Monday, 21 January 2013

Matriarchs on a Monday - Another Sheba.

Last week we had BATHsheba.

Today, it's the Queen of Sheba.

Queue music.

(do it - you have to, to enter into the spirit of my sense of musicality, and weird humour....)

So, she has arrived.

Now, let's put our serious faces on and learn something.

I hadn't read about this story for a LONG time, until I worked out she came soon after Bathsheba in the list of women in the Bible.

So, who was she?

Why was she arriving?

What did she want?

What did she leave with?

Well, to answer the first question, she was a Queen.  Of Sheba.  Sheba was a country, south of Canaan, and we don't know for SURE exactly where it would be now.  Many think it was modern day Ethiopia, some think southern areas of Arabia.  We DO know she came a long way.

So, why did this member of foreign aristocracy travel all the distance to Israel?

" 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."
 I Kings 10:1

She had heard about Solomon, and the wisdom that God had given him.  She came to test him.

One would assume that despite all her riches, and worldly wealth, she figured he had something that she could have.

This was the days before the letters, newspapers, telephones, TV, or the internet.  And yet, in a country far away, The Queen of Sheba had heard about how wise Solomon was.  She wanted to see for herself - to quiz him, to test him and to "suss him out".

She had travelled all that way to seek out the wisdom of Solomon, which she had heard so much about.  She figured it was worth finding.

Having seen all of Solomon's great possessions, and listened to his great wisdom, she was literally speechless. .

 "there was no more spirit in her"
verse 5

She was literally breathless in her amazement,  at what she witnessed.

Apart from all this, she had witnessed him going up to the Lord's house to worship.  Reverence, respect and sincerity was what she observed in the manner which he assumed.  What a great testimony of one who loved the Lord.  That another saw not only his outward, but his inward being too.

I also love that she saw how those that were around him were happy - he cared for those in his household.  His wisdom and wealth were used wisely and in a kind way.  What a testimony!! It was such a testimony that she declared thus...

"Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. 
Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice."

What she witnessed was not even half of what she expected to see...and THAT was a high expectation.

Having seen this amazing sight, does she praise Solomon?


She sees it for what it is.  She sees it as coming from the Lord God.  She sees the LORD, over and above all the wonderful things, humanly speaking, that are in Solomon's palace.  It is acknowledged that God put Him on the throne, and it is his judgement and justice, stemming from his God-given wisdom, that  impresses her more than anything else.

What a lesson for us.

We have a source of wisdom that is worth having.   Do we go to great lengths to obtain it?  To search it out?  To find it for ourselves?  Or, do we just listen to the preacher on Sunday, and go home and forget about God's Word the rest of the week.  Leave it to Pastor's and teachers to learn about?  We ought to be as determined as the Queen of Sheba, to seek out God's Wisdom in His Word.  To dig deep in His Word, to find the answers to questions we have about life.

What was her response after her visit?

She saw what wealth he had, and yet she gave him great treasures from her land.  Gold, and wood.

Did he perhaps share with her the great plans he had for the temple.  Because, that is what he then used her gifts FOR!  He used them to furnish the Lord's house.  Perhaps she thought it was a way she could contribute, in exchange for the wisdom she had received from her visit?!

Is the wisdom in God's Word worth us giving much for?  Should we not be willing to give our best, in exchange for the goodness of God's wisdom and grace, from His Word?  Is it not worth EVERYTHING we can give to Him?  Seeking out the truth from God's Word should be of greater importance to us than any thing we could ever own.  No treasure on earth should equal its worth.  Nothing else should be more important in our day than seeking out His wisdom.  The Queen of Sheba went to great lengths to learn from Solomon.  We should put equal, or greater, effort into learning much about the Lord.

The icing on the cake for me was this verse.

"And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart."

Now, we are not told this directly, but I would take something from this.

If all the earth sought the wisdom that Solomon possessed from the Lord, who do you think told these people that he had it?

Do you think that perhaps the Queen of Sheba went back home, and said nothing more about her visit to Solomon.

Is that what you do after you have been somewhere amazing?  Go home and not tell anyone?  If you are anything like me, you will RAVE about it to anyone who lends you their ear!!

I reckon that she went back home, telling anyone and everyone about the great and wise King Solomon, who could impart God's wisdom to you if you so desired.

How much ought we to share the wonders and truths of God's Word to anyone we can?  Should we not share the gospel with others?  Should we not tell others about the good things WE have received from the Lord?  Should we not acknowledge the wonders of the Lord, rather than keeping them to ourselves?

On a final note, I think we can see one more splendid thing.


I think we can say that upon our arrival in heaven, that the half was not yet told of what will greet us there!! We know that it is a wonderful place, but OH, to experience it for ourselves?!

Joy unspeakable.

Thank you, Sheba's Queen.

Thank-you for reminding me that God's wisdom is so precious, and may the Lord enable me to seek it out for myself and wonder at it as she did.

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