July 21, 2020 – Tuesday
1 Kings 10:6-8 NIV
6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true.
7 But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.
8 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!
Who is this woman speaking to the king – King Solomon – with initial disbelief and now great belief? The first verses of this chapter answers our question and others about her. 1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. 2 Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed. Then we have our verses for today.
It is believed Queen of Sheba came from a distance of 1,500 miles from a location in or near Yemen today. And she came loaded with spices, gold and precious stones hoping to develop a trade partnership with Israel. Of course that was dependent upon whether or not the stories of Israel’s wealth and Solomon’s wisdom lived up to the stories she had been told. What she saw with her own eyes and heard from Solomon with her own ears led her to say at the end of verse seven Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. Without a doubt she was deeply impressed and added these comments to our verses of the day 9 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, He has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”
Sadly, there is no evidence she became a believer or follower of the God of Israel even though she was greatly impressed with the blessing He had bestowed upon Israel. However, this has echoes into our own time frame when individuals will go into churches with great music, great seating, all kinds of coffee and snacks, all sorts of other extras, and yet they will walk away without really believing or choosing to accept the unmerited free gift of Grace offered through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Jesus actually spoke of the Queen of Sheba in Matthew 12:42 in condemnation of the Pharisees and teachers of the law seeking a sign. He said, The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here. She came, saw with her own eyes, and believed. The Pharisees and others also saw with their own eyes, yet they did not believe. He preceded this with these words of condemnation as well, The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. Of course it is Jesus who is greater than Jonah and Solomon, but the Pharisees remained blind to the obvious right in front of their own eyes.
In reference on how the Queen of Sheba had to see with her own eyes to believe, let us not forget doubting Thomas who had to see Jesus risen in the flesh before he would believe. He had gone so far as to say to the other disciples in John 20:25 Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. Imagine his surprise and shock a week later Jesus appeared to the disciples and said to Thomas in v27: Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe. Thomas believed. Then Jesus made the following remark in v29 which has blessed so many even to our own time Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
Thomas, unlike the Queen of Sheba, obviously came to believe in Jesus and His resurrection. She never came to believe in the God of Israel or if she did there is no record of it. However, we who have not seen Jesus with our own eyes, do believe and in Jesus’ own words we are blessed as a result. Let us hold tightly onto our belief and the promised blessing.