Summary: Solomon was blessed with wisdom, riches and honour, and they are the favours of God. Let us acknowledge the favours of God in our lives. We seek God, not the gifts.
The Queen of Sheba came to visit. She has heard of Solomon’s fame and his “relation to the Name of the Lord” (10:1). She came to see it for herself.
• She was in awe of what she saw. It was beyond her imagination.
• She asked him many questions and saw the WISDOM of Solomon. She looked around and was greatly impressed by his WEALTH.
We can tell the Queen herself is rich. Most believed she comes from South Arabian Kingdom of Saba.
• She came with “a very great caravan” of gifts (10:2). And the gifts that she gave to Solomon, 10:10 says “never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.”
• She comes from a prosperous nation, and yet she was clearly overwhelmed by Solomon’s wealth, which surpasses hers greatly.
God has indeed given Solomon great wisdom, great wealth, and great fame. Not just great, but without equal in his time.
• That was what God said to Solomon in 3:12 “…I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” (That’s what he asked for)
• 3:13 “I will give you… riches and honour, so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings…” (That’s what he did not ask for).
The Queen could now testify to this – she saw with her own eyes Solomon’s wisdom, wealth and honour. The author too wanted to affirm this.
• In the following passage, he talks about Solomon’s splendour – the revenues he receive from merchants, traders, kings and governors of the land.
• He shared his observations of the amount of gold he has – in the making of shields, the throne, goblets and all the household articles. ‘Gold’ was mentioned 9 times.
The author added this comment in 10:21 - nothing was made of silver because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days. 10:27 - Solomon made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones.
• He testified in 10:23-25 “23King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 25Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift - articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.”
• This incompatibility in his wisdom, wealth and honour is the promise of God.
• What we are seeing in chapter 10 is the fulfilment of what God said in chapter 3.
They are the favours of God! They are the blessings of God. They are gifts, freely given, and not demanded.
• Solomon asked for wisdom and God was pleased.
• He did not ask for something for himself, but for the need of the Kingdom – the wisdom to lead God’s people Israel.
• God gave it to him. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
• This is what we can ask for – the wisdom and the abilities to do the work of God and to do it well.
Solomon did not ask for anything else. Not wealth. Not honour. These are God’s favours.
• Today many want these blessings but they don’t see them as God’s favours; they see them as their entitlements.
• But ask Solomon. He will tell you he did not ask after these. They were blessings freely given to him by God’s grace.
• And he did not ask for what HE WANTS, for his own pleasure and comfort, but for the NEED he saw in doing the work God has entrusted him.
Think for a moment. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught to seek for riches, fame, status or worldly success.
• Wisdom, yes. Clearly we can pray for wisdom. We can pray for healing (cf. James 5:14). But not what this world can offer us.
Instead, we have warnings against seeking after riches.
• 1 Tim 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
• Heb 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have…”
What about seeking after fame and glory?
• James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
• Isaiah 66:2 “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my Word.”
• Phil 2 - Jesus humbled Himself and the Father “exalted Him to the highest place” (2:9).