Ethiopian fresco of the Queen of Sheba on her way to Jerusalem, shown riding with sword under her saddle and a lance in her hand.
This morning I was reading from a book in the Bible that I don’t usually read from, 1 Chronicles 9: 1-12 (NKJV). But the Lord spoke to my heart and encouraged me greatly from this passage, and I want to share my treasure find with you. First, I will post the entire passage for you to read, and then share insights that uplifted my heart.
The background of this passage is that King Solomon had finished building the temple where the people of Israel could worship God, and had dedicated it to the Lord. Before building the temple, Solomon had a dream where the Lord visited him and asked him what he desired to have, and said that He would give it to Solomon.
Solomon chose to ask for wisdom and knowledge to rule God’s people, and did not ask to be rich, or for honor or the life of his enemies. God was pleased and granted his request, and said that in addition, He would also give him riches, wealth, and honor, like no one else before had or afterward would have.
The Queen of Sheba had heard of Solomon’s wisdom and came to visit him to test him. Sheba was an ancient kingdom in a location that was somewhere between southern Arabia and the Horn of Africa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheba).
“Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with hard questions, having a very great retinue, camels that bore spices, gold in abundance, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.
So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for Solomon that he could not explain it to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers and their apparel, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her.
Then she said to the king, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However, I did not believe their words until I came and saw with my own eyes, and indeed the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me. You exceed the fame of which I heard.
Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on His throne to be king for the Lord your God! Because your God has loved Israel, He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.”
Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, spices in great abundance, and precious stones; there never were any spices such as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. Also the servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought album wood and precious stones.
And the king made walkways of the algum wood for the house of the Lord and for the king’s house, also harps and stringed instruments for singers; and there were none such as those seen before it in the land of Judah.
Now King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked, much more than she had brought to the king. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.”
The first thing that stood out to me in this story was that King Solomon’s wisdom was not his own. He had asked God for wisdom, and God had given it to him, very pleased that Solomon had not prayed for something selfish like wealth or to kill his enemies. James 1: 5 says that if you lack wisdom, to ask God for it and He will give it to you generously.
Secondly, the gifts in Solomon made room for him, and became a great blessing to God, Solomon, the people of Israel, and to many others. He was known for his wisdom, even to a queen in a foreign land. Psalm 2: 8 says, “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance.” God wants to use our gifts that He has so richly deposited into us, to make room for us, to expand His kingdom, and to glorify His son Jesus.
I believe that King Solomon is symbollic of our King, Jesus, and that Queen Sheba represents the Church, The Bride of Christ. The queen of Sheba had heard of Solomon’s fame and wisdom, and she went to visit him to ask him hard questions, to “test him.” Do you have questions in your heart for God? Do you ever feel like testing Him and asking Him some hard questions?
She also traveled far to see King Solomon. How far are you willing to go to meet with and obey Jesus? Are you willing to give up the comfort of your own home, and go where He tells you to go? Will you leave what is familiar behind you, in order to go forward with God, and find Him and His purpose in your life? God has wisdom, truth, and eternal riches to give you if you will just step out of the boat of comfort and begin to move toward Him, even to ask Him the hard questions about life.
God may not always answer us right away when we ask Him these questions, but I believe He is pleased when we do. He wants us to seek Him for wisdom, to understand things, and to give us revelation. We need to continue to pursue Him.
Verse 1 says that the queen shared with Solomon all the things that were in her heart. God wants us to pour out our hearts to Him in prayer. Don’t hold back. Tell him everything. And He will answer us. The Bible says nothing the queen asked was too hard for Solomon, and he answered her. You might feel overwhelmed with life right now, but your problems are not too great for Jesus. Nothing is impossible for God!
In verses 5 and 6, the queen admits that she had heard of Solomon’s wisdom and fame even in her far-away country, but had not believed it herself. The queen of Sheba was a Thomas. Thomas doubted and did not believe that Christ was resurrected until he saw proof: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) The queen did not believe about Solomon’s wisdom until she saw for herself.
We don’t need to be doubting Thomases, or have unbelief in our hearts like the queen of Sheba. We just need faith in God, to trust Him. King Solomon’s wisdom exceeded the queen’s expectations.
That is the way it is with God. He is so good, and His goodness and grace to us is so much greater than we can even dream of! 1 Corinthians 2: 9 (NKJV) says, “For it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
I believe the key to the entire passage is found in verses 5-9. As the queen praised the king, and gave him gifts, Solomon in return gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, much more than she brought. As we praise and worship our King Jesus, and obey His Word, He will give to us the desires of our hearts, and even give us more than all our offerings to Him. We can not outgive God!
Are there dreams in your heart that are unfulfilled? Are there voids, an emptiness, that God needs to fill? Are there deep hurts that need healing? Are there things you desire, like publishing a book, speaking all over the country and the world, traveling, doing missions work, having your own successful business, having a happy, fulfilling marriage, being restored to someone in a strained relationship, seeing a loved one saved?
Then come before the King Jesus, as the queen of Sheba came to Solomon. Ask God the hard questions. Let Him expose your heart and break it open. Share with God all these things that are on your heart, and let Him minister to you. Bring praises and offerings to Him, singing songs to Him of adoration. Let Jesus give you the desires of your heart, but come to Him not to get -but to give Him your love.