The Queen of Sheba – 1 Kings 10

When God first called a people out to Himself through the Patriarch Abraham, He told him:

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. 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 wisdom and riches reached throughout the known world, and people came from all over to Jerusalem to see for themselves. 

Even more important is that when they came, they began to personally experience the God who loves them and grants such wonders.  Seeing Solomon alone would leave them with a great memory.  Encountering a loving and powerful God in the process would be a life changing event that they could take with them through 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. 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.

So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 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. 

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 to use her as a vessel to spread the knowledge of His Name into a new land. The Lord has drawn us to certain people in a similar way, to introduce or to build up their or our faith.

This was a primary purpose of the temple – to inform and attract people to God from all nations on earth. He had chosen the Jewish people first to 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 and to bear fruit for the kingdom of God.  The queen of Sheba was just one of many who came to visit him. 

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 strong in this role.  As did many of the later kings of Israel and Judah, he would sadly become a failure in fulfilling this appointed priestly mission for Israel.  As they turned away to worship other gods, God would finally end the kingly line.  He would later send a new king, His Son Jesus, to be a Light to the 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 now being accomplished through the final King in the line of Judah, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.  Romans 15:8-9 NIV

Reflection

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 – 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 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 Your kingdom. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Who was key in pointing you towards a faith in God?

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