Lord God, through struggles overcome and blessings received, I make this day a gift of gratitude and hope to You.
Read 2 Chronicles 9:1-12
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The power of God is made available to us in order that we might live purposefully down here in the normal circumstances of life” (Stuart Briscoe).
Solomon’s partnerships with Hiram of Tyre gave him access to the Mediterranean trade routes. Now with a port on the Gulf of Aqaba (8:17) and Phoenician ships and sailors he can trade in South Arabia and East Africa. Sheba (probably Yemen) had a flourishing trade in luxury goods between Africa and India. So this state visit from the queen was undoubtedly motivated by more than romantic or intellectual curiosity about Solomon’s reputation. The scale of gifts would seem to indicate a trade mission to sound out Solomon and come to an agreement with him.
Solomon asked for wisdom and his wisdom has been tested and probed by an experienced head of state. She looked critically at how he ran his administration, how he explained his policy and how he negotiated with her (3,4). She assessed the stability of Solomon’s Israel, with loyal and contented officials and justice for its citizens (7,8). She was impressed at how thoroughly the worship at the temple was built into the life of the court (3). It sounds as if she heard testimony from Solomon and others attributing their success to the love and care of the God of Israel and his support for Solomon as king (8). When Solomon chose to ask for wisdom, God promised he would have wisdom and wealth and honor. This queen heaps honor on him but the honor also redounds as praise to Israel’s God.
Solomon realized that ruling could be an overwhelming task (1:10), but God had given him this responsibility and would also give him the ability to carry it out. Sometimes God’s calls on us can seem overwhelming but we can rest assured that God will give us all we need to fulfill our responsibilities. Then, like the Queen of Sheba was, others will be amazed at what they see.
Good times can be a witness to God’s faithfulness and love, but hard times come to believers, too. How can you be an effective witness in both situations?
Lord, You are the God of the ups and downs of life. Help me trust You at all times and in all circumstances.
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