Summary: Wise believers impress and attract wisdom seekers to the God of the Bible.
You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby
(I Kings 10: 1-13)
1. FRANKFORT, Ky. -
Pamela Anderson is leading a charge to remove a bust of KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders from the state Capitol.
The actress called the Kentucky native’s likeness "a monument to cruelty" to chickens in a statement issued by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal rights group.
The statement did little to ruffle feathers in Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s office.
"Colonel Sanders was one of Kentucky’s most distinguished citizens, a great entrepreneur and a fine charitable man of faith, and he certainly has a place in Kentucky history. We believe he warrants appropriate recognition as such," Fletcher spokeswoman Jodi Whitaker said.
Anderson has been involved in a campaign to raise awareness of conditions in processing plants that supply poultry to the Louisville-based chicken chain.
In a letter to Fletcher, Anderson detailed alleged abuses of chickens by KFC suppliers. Among her claims, she said workers in a slaughterhouse in West Virginia have been filmed tearing the heads off live birds, spitting tobacco in their eyes, spray-painting their faces and slamming them on the ground.
KFC spokeswoman Laurie Schalow called the move to oust the colonel "just another misguided publicity stunt by PETA in their attempt to create a vegan society."
2. I think most of us agree that cruelty to animals should be addressed; but sometimes what people present as THE issue really isn’t…. Pamela Anderson would probably still oppose eating chicken, even IF the animals were treated humanely.
3. But sometimes people go through a lot of trouble because they are sincere. Such is the case with the famous Queen of Sheba.
4. All we know about her is what the Bible says…probably South Arabia/Ethiopia, but no archaeological help… yet.
5. Yet we know that she came to hear Solomon’s wisdom, and she came with a sincere heart.
6. The visit by the Queen of Sheba shows us that one day the kings and queens of the earth will recognize the God of Israel; in a sense, the Queen is a sort of first fruits.
7. Isaiah 60:3-7 perhaps helps to interpret the import of the Queen’s visit:
"Nations will come to your light, ?and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
…your sons come from afar… the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. ?And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD… they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple."
8. When Jesus returns, He will impress the nations. Before Jesus came, Solomon’s temple impressed people; since He has come, we are the ones who must impress others.
Main Idea: Wise believers impress and attract wisdom seekers to the God of the Bible.
I. The Queen VISITS
A. What She Saw and EXPERIENCED (1-5)
1. She came from South Arabia: Yemen/Ethiopia
2. Her stated motive: to see if what she had heard was true (1)
3. She brought gold, precious stones, but, most value of all, spices (2)
• Most cultures place a high value on spices and seasonings; if you think about it, it was the quest for a short cut to the spice-producing nations that resulting in Columbus discovering America.
4. She tested Solomon with hard questions and typical Middle-Eastern riddles (1, 3)
1. Many legends about the Queen of Sheba. One of them is this one:
2. "…the Queen of Sheba that she sent two wreaths of roses to Solomon, one real and the other artificial. To test his reputed wisdom she defied him to detect the genuine from the artificial. Solomon at once directed that some bees be brought into the room. Immediately they flew to the real flowers and ignored the counterfeit." (Pulpit Helps)
• The queen came to test Solomon with hard questions.
"She spoke with him about all that was in her heart,
and there was nothing that Solomon could not explain.
She came with a great retinue that was designed to
impress, but she was the one who was amazed at the
wealth and wisdom of Solomon.
They exchanged gifts, but it appears that Solomon
gave even more to the queen than he received from her." Karl Hennecke
B. Her RESPONSE (6-13)
1. The word "overwhelmed" literally means, "without spirit, " or "breathless/speechless" (5b)
2. She recognized Solomon’s wisdom and accomplishments, but, more importantly, His God (6-10)
3. Her gifts to Solomon (10)
4. Trade agreements (11-12)
5. Solomon’s gifts to her (13)
6. I personally think that these exchanges of gifts implied a marriage….but it is not stated…
C. The LEGEND of Solomon and Sheba