Solomon’s fame had spread about and the Queen of Sheba wanted to come and see for herself if all that was said was true. His wisdom, his wealth, and the state of his people.
The Queen of Sheba traveled a great distance because she had heard of Solomon. She had heard of his wisdom and his wealth. She had also heard of his relationship with the Lord. This is what brought her to him. She wanted to know if the God of Israel had truly graced His servant with wisdom beyond that of all other men. I don’t know if any other gods offered their followers wisdom but our God did. And the Queen of Sheba wanted to see this in person.
As is my custom, I went to Google and asked it a few questions. The first was the distance traveled by the Queen of Sheba. I didn’t get a solid answer to this question. The reason for this is that her exact origin is not firmly established. She could have been from a few different locations. While exploring this question I enjoyed reading some of the Wikipedia response under Queen of Sheba. Some of the stories reported are humerus while others are downright ugly. Legends have a way of ‘improving’ on the facts. I did like the story of her raising her skirt before stepping on the floor of glass, thinking she was stepping into water.
One of the things that struck me right away was the fact that she and Solomon didn’t have any trouble communicating. Did they use interpreters? I know that some of the contextual meaning can be lost when using translators. Did God allow Solomon the wisdom to understand her language? He riddles would have been MUCH harder through translators.
The Queen of Sheba’s visit was a protracted visit. She didn’t follow the “three day rule” for company. “Company is like fish in that after three days they both begin to stink.” She was around long enough to see Solomon’s offerings on the Bronze Altar. She was able to see how his servants and subjects acted. She not only posed questions for Solomon but watched him judging the people. She saw him in action. She dined at his table. She toured his construction projects. And she watched everything. I have no doubt that she enjoyed his hospitality in one of his palace rooms. I wouldn’t be surprised to know that the suppositions of some legends attributing a child to the two of them were correct. Solomon’s downfall lay in women.
All that she saw left her breathless. After seeing all she could she blessed him. She not only blessed Solomon with the gifts she had brought but with words too. I cannot think of any better words than those she shared with Solomon. Yes, she raved about his wisdom. She talked of his prosperity. She remarked on the exceptional fact that even Solomon’s servants were happy. But what captured MY heart were her words about his relationship with God. “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, He has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness” (verse 9).
Because God loved Israel He gave them Solomon. That is jaw dropping praise. That is praise that, if not turned back over to the Lord, could become a problem. None of what Solomon had was from his own works. All were gifts from God. He made him the wisest man. He made him the most famous king. He even made him the most prosperous king. Solomon could claim good use of what God supplied but not the source of it. Even the relationships that netted him such tremendous profits were started by David and nourished by the wisdom he employed from God. Remember to ALWAYS give credit to the Source of your talents.
Solomon did let the Queen of Sheba leave empty handed either. He supplied her with whatever she wanted. She had but to mention it and Solomon put it in her purse. He already had in mind many gifts for her but he added to that anything she chose. I wonder if any of these ‘gifts’ were plans for building items of use; inventions. She went home to her own land enriched in heart, mind, and purse.
I long to have the depth of my relationship with God noticeable in all I do. Not so I can receive praise for it but so that others can see His hands on my life. Any praise I do receive I want to remember to ALWAYS turn it back to my Source. I don’t think I want to be ‘world famous’ like Solomon was. I’ll take being part of whatever group God gathers to walk this road with me.
Father God, thank You for Your stories. I was greatly relieved to see that words “Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!” spoken after the previous reading. I don’t believe any slavery is ‘happy’ but those that served Solomon didn’t lack and were ‘happy’ with all they received.
For myself, Father, help me use the talents YOU gave me to glorify Your name. Let me ALWAYS turn any praise I receive for the use of Your gifts back to You. Let Your light shine in and through my life.