April 15

The Queen of Sheba, Part 1

I Kings 10:1-2 Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

The Queen of Sheba is a mysterious figure that pops up in the Old Testament, the Quran, Ethiopian history, and in the mouth of Jesus. It’s estimated that she traveled about 1,200 miles (perhaps more) to see Solomon, considered the greatest king on earth at the time.

For anyone, that trip would be arduous. She could have sent an envoy, but she clearly wanted to see things for herself. It likely took weeks, perhaps months, to make the difficult journey. She didn’t sneak in at night, as did Nicodemus with Jesus (John 3). She made a statement in her arrival. As a queen, she brought her sense of personal majesty along with her retinue. Camels, spices, precious stones…she no doubt came as an equal to the king, and was ready to both bequeath the traditional gifts to Solomon and present to him the “hard questions.” She came to impress, and to test.

Did you ever notice that life is filled with hard questions? Do we ever ask God for answers to them? Many of us ask “Why?” but we really are often just expressing our frustration; we’re not positioned to actually expect and receive God’s answer.

The Queen of Sheba had heard of Solomon’s reputation—for wealth, for greatness, for power, for wisdom. There was a focus here, a deliberateness, and a sense of drive and sacrifice to go after the goal. What a great expectation she must have had as she approached Jerusalem that she was going to hear what she came for.

I Kings 10:3 So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her.

Solomon could handle a great queen, coming in her full power with a mighty entourage. How impressed he must have been with her commitment to see him and receive of his wisdom. What a blessing to share that wisdom with one so eager to receive it!

In the same way, God can handle us and all our difficult questions. But let’s remind ourselves of what she did first—she invested a great deal of personal emotion and energy into getting to the King. Apparently nothing—not time, not inconvenience—was going to stop her. And once there, she was certainly going to pay attention.

Prayer: Father, I confess that I don’t make anywhere near the effort that the Queen of Sheba made to come before You and receive from You. I so often take Your presence for granted and treat it lightly. You paid such a high price for me to be able to get into Your presence. Help me to make my own “1200-mile-trip” to You past my own thoughts, distractions, sins and the cares of this world. Put in my heart the same desire to receive that we see in hers.

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