Morning Light – November 20th, 2015

MLx250Today: [2 Chronicles Nine] Solomon and Sheba. The story of Solomon and Sheba is a demonstration of the goodness of God and the power of the wisdom of God. The queen of Sheba travelled a great distance and lays millions of dollars worth of gold at the kings feet. Solomon demonstrates for her the depth of wisdom that were the gift of God in his own life. This is a picture for us of the wisdom of God in our own lives. Jesus told the Pharisees that his wisdom was of a greater than Solomon’s. Souls are not won by railing upon others or shrilly denouncing them. Souls are won by opening our lives and demonstrating the wisdom of God and the goodness of God that we ourselves have experienced.

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[2Ch 9:1-31 KJV] 1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. 2 And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not. 3 And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, 4 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. 5 And she said to the king, [It was] a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: 6 Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen [it]: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: [for] thou exceedest the fame that I heard. 7 Happy [are] thy men, and happy [are] these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. 8 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, [to be] king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice. 9 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon.

In this chapter a queen by the name of Sheba travels to Israel on a trade mission to meeting king Solomon. Her kingdom was located in what is now the nation of Yemen in southern Arabia. We also know from ancient history that this was a land rich in resources and also known to have queens as well as kings therefore archeology hints at the probable existence of this particular queen. This distance that the queen travelled with her trade delegation was over 1500 miles – a rare feat in ancient times. She came to test Solomon with questions therefore his wisdom apparently was internationally known for her to know of this from such a distant kingdom as her own. What kind of questions might Sheba have asked? Most likely her inquiries were not mere riddles but diplomatic and ethical questions that dealt with issues in her own kingdom. We can also aduce from this that the queen was a highly educated woman to be able to challenge the wisdom of Solomon with her inquiries.

When the queen see not only the wisdom of Solomon but the opulence of his kingdom she was overwhelmed. Without doubt she was a woman luxury and great wealth in her own right but she was unprepared for the massive wealth of the kingdom of Solomon. She observes that for all the rumours she had heard of Solomon they were far from exageration in fact they didn’t tell half the story of his splendor. We may not know what her religion was but seeing the blessings that Solomon lived under she didn’t attribute them to him as a man but made the automatic connection that it had to be God Himself responsible for the wisdom of Solomon and the wealth and privilege that he enjoyed.

This is the example of what God intends when the ungodly see what is taking place in our lives. Jesus is a type of David therefore Solomon is a type of the church that comes after Jesus (our David). Rom. 2:4,5 says that the goodness of God leads to repentance. Solomon did not send messengers to Sheba in her distant land to tell her how poor she was. Rather he simply allowed her to come into proximity to his own life and see how good God had been to him. The goodness of God to Solomon is a reflection of the goodness of God intended for us in Christ. We are not intended to be portrayed as fanatical spiritual vagabonds shrilly denouncing all around us.

Solomon himself wrote in Prov. 11:30 that he that winneth souls is wise. Railing upon people that don’t measure up to your own opinions of right and wrong is a sin. God has not called us to revile sinners but to love them. 1 Cor. 6:9-10 ranks revilers with adulterers and others who will not inherit the kingdom of God. In our day with the prevlence of social media one of the favorite past times of Christians is to rail or flame on anyone they don’t agree with. This was not Solomon’s approach. To rail or flame against sinners has nothing to do with bringing them to repentence. If we want to see souls saved and lives changed we simply demonstrate to others the goodness of God in our own lives as Solomon did the queen of Sheba.

10 And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. 11 And the king made [of] the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king’s palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah. 12 And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside [that] which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants. 13 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold; 14 Beside [that which] chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15 And king Solomon made two hundred targets [of] beaten gold: six hundred [shekels] of beaten gold went to one target. 16 And three hundred shields [made he of] beaten gold: three hundred [shekels] of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 17 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. 18 And [there were] six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, [which were] fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays: 19 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom.

In this chapter we also see the queen of Sheba and Hiram of Tyre bringing gold to Solomon. The total amount of gold brought by these two monarchs as a gift to Solomon was over 500 million dollars by some estimates. There is much talk of the transfer of the wealth today. Books have been written and many teachings brought forward. The wisdom of Solomon and the sublimnity of his reign is what provoked the kings of the earth to gift him of their bounty. Remember that the wisdom of Solomon was a gift from God himself to young Solomon when he was a boy. For us 1 Cor. 1:30 tells us that God made Jesus to be our wisdom. If we will simply learn to listen to His voice we will have a wisdom demonstrated in our lives that is greater than Solomon’s. If the world bowed in deference to the wisdom of Solomon how much moreso do you think the wisdom of God might be demonstrated in our own lives?

20 And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon [were of] gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon [were of] pure gold: none [were of] silver; it was [not] any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon. 21 For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. 22 And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. 24 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. 25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. 26 And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. 27 And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that [are] in the low plains in abundance. 28 And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands. 29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, [are] they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 30 And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

In Matt. 12:42 Jesus compared the queen of Sheba to the person seeking after God. She came at great distance at great sacrifice to lay gifts at Solomon’s feet and hear his wisdom. Jesus told the Pharisees that a greater than Solomon was in their midst yet they couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. The queen of Sheba did not come to Solomon to be affirmed in her own knowledge and lifestyle choices. She was earnestly seeking and willingly received what Solomon had to say. The chapter tells us that Solomon gave her of all that she desired. Other sources tell us that Solomon fathered a child with her and sent the ark of the Covenant away with her for safekeeping. In Ethiopia there is a compound protected by machine gun wielding soldiers that is believed to hold the ark of the covenant from Solomon’s day.

We also see in the chapter that Solomon’s yearly revenue was 666 talents of gold. This makes him the only other person in the bible connected with the number 666. The anti-christ when he appears will be the anti-thesis of Solomon. He will have answers. He will be a man of wealth. People will go to great lengths to connect with him and learn at his feet. He will be solicitous of others and open his kingdom or realm to them only to bring them to perdition. For us it will take great discernment not to be taken in by this corrupt anti-version of Solomon in the last days.

Eventually Solomon dies and his wisdom dies with him. He did not live a particularly long life – dying by some estimates in his mid-fifties. God had promised him long life if he obeyed the statutes of Moses and adhered to the law of God which we know Solomon flaunted greatly. The story of Solomon becomes then for us a cautionary tale of great blessing but great misfortune as well. We never want to allow the riches of Christ and the blessing of God and the mercies of God to provoke us to lifestyle choices that not only cost us dearly but those who come after us. We see that Rehoboam reigns in Solomon’s place. For all of his father Solomon’s wisdom Rehoboam has a reputation of being one of the most foolish kings of Judah. Thus the line of kings is broken over an undivided Isreal and the glory of Solomon begins to inexorably fade under the rule of lesser men.

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