July 24, 2020 – Friday
2 Chronicles 9:5-6 NIV
5 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true.
6 But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard.
We return here to remarks by the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon first noted in 1 Kings 10:6-7 on Tuesday the 21st. That posting from 1 Kings showed almost identical words where She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 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.
As I wrote then, it is believed Queen of Sheba came a distance of some 1,500 miles from a location in or near Yemen today. She came 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 today’s verse six Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. Thus, without question she was deeply impressed and added these comments to our verses of the day 7 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness. Because of these remarks many believe she became a follower or believer in the God of Israel. However, there is no evidence for or against such a belief.
Still Jesus spoke of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon when in Matthew 12:42 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. He spoke of this in condemnation of the Pharisees and teachers of the law who could not see or recognize who He was and is while she came and saw with her own eyes and believed what she saw. They refused to see what was plainly right in front of them. He preceded His words about her with these words of condemnations 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 chose to remain blind to the truth of Jesus.
In reference on how the Queen of Sheba had to see with her own eyes to believe, let us not forget our doubting Thomas who had to see Jesus risen in the flesh before he would believe. Recall 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. It is easy to imagine his surprise and shock a week later when 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.
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 His promised blessing for we have reason or rather many reasons to believe. We have seen the evidence of the changes in our own lives and those of others who believe. We can believe what we see, have seen, and what we expect to see as well. He was, is, and is to come!