Do you seek wisdom or are you content with what you already know? Do you desire to grow and to learn more about God? How far would you go to grow?
In today’s episode of All God’s Women we look at the Queen of Sheba, a woman who traveled thousands of miles to find answers to her most pressing questions about life and God.
I’ve always been fascinated by the story of the Queen of Sheba. Here’s is this glamorous woman, queen of her land, who comes in search of wisdom from the wisest man who ever lived.
We meet the unnamed queen in 1 Kings chapter 10 as well as 2 Chronicles chapter 9.
Here was a female ruler of the country of Sheba in Arabia. She kept hearing about King Solomon and how his God had granted him extraordinary wisdom and wealth, and she wanted to find out for herself if the reports she’d heard were true.
The queen arranged for a giant caravan of camels bearing extravagant gifts of gold, precious stones, and spices and made the dangerous 1,200 mile trek through the desert in order to personally meet with Solomon.
She had much on her heart concerning this God of his and showered him with thought provoking questions. But whatever she asked, he had answers.
While she was in Jerusalem, she also observed the way Solomon ran his palace and his country. The Bible tells us that she made note of the way his house was constructed, what foods he ate, how his servants performed their jobs, and even what the servants wore. She scrutinized his cupbearers and the entryway to the house of the Lord.
And when she had studied everything there was to study, she shared with Solomon what she’d observed.
She told him that all the reports were true, but what she’d heard didn’t begin to cover it. His wisdom and wealth far exceeded anything anyone had said.
“Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”
Before she left to return to her country she presented the king with 9,000 pounds of gold and a massive supply of spices and precious jewels. These she had brought with her on her camel caravan. We’re also told that the ships of Hiram also brought a great cargo of almug trees and more precious stones and that Solomon used the almugwood to make supports for the temple and for the palace and to make harps and lyres for musicians.
In return, King Solomon gave the queen everything she desired and asked for in addition to what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and retuned to her own country.
It’s easy to get caught up in the extravagant gifts the king and queen exchanged. Who wouldn’t be impressed with that much gold?
But it’s the excessive bounty that points out the root of the queen’s problem. Here she was, a woman holding the highest position possible, blessed with unfathomable riches, and yet, it wasn’t enough. Something was missing from her life. She wasn’t sure what it was, but perhaps King Solomon had the answer.
The queen could have basked in her luxury. She could have obsessed over gaining more and more power and money. Instead, she dared to journey long months through desert lands, in search of the true meaning of life. None of the wealth or prestige mattered unless she found what she was seeking.
The Queen of Sheba was already wise. She posed challenging questions to King Solomon. She listened when he talked. She observed all that he did. And she acknowledged that it all came back to his Lord.
It’s interesting that she pointed out that Solomon’s God delighted in him and loved Israel. Old Testament followers didn’t always realize that side of God. They saw Him as a powerful judge to be feared and obeyed. But to see Him as a God of love shows an understanding of His character that was often missed.
We’re not told whether or not the Queen of Sheba became a believer, but I like to thing she did. She went to great lengths to search for God. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us if we seek God we will find him when we seek him with our heart. The queen sought God, so I trust that she found Him. Some scholars point out the wise men from the East may likely have come from the Sheba area. Perhaps the queen planted the seed of interest that led to them seeking the savior.
The Queen of Sheba is one of only a few Old Testament women mentioned by Jesus. In one of his sermons, in response to scribes and pharisees looking for a sign, He said, “The queen of the south (referring to the Queen of Sheba) shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”
How about you? Are you seeking God? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to find Him? Or are you too focused on what the world has to offer to realize that all the fame or wealth or power in the world can’t fill the hole we have inside of us, the hole that only God can fill.
It’s so easy to get caught up in our worldly possessions and forget that it’s all temporal. It can be gone in the blink of an eye. But godly wisdom, it’s what will see us through eternity. Let us seek for wisdom. And where do we seek? The word of God.
I challenge you to get out your Bible and to study in depth. Start with the Queen of Sheba. Take rabbit trails as you delve into people and places. Seek to find why God included each and every thing that’s in the Bible. Why is it there? What does it teach us about God? How does it apply to us? What is God saying to us?
If you’re new to Bible study, let me teach you a fun little trick to get more out of your Bible reading. It’s called the SOAP method. S is for Scripture. O is Observation. A is Application. And P is Prayer. As you read scripture, observe all that it is saying. Do research if you need to figure out what is going on on. Then apply it. What is it saying to you? And, of course, pray. Ask God to teach you, to make it clear what He’s trying to tell you, to open your eyes to see and your ears to hear.
Lord God, may we be like the Queen of Sheba always seeking wisdom and truth. May we fully grasp as she did how much you love us and delight in us. Forgive us those times we lose focus and seek after worldly pleasures rather than eternal matters. Lord, give us wisdom and direction so that we might make wise choices. Thank you for providing wisdom and love and always being their when we need you. In Christ’s name. Amen.
That concludes this week’s episode of All God’s Women. Tune in next week when we study Jezebel, the very epitome of evil.
Speaking of next week, I’m moving the release day to Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays. This way it will give you a little midweek pick me up. So tune in next Wednesday, October 7, for the Jezebel episode. I’ve got to tell you, that was one vile woman, and the episode is jam packed with story and commentary.
Before we go, did you see last week on our social media all the kind words from listeners? I loved hearing what women had to say about All God’s Women. I’d love to hear what you have to say as well. Can you take a moment and let me know what it is that you like about the podcast? What draws you to it each week? What’s been your favorite episode? What have you learned? How has your life been enhanced by All God’s Women? Most podcast platforms have a way to leave a rating and a review and they help attract new listeners who are unsure what to expect. You can also comment directly on the podcast website or social media posts.
1 Kings 10
2 Chronicles 9
Bible Study Review
- How far was Sheba from Jerusalem?
- What did the queen bring as gifts to Solomon?
- Why did the queen come to see King Solomon?
Thoughts to Ponder
- How did a pagan woman recognize God’s impact on Israel?
- Do you think the queen became a believer?
- Why did Jesus mention the queen?
- Are you seeking wisdom and spiritual direction?
- Where do you turn for wisdom?
- Do you recognize the work of God when you see it?
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