1 Kings 10-11 & 2 Chronicles 9
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.