When God first called a people out to Himself through the patriarch Abraham, He told him:
2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3 (ESV)
When King Solomon had completed the temple and reigned on the throne of Israel, this promise of God to reach out and bless all the nations and families of the earth began to come true. Solomon’s reputation for divinely-gifted wisdom and riches stretched throughout the known world, and people came from all over to Jerusalem to see for themselves.
Even more important, when they came, they began to personally experience the God who loves them and grants such wonders. Just seeing Solomon alone would leave them with a great memory. Encountering a loving and powerful God in the process was a life-changing event that they could take with them daily, throughout eternity.
One of the wealthy and powerful leaders who came to investigate Solomon was the queen of Sheba.
1 Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. 2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. 1 Kings 10:1-2 (NKJV)
Who was the queen of Sheba? She sounds like a fascinating person – highly intelligent and successful, a seeker of wisdom and knowledge, yet having an open and transparent heart full of spiritual receptiveness. Sheba may possibly be in Ethiopia, or it may be in Yemen – we do not know for certain.
3 So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her. 4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her. 1 Kings 10:3-5 (NKJV)
Who gets the glory for such wonders? Solomon rightfully acknowledged the Lord’s hand in granting him such favor. He knew that to humbly acknowledge the blessing of the Lord was critical and the key to sharing God’s presence and power with potential believers. In so doing, though the queen had come to see about Solomon, she left with both an appreciation for him and a budding faith in the Lord.
9 Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” 1 King 10:9 (NKJV)
God’s Spirit had likely drawn the queen of Sheba to Solomon in order to use her as a vessel to then spread the knowledge of His Name into a new land, her kingdom. The Lord draws us to certain people in a similar way today to introduce or to build up their faith, or ours.
This was a primary purpose of God’s temple – to inform and attract people to God from all nations on earth. He had begun by choosing the Jewish people first to build a new relationship with all people, to love and bless them so that they might love and worship Him. In so doing, they would become a kingdom of priests to shine His light and spread the good news of His love and power throughout all the world.
Solomon’s reign began to reach this pinnacle, bearing fruit for the kingdom of God. The queen of Sheba was just one of many who came to visit him, though she was certainly a standout and a great blessing herself.
23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 2 Chronicles 9:23 (NKJV)
Solomon was successful in using his many blessings to help point people towards a faith in God, which was all part of God’s purpose and design.
Unfortunately, Solomon did not finish his reign strong in this role. As did many of the later kings of Israel and Judah, he would sadly be pulled away by marrying many wives who worshiped other gods and idols, and would ultimately become distracted from his appointed priestly mission for Israel. As the kings and their people turned away to worship other gods, God would finally end His protection and blessing of the kingly line. He would later send a new king, His Son Jesus, to be a Light to the Jews and Gentiles and to bring a harvest of new believers from throughout all the world.
The promise to the patriarchs that their lineage would be a blessing to all nations is still being accomplished through the final King in the line of Judah, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. Romans 15:8-9 (NIV)
May we be faithful like Solomon in his spiritual prime, allowing God to use us to bless others and to point them to Him, like was done through Solomon for the great queen of Sheba.
God has placed us where we are and given us unique gifts to help Him fulfill His outreach of love to the nations.
We may not know what our divine gift or specific purpose is, but He does. He may choose to use us in any number of ways – perhaps to listen to someone to help them get through a personal crisis, to share some food or water with a tired and hungry soul, to give a smile, an encouraging word, a letter, or a phone call to someone experiencing a moment of despair, or maybe do all the above without even realizing how important each action was to its recipient.
Lord, use me to help grow and spread Your kingdom. May I be an anointed blessing to others who need You and Your loving comfort, healing, and salvation. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.