Summary: The Queen of Sheba Reveals How Blest We Are 1) We have wisdom. 2) We have sustenance. 3) We have purpose.
Kids, did you have any friends over during your Christmas break? One thing I always enjoyed about having friends over was that they helped me appreciate again the toys that I had. Even though my toys may have seemed old to me, they were new to my friends and so they played with them with great enthusiasm. And for a while at least that made me enthusiastic about toys I hadn’t played with in a while.
Visitors have a way of getting us to appreciate the things that we have, don’t they? In our text today the Queen of Sheba traveled hundreds of kilometers to visit King Solomon. Her amazement at Solomon’s wisdom and riches should not only have helped Solomon’s subjects see just how blest they were, her visit reveals just how blessed we are. Let’s find out how.
Like the Wise Men who came to visit baby Jesus, we don’t really know too much about the Queen of Sheba. We don’t even really know where Sheba is. Some suggest that this was another name for Egypt while others say Sheba was farther away in the Arabian peninsula in what is today Yemen. What brought the Queen to Jerusalem were the reports about Solomon. She heard that he was rich and wise but that’s not all. Our text states: “When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions” (1 Kings 10:1). Somehow the Queen knew that Solomon’s success was due to his connection to the God of Israel. And so she came to see for herself the blessings that Solomon enjoyed.
The Queen arrived with great pomp and much wealth. Her camels were laden with gold and spices for Solomon. When she met with the king, she plied Solomon with difficult questions which, according to the original text, were really riddles. Of course Solomon had no problem answering any of these, impressing the Queen who exclaimed: “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 7 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. 8 How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!” (1 Kings 10:6-8)
Indeed, what a privilege it must have been to be one of Solomon’s servants to get to listen to the wisest man in the world day in and day out. But just as roadies today must get tired of hearing a great artist perform day after day in concert, I’m sure Solomon’s servants got used to his wisdom and didn’t think very much of it after a while. If so, the Queen’s enthusiasm should have revealed once again just how blessed they were.
The Queen’s enthusiasm for Solomon also reveals just how blest we are, for Jesus once 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 one greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:42). We might not get to listen to Solomon’s wisdom every day but we are privileged to hear Jesus’ wisdom whenever we read our Bibles. And Jesus offers greater wisdom because although his words might not make you rich, famous, and as smart as Solomon, they do make you wise for eternal salvation. In Jesus you have the key to the mansions of heaven!
But if the Queen of Sheba were to visit us today, would she see people who value the wisdom that Jesus gives? Would she witness people who are eager to hear God’s Word or would she instead be left with an impression that we think coming to church is drudgery? Look alive, fellow worshippers, what you learn and are reminded of here today about your sin and your savior is more beneficial than winning the lottery. A million bucks might give you some kicks for a few years or so but what happens when it’s gone? Through faith in Jesus you have been promised a wonderful life in heaven that will never end. Cherish this wisdom that is yours!
When we truly appreciate the wisdom we have in Christ it will show in our worship habits. Not surprisingly the Queen of Sheba was impressed by Solomon’s worship practices. Are visitors similarly impressed with our worship here? Of course we don’t have the fantastic temple Solomon did but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive for excellence in everything else we do connected to worship. For example when we clean the church we shouldn’t just do enough to get by. This is the Lord’s house where God’s people come to worship. Nor should be we content to groggily croak out the hymns or fidget through the sermon as if these are things to endure before we can get on with life. What goes on here makes your life richer, for Jesus once said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b). Through Jesus we have been given wisdom to see that this world is dying and decaying, like a tent with rips in it pitched on rocky ground. That’s not a place you want to spend your life, is it? No, you dream of getting home to a hot shower and a comfortable bed. Thanks to Jesus that’s what we have to look forward to in heaven – going home. And what goes on here in worship keeps our nose pointed in the right direction so that we don’t stray off the path and miss out on heaven’s glories.