of

1. Who did Solomon invite to the celebration?
2. What was the celebration for?
3. What did the Levites do?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Solomon's Temple-Bronze, Cedar, and Gold

By Mary Vee
I Kings 6, II Chronicles 3

From Solomon's Scrolls

Are you ready to continue our journey?

Last time we looked at the curtain and felt the masterful workmanship. Let's walk this way and notice the the interior walls. Smell. Doesn't the cedar freshen your soul? Ever inch of the walls from the floor to the ceiling are cedar boards. The floor is covered with planks of sweet pine. A fresh scent. Go ahead, take in a deep breath.

Yes, now let me show you the doors. The entrance of the inner sanctuary have doors made from olive wood, and notice the craftmanship in the jambs. We'll never have problems with these doors. Now, rub your hand along the surface, feel the cherubim's, palm trees, and open flowers carved into the wood and overlaid with gold. Exquisite work.

The doors to the entrance of the main hall are quite similar. The gold, you see was hammered evenly over the carvings. A true work of art.

Let's walk outside and look at the whole structure, set on a firm foundation. This building, dedicated to the Name of the Lord, took us seven years to build.

Over here, by the portico, Huram, a gifted  craftsman in bronze, cast two bronze pillars. Stretch your head back to see the height of eighteen cubits. You won't be able to reach around the twelve cubits width. 

On top of the pillars are two capitals of bronze, five cubits high each and shaped like lilies. See at the top, the two rows of pomegranates encircling each capital to decorate the top. Magnificent, isn't it?

And now, come see the altar. Made of bronze, the altar is twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and ten cubits high. Quite large, I know. This will enable the priests to keep up with the people's offerings. 

The priests will wash over here. We call it the Sea. It is made of cast metal, circular, and measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. Below the rim, see the figures of bulls encircling it. The bulls were casted in one piece. Very difficult to do. This portion is set on top of twelve bulls, representing the twelve tribes. Three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. I had the Sea placed here on the southeast corner to be used by the priests for washing.

All these works were handcrafted by Huram, the skilled craftsman sent to help us from Tyre:
two pillars
two bowl-shaped capitals on tip of the pillars
two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars
four hundred pomegranates for those capitals
ten stands with ten basins
the sea and the twelve bulls under it
the pots, shovels, and sprinkling bowls.

I didn't even weigh them. The bronze weight was so great it could not be determined.

And last, the golden vessels. Look here are the

golden altar
the golden table on which we set the bread 
the lamp stands of pure gold, (ten in all)
gold floral work, lamps, and tongs
pure gold basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers
gold sockets for the doors
ten tables
hundred gold sprinkling bowls

Truly a beautiful sight to present to the Name of the Lord.
The Lord has blessed us with the supplies to make this structure for Him. Praise His Holy Name.

Next week we will have the dedication of the Temple. I hope you plan to attend. There will be music, and singing, food, and a wonderful celebration.

1.  How long did it take to build the temple?
2.  How would you have felt standing inside the building?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hudson Taylor-When God Speaks

By Mary Vee

From J.Hudson Taylor's Notes

**author's note: Very little is knowing about Hudson Taylor's eleventh missionary journey other than he went to Songjiang on January 29th and it lasted two weeks. This entry will start with the twelfth missionary journey.

photo courtesy of
My new partner, William Burns, and I planned to reorganize and restock the ship with literature and fresh medical supplies while back in Shanghai. We planned to return to Songjianga and continue our ministry there, until God changed our minds.

One night while still in Shanghai, Burns and I attended a prayer meeting at Dr. Medhurst's house. A Christian captain happened to attend as well. His ship had docked after arriving from Swatow. 

Captain Bowers told about the spiritual needs of the people living in the coastal city of Swatow located six hundred miles south of Shanghai. Five miles away on Double Island, British merchants sold drugs and traded slaves. He shook his head sadly, "There are no missionaries on the island."

