NOT EVEN HALF WAS TOLD ME
Lord, give me eyes to see Your splendor and glory.
Read 1 KINGS 10:1–13,23–25
The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
10 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. 2 Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.
6 She said to the king, “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 people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”
10 And she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood and precious stones. 12 The king used the almugwood to make supports for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.
23 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24 The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 25 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect on the remark Jesus issues in Luke 11:31.
The visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon has fascinated people throughout the world and has given rise to many legends. This account contains stunning proof of the extent of Solomon’s reputation for wisdom. However, the writer makes it very clear that it is God who is responsible for all this wisdom. The glory of Solomon exists to highlight the greater glory of the God of Israel. Ultimately, Solomon should point us to the one who actually is “greater than Solomon” (cf. Matt. 12:42; Luke 11:31).
The queen recognizes that Solomon’s list of impressive assets comes from God and is an expression of his love for Israel. She also notes the extensive happiness to be found at his court, from his officials to his servants. She brings and receives gifts. She is blessed by being in his presence and brings blessings to him. We are unable to see the splendor of Solomon, and we are not wealthy queens from afar bringing abundant spices, but we do appreciate the splendor of our Savior. We see the extent of his love towards us during his earthly life, death and resurrection, but “no eye has seen, no ear has heard” all that God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2:9). Christ has become for us wisdom and righteousness. For us, there is the question of how we respond to such a wonderful Savior and what offerings we bring him to show him that we love him.
For the Jews of Jesus’ time, this was the challenge that he threw out to them: if a pagan queen could journey from afar to see the splendor of Solomon and a greater than Solomon is standing among them, what excuse could they offer on the day of judgment for rejecting him? How about us? Do we know him as our Savior, so that we are ready to meet him as our judge?
Meditate on the splendor of our Savior.
Lord, thank You for preparing a place of glory and splendor far beyond Solomon’s Jerusalem for those of us who served You during our short sojourn here on earth.
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