30 May 2020
The Half Was Not Told Me
(1 Kings 10:1-13)
The Queen of Sheba traveled all the way to pay a visit to King Solomon of Israel. It was a long journey. She was attracted by the fame of Solomon. She probably came from southwest Arabia (modern Yemen). She needed a lot of patience and endurance for the 1200 miles journey. Remember they did not have the modern highways. We naturally asked the question: Is it worth the trip? Furthermore, she brought along a lot of costly gifts for King Solomon.
The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream while Solomon was sacrificing to Him. The Lord told Solomon He would give anything he asked. Solomon chose wisdom above all. As a king, he needed wisdom to rule the people of God. The Lord was so pleased with his request and granted his request plus riches, honour and longevity of life. Certainly, this assumed Solomon would be faithful to the law of the Lord. Obedience will be blessed and disobedience will be chastised. This is the promise of God.
The royal visitor from Sheba came personally to verify the greatness of Solomon. She came with hard questions to check the truthfulness of what she heard from afar. And she found that Solomon lived up to his reputation in wisdom. There was no question posed by her that he could not answer. She had a first-hand experience of his wisdom. She was also deeply impressed by the house of Solomon. It almost left her breathless. She exclaimed that the report she heard at her hometown was true about Solomon’s acts of judgment and justice and wisdom. She confessed her skeptical attitude and made a turn about and realising that what was publicised was only 50 percent of the reality. The reality was breathtaking! She blessed the Lord God of Israel who caused Solomon to become the ruler of the country. Praise was comely. Behind this great and wise king, there is the living and true God. Praise God for His goodness. Then the queen paid homage to King Solomon by her spices, gold and precious stones. King Solomon also reciprocated her homage with royal bounty. After all, Solomon was very wealthy.
Behold, there is someone who is greater than Solomon. He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was called the son of David but He is greater than David. Matthew 12:42 says “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost part of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” One day the nations of the world will bow before the King of kings and Lord of lords (Isaiah 2:23). The Israelites in the time of Christ fell into unbelief. They had seen many signs and wonders performed by Christ but they hardened their heart. They tempted Christ to perform more signs. But Christ did not entertain their unbelief but referred them to Queen Sheba in the Old Testament. Remember her? The very mention of Queen Sheba who was not an Israelite rebuked their hardheartedness. She was not in the nation of Israel which was blest with the law of God. She was an outsider, yet she travelled so long a journey to hear godly wisdom. She also burnt a big hole in her pocket just to travel all the way and give precious gifts to King Solomon. Yet the Israelites who was blest with the living Christ walking around them did not appreciate the heavenly wisdom imparted by Him. They turned a deaf ear to Christ. What a loss, what a contrast! Will the Queen of Sheba point her finger on the indifferent hearers of God’s Word on the day of judgment? What excuses will the hardhearted people give on that day?
Instead of hardening our hearts to God’s Word, let us make great effort to hear, learn with earnest attitude and submit to its teaching. Do not let the opportunities slipped by and regret in vain one day. Queen Sheba was glad that she made the costly trip to see Solomon; she did not regret it. What an example! Buy the truth and sell it not.
Rev. Lee Kim Shong