He then looked at Burns and me and furrowed his brows, "If these foreign business people can live there, than missionaries can live there, too. It won't be an easy life for a missionary. The corruption is great."

As he told me about the island, nothing turned my thoughts away from wanting, desiring to go. God stirred in my heart a need to tell the people about His love. But the problem was I didn't want to break up my newly formed missionary team with William Burns. How can I tell him that I need to leave and go to Swatow?  I have no right to insist he go there, especially after we made plans to return to Songjiang.

A few nights later, I still felt the burden in my heart to go to Double Island. I attended a meeting at a friend's home. While there the wife sang a missionary song. It was as if the Lord spoke out loud to me. Go, Hudson. I made up my mind to tell Burns.

As I walked away from my friend's home I asked Burns if I could speak with him. I told him how God had spoken to me about going to Double Island. I was sorry that we would have to break up our team. I went on blubbering for a few more minutes and took a breath.

To my surprise, Burns was not upset in the least. "Taylor, old man." He laughed. "I was trying to figure out how to tell you that God clearly has led me to go to Double Island. I didn't want to force you to go."

We both laughed. God had spoken to each of us separately to do the same work! We went right away to speak with Captain Bowers and told him God led both of us to go to Double Island. Captain Bowers was so pleased, he offered us both free passage which would leave in a few days.

Imagine that! I love when I get to see God's plan work together.

Next time we sail for Double Island. Oh, and please do pray for financial help. The board has cut my salary again.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China

Do you have any questions?    

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Solomon's Temple- Exquisite Craftsmanship

By Mary Vee
I Kings 6, II Chronicles 3

From Solomon's Journals

photo courtesy of
The picture in this post doesn't paint an accurate picture of the temple. I wish you could stand beside me, watching this magnificent work come together. 

Walk with me and I'll tell you what is here:  

This fine building is sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. 

In the main hall, this way, I'll show you. The main hall is paneled with pine and covered with fine gold. Look at the palm tree and chain designs intricately etched throughout. The gold is of Parvaim. The ceiling beams, door frames, walls, and doors have been overlain with gold as well.

photo courtesy of
Over here see the precious stones used to adorn the temple? The inside of the temple is made with cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. 

Now, when building the temple, only blocks dress at the quarry were used and no hammer, chisel, or any other iron tool was heard at the site while it was being built. This we did to show respect for God.

Follow me to the portico. At the front of the temple is the portico, twenty cubits long and twenty cubits high. All of the inside has been overlaid with pure gold.

photo courtesy of
I have more to show you over here. Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary, a structure was built around in which side rooms have been made. The lowest floor the lowest flow was five cubits wide, the middle floor six cubits wide, and the third floor, seven. Yes, like an upside down wedding cake in a way.

The Most Holy Place is an area of twenty cubits at the rear of the temple separated with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to an inner sanctuary. Pure gold overlays the insides as was the altar of cedar and gold chains draped across the front of the inner sanctuary. The gold nails weighed fifty shekels. In there, the ark of the covenant of the Lord was placed.

photo courtesy of
This what I am about to show you is quite magnificent. A pair of cherubim made from olive wood stands ten cubits high. The cherubim's wings spread out one touching one wall and the other touching the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle. They were overlaid with gold and stood on their feet, facing the main hall.

The curtain is intricately woven with blue, purple, and crimson yarn and fine linen with cherubim figures worked  into it.

I see you are getting tired, let's take a break and I will continue next time. Be sure to remove your sandals and wash your feet before coming. My servants will help you.

1. Solomon overlaid objects in the temple and the interiors with __________
2. He also used precious _______________ to decorate.
3. Why did Solomon not allow any hammer to be used on the work site?
4. What was placed in side the Most Holy Place?
5. What was the curtain made from _______________________

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Solomon's Temple-Calling All Workers

By Mary Vee
I Kings 5, II Chronicles 2

From Solomon's Journals

I signed a treaty with Hiram, king of Tyre and sent the payment for the cedar logs Hiram promised to send.

