126 - The Queen of Sheba Visits King Solomon
May 6 - Nº 126 1 Kings 9:1 – 10:25; 2 Chronicles 7:11-22; 9:1-24
Once the Temple was dedicated and the celebrations ended, the Israelites returned home. Everyone was filled with joy because of all the good things God had done for their nation. Over the next 13 years, Solomon built a magnificent palace for himself. In addition, he built several more cities to house the wealth he accumulated. Israel had never experienced such abundance until the reign of Solomon. The Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s wisdom, his wealth, and his relationship with God. She couldn’t believe that everything she heard was true, so she decided to see for herself. The queen arrived in Jerusalem with a caravan of camels carrying gifts. She also brought a list of difficult questions. Solomon welcomed her and showed her around. He also answered every one of her questions. She was amazed by his wealth—as well as his wisdom. Everything from the food he ate to the way his servants dressed impressed her. She said, “Everything I heard about you is true, but I didn’t believe it until I saw it for myself. And what I heard isn’t even half of what is really true!” Then the Queen of Sheba praised God for blessing Israel with such a wise and righteous king. Before she left, she and Solomon exchanged gifts. In addition to large amounts of gold and precious stones, the queen presented more spices than had ever been seen in Israel before. In return, King Solomon gave her anything she wanted. Solomon had a fleet of trading ships that returned every three years to bring him gold, silver, and ivory (in addition to apes and baboons). Every year he received more than 25 tons of gold. This didn’t include what came in from traders and merchants. With the gold he accumulated, the king made 200 large shields and covered each one with 15 pounds of gold. In addition, he made 300 smaller golden shields. He placed these in a palace he built for himself in the Forest of Lebanon. He also covered all the household items in this palace with gold, including his drinking cups and his dishes. (He didn’t use silver because it wasn’t considered valuable enough!) The throne King Solomon sat on was covered with ivory and overlaid with gold. It had six steps leading up to it, and on both sides of each step was a golden lion. Two more lions stood by each armrest. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other king. Year after year, people from all over the world came to visit him as he sat on his throne. They wanted to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart. Everyone who visited brought gifts, so Solomon’s wealth continued to increase. After Solomon achieved all he desired, God appeared to him again. Once again, He warned the king to remain faithful. He cautioned Solomon to obey all His commandments if he wanted these great blessings to continue. Unfortunately, Solomon was beginning to focus on the things that he owned, rather than on the God who had given them to him.
Is there something in your life that keeps you from focusing on God? It could be a person, a possession, or a place that captures your time and your heart. No matter how good something may seem, if it is not drawing you closer to God, it is leading you further away from Him.