The Queen of Sheba and Jesus

1 Kings 10-11 & 2 Chronicles 9

2 Chronicles 9 23 NIV

Who is the wisest person to ever live?
Let me tell you why you’re wrong. (Just kidding!)
Most of us answer Solomon, right? We are told that many times in Sunday School, and our teachers weren’t wrong. He was wise… to a point. We look at what he did at the beginning of his life and we see a man who was so dedicated to God that he asked for wisdom instead of riches, power, wealth or fame. For that, God gave him all wisdom and all the other things as well. Solomon was “wise enough to know that we are not wise enough on our own.” But, is Solomon the wisest person to ever live?
I believe our reading today disabuses of that notion quickly. Solomon starts off great, but in the end, his rule falls apart. His wisdom allowed his fame to increase. But as his fame increased, his wealth increased; as his wealth increased, his political connections, in the form of marriages, increased; as his number of marriages increased, the amount of gods he worshipped increased. And there’s our problem, but it doesn’t start there. Solomon, for all his wisdom, lost sight of the end goal. Wisdom is not meant for wealth. Wisdom is not meant for fame.
Wisdom is meant for godliness.
If we want to find the wisest person to ever live, we should look to the man who knew and had insight into the hearts of men and women, the one who even knew “all things.” Jesus, of course, is the wisest man to ever live. He unpacks the wisdom of God found in the Torah Law and applies it in a way that changes more than just behavior, but changes the heart. Jesus knew how to perfectly interpret scripture in wisdom. Most importantly, Jesus lived a life of wisdom by being Godly, doing what God wanted, all day, every day.
When we read about the Queen of Sheba and the wisdom of Solomon in 1 Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9, we need to remember that her praise was not only directed at Solomon. 1 Kings 10:9 reads “Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” The Queen of Sheba was wowed at the power of YHWH to give wisdom to people. The wisdom that Solomon imparted was that God was the giver of wisdom and that God was the blesser of his people; this, sadly, was a lesson Solomon forgot. It should be no surprise that Jesus said “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42, Luke 11:31) Jesus knew that if the Queen of the South, the Queen of Sheba, were alive in his day, she would travel from the ends of the earth to hear the message of wisdom that he preached, because his teaching, his power, his wisdom far exceeds all that Solomon had.
May we my brothers and sisters, stand on the day of judgement found in the wisdom of Jesus, the wisdom that leads to godliness. May we recognize the wisdom of Christ over the wisdom of this world, and choose Christ every time. May you be blessed because you choose to trust and to live your days in the saving grace of the wisest person who ever lived.
Jacob (Jake) Ballard
——————-
Jake Ballard is Pastor at Timberland Bible Church. You can hear more of his thoughts and worship along with the TBC Family on Facebook, live streaming every Sunday at 10am. Reach out to Jake on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Tomorrow’s reading will be the end of the Proverbs (30-31) as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Kings and Queens Make a Full House

II Chronicles 8-11

queen-of-sheba

Saturday, November 26

Solomon has completed building the Temple and his house and has moved on to building cities. Everything Solomon touched was lavished with beauty and excess. He built one entire city for the purpose of housing his many horses and chariots. That is one way to build a name and gain a reputation. As word of Solomon traveled outward to other nations, interest grew to understand what this king was all about. Solomon shows that his desire to build was for his own pleasure and he enjoyed the benefits that his talents garnered. He was a man on display. He worked hard to share how God had chosen him to bless the nation of Israel and show justice and righteousness to God’s children.

One thing that was lost on Solomon was that God was the creator of all and wanted Israel to be a light to the nations. Instead  he would not allow Israel to do certain jobs he felt beneath them and would take nations as slaves and indentured servants to do the ugly work.

When the Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon she traveled herself to see if what she was hearing was true. And indeed she found him to be a man full of wisdom and in control of vast lands and wealth. After swooning over all his fame and power, she tells King Solomon, “It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom. However I didn’t believe their words until I came, and my eyes had seen it; and behold, the half of the greatness of your wisdom wasn’t told me: you exceed the fame that I heard.” II Chron. 9:5-6

Even though Queen Sheba had heard the truth, it did not resonate with her until she saw it for herself. Others bringing word to her was not enough. King Solomon sounded too good to be true. This is why it is so important to be living out the word of God in our lives so that the message of Christ rings true to those who observe His truth in action. I can write this out using the electronic medium at our disposal today and maybe be a witness to some on God’s behalf; but it is the personal relationships that we create that witness into people’s lives and situations at a much more powerful level.

Solomon understood about God. He even spent an incredible amount of time and resources devoted to sharing Yahweh with others. Solomon was wonderful at telling others what would be best in any given circumstance, but he was not so good at heeding his own lessons. He is like some we witness who gain power and begin to feel they are above the law.

Years ago Brother Billie Kennedy said in a message at Camp Mack (yes, I am going back that far in my memory bank!) “Some people will miss the kingdom of God by 18 inches because that is how far it takes to get from your head to your heart.” That last few feet is the hardest step of all at times, but when we reach that final destination I am hoping for a full house and do not want anyone to miss out by just a few inches.

If the Queen of Sheba thought putting in the effort to check out the truth of who King Solomon was, how much more should we seek out the truth of God’s love and mercy toward all of his children.

-Glennis Walters