Heralds were sent to all corners of Israel asking for workers who would go to Lebanon and help cut down the needed trees. Thirty thousand men volunteered to go. To prevent my workers from becoming weary, I sent ten thousand to Lebanon to work for one month while the twenty thousand rested for two months. The three groups rotated resting and working.

I appointed Adoniram as chief in charge of all the forced workers. First, I took a census of all the foreigners living in our land. There were 153,600 foreigners. These workers carried supplies, stone cutters in the hills and some were assigned to be foremen.

The foreigners removed large blocks of quality stone from the quarry to become a foundation for the temple.

Craftsman from Tyre and Israel, and Gebal worked together to cut and prepare the timber and stone for the temple.

Four hundred and eighty years after Israel escaped the bondage of Egypt, also the fourth year of my rule, the construction of the temple of the Lord began.

The location I chose was Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, where the lord had appeared to my father, David at the former threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

The Lord God of Israel then spoke to me saying, "If you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations, and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill, through you, the promises I made to your father, David. And I will live among the Israelites, neve abandoning my people."

And so the project began. All of Israel, the foreigners living in our country, and the people of Tyre joined together to build a temple for the Lord. I am so excited to see the finished project.

photo courtesy of

1. Who did Solomon make a treaty with?
2. How did Solomon rotate the workers?
3. What did God tell Solomon He would do if Solomon kept the commandments.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hudson Taylor-The Smugglers Demanded Tracts

by Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

William Burns and I continued with our work God had called us to do. This was my tenth missionary journey. 

Last time I wrote you about the men in the fields who refused to stop putting on bad plays. It wasn't simply a show. Men in the crowd bought young girls to make them slaves. Those living in the city didn't like these plays and the selling of slaves on either. 

A few men left, refusing to buy slaves after William and I leaped on the stage and spoke with them about the sin of selling people, but that was all. Unfortunately two men could not win in a physical battle against the guards who were there to drag us away.

Burns and I returned to the ship for lunch. We felt God leading us to stay in Nanxun and continue preaching a while longer. I sat in my cabin eating and studying the Word when suddenly a loud crash boomed above my head. 

The booming continued as though something was fired at the ship. The ceiling of my room crumbled and fell to the floor. I hurried out the back way of the ship to see who was attacking the ship.

One of the Chinese helpers leaped to the shore and attracted the attacker's attention. He asked them why they were throwing large pieces of frozen dirt at the ship then returned to report the situation to me.

The leaders of the attacks smuggled salt, and did not live in the area. They became angry when Burns and I did not give them the large amount of free books they wanted. We didn't mind giving them a few books but chose not to give them any more. Who knows what they would have done with the Bibles?

After lunch time, Burns and I returned to the city and were quite happy to hear the city people agreeing with our choice to not give into the salt smugglers.

A few days later we went to a tea shop and tried to witness to the people there. No one seemed interested or asked any questions. Burns suggested we leave the city and look for a new place to preach.

We returned to the area where the boats had been docked and found the lantern marking our place blown out. When I asked for it to be relit the Christian Chinese helper told us a man pretending to be a policeman came on board while we were gone. 

The pretend policeman had a letter from the salt smugglers demanding money and drugs. More than fifty smugglers waited for our answer. If we paid, they would leave us alone. If we didn't they would hunt us down and destroy our ship.

Our Chinese helper then told the policeman, "These men do not have any money or drugs. They have come to preach the Word of God and to give Bibles." 

The policeman didn't believe him. His face turned red and he shook his fist. "Then you will have trouble, mark my word."

The Chinese helper said to me, "I looked for you while the others moved the ships, but couldn't find you. Just before you arrived, I found several men hiding behind trees and in the bushes. I listened to what they said. They asked people along the river where your boats had been moved to. One saw me and asked me, too. I could honestly say I didn't know since I was not on the ships. I was very grateful they didn't recognize me as one of the workers on your ship."

Burns and I followed him down the river and found our ships there. We moved them even further away from the smugglers. Burns and I called all our workers together and read Psalm 91, asking God to protect us. We stayed on the ship all night for safety.

The next morning a major rainstorm prevented us from sailing away. This ended up being a blessing from God because the smugglers could not move about in the thick rain to find us.

The next day we ended my tenth missionary journey by sailing back to Shanghai. 

I am not discouraged. Nor tempted to stay at my rented house in Shanghai. I know in my heart there will be an eleventh missionary journey. With each trip, I learn how to survive in China, understand the culture, and find new ways to share the Gospel of Christ with the people.

Please pray for the men who put on the bad play and the salt smugglers that they would believe that God loves them. Also, please thank God with me for the gift of godly Chinese helpers.

J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions? 

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Solomon's Temple-Working with My Neighbor

By Mary Vee
I Kings 5

From Solomon's Scrolls

My father, David loved the Lord God of Israel with all his heart. He wanted to honor the Name of the Lord by building a temple, but God said no. David was a man of war, obeying God as he went into battle to conquer the land . . . to make a home for all of us.

God rewarded my father's obedience by giving permission for his son, me, to build the temple. I have been on the throne a short time and can not wait to begin this wonderful project.

David had arranged for a lot of the materials to be ready, but we needed more. 

Recently Hiram, king of Tyre, sent a group of his representatives to greet me. My father, David had kept a friendly relationship with him. Hiram wanted to continue the friendship with me. I felt the continued friendship would work well to help me get the rest of the needed supplies to build the temple. 

I wrote a letter for his representatives to take back to Hiram:

Dear Hirram,

You are aware, of course, that my father, David could not build a temple for the Name of the Lord his God until our enemies were under our control. We now are in a time of peace. The Lord God has now made a way for me to build the temple through this time of rest.

Send me cedar logs as you did for my father. I plan to build a temple, dedicated to the Name of the Lord my God to burn fragrant incense before, display bread set aside for Him, and burn offerings every morning and evening, Sabbaths, New Moons, and appointed feasts of the Lord our God as a lasting ordinance for Israel.

I want to build a great temple for Him because our God is greater than all other gods. And even though there is no temple that could contain Him and I am not worthy to build this temple, except as a place for burnt sacrifices for Him, I will seek to honor Him.

Send me a skilled worker in gold, silver, bronze, iron, in engraving, and in purple, crimson, and blue yarn, to work with my skilled craftsmen whom my father David provided for this job.

Send also cedar, pine, and algum logs from Lebanon, pre-cut. My men will work with you to get the job done. The temple I build must be large and magnificent. 

In exchange, I will give you and your servants twenty thousand cors of ground wheat, twenty thousand cors of barley, twenty thousands baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of olive oil.


Solomon, King of Israel

A few days later I received Hiram's reply: 

Dear Solomon,

Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you their king. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth. He has given King David a wise son who will build a temple for the Lord and a place for himself.

I am sending you Huram-Abi, a skilled worker whose mother is from Israel and father from Tyre. He is trained and a skilled worker in all the areas you need.

Now, please send the wheat, barley, olive, and wine you promised and we will cut all the logs from Lebanon that you need and will float them in rafts by sea down to Joppa. You can then transport them up to Jerusalem.


Hiram, King of Tyre.

This was wonderful news. Now the planning and building of the temple can begin.

photo courtesy of

1.  Solomon's father, David, had made friends with _____________________.
2. ___________________ sent his greetings and congratulations when he heard Solomon was crowned king.
3.  Solomon sent a letter with the visitors asking______________ for _____________ because Solomon wanted to build a _____________ for _______________.
4. _____________ said yes, he would be happy to send what Solomon needed.
5. _______________ agreed to be friends and to help Solomon.