By Jennifer Heeren, Crosswalk.com
The root of the story of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon began in 1 Kings 3:5-15, where the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he wanted. Solomon first thanked the Lord for being so faithful to his father, David. Solomon also thanked Him for making him the next king after his father. Then he humbly admitted that he was only a child who doesn’t know much about leading a nation. So, Solomon asked the Lord for an understanding and discerning heart so that he could govern the people well. The Lord was pleased with this request for wisdom and gave Solomon what he had asked for. But He also gave him the things he hadn’t asked for: riches and fame. And if Solomon continued to follow and obey the Lord’s commands, He would also give him a long life.
Therefore, King Solomon began his rule of Jerusalem with great wisdom, as well as fame and fortune. This attracted the attention of rulers throughout the world.
What Is the Story of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon?
In 1 Kings 10, we see that the Queen of Sheba heard of King Solomon’s fame. She came to see it for herself, but she also came to test Solomon with hard questions. She arrived in a huge caravan with many attendants and many riches. She talked with Solomon about every topic she had on her mind. Solomon had answers that appeased all her questions. The Queen was overwhelmed with his wisdom, his palace, the food she had there, the way his officials were organized, the clothing, and even his servants. Solomon’s entire entourage was something to behold. The Queen of Sheba also noticed the burnt offerings that were made at the Temple of the Lord.
The Queen of Sheba had heard much about King Solomon’s reputation, and when she saw it for herself, she realized that his wisdom and prosperity were even greater than the stories she had heard and her own imagination. She surmised that the people of his kingdom seemed to be very happy, and his officials and servants seemed to be respectful of his wisdom. Then the Queen of Sheba even praised Solomon’s Lord and God. She realized that there must be a great God behind a country that is ruled with such justice and righteousness.
In appreciation for all she had seen and learned, the Queen gave Solomon gold, spices, and jewels, as well as called for more ships to bring red sandalwood to be used to enhance Solomon’s palace. In return, Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba many gifts and treasures for her to take back to her country. The Bible says that he gave her all she desired and asked for. 2 Chronicles 9 has the same account of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon meeting with a slight addition. It says that King Solomon gave her gifts of greater value than the ones she gave him.
There is a tradition among Jewish people living in Ethiopia that Solomon and the Queen of Sheba had a son together. This son is said to have lived with his father until the age of eighteen and in his mother’s land after that. Some people also think that Solomon gave his son a replica of the Ark of the Covenant as a gift. This part of the story is a tradition, so we do not know if it is true or not.
3 Things We Can Learn from the Queen of Sheba and Solomon
Pray for God’s Wisdom for Your Life. It is good to pray for wisdom and discernment from God. He is very pleased with this prayer. He wants us to lay down our thinking and our ways and learn as much as we can about His ideas. After all, He is the Creator of the earth and the universe. He knit His creation together with a plan and a purpose. And we are a part of that purpose. We should strive to live under His design for our lives.
Watch Out for Jealousy and Comparison. The Queen of Sheba’s initial plan included testing Solomon. She must have been skeptical that Solomon could really be as great as he seemed to be. If we gain any amount of fame, fortune, or any blessing at all, there will be people that don’t believe we deserve it. Humans are tempted toward jealousy because of our temptation to compare ourselves with others. You nip jealousy in the bud when you refuse to compare your lot in life with another’s.
Look for the Source of Great Things. When she saw that Solomon’s wisdom was a fact that enabled his kingdom to run extremely well, the Queen of Sheba was not only impressed but she also gave glory and praise to Solomon’s God. She must have sensed that such greatness must come from something higher than a mere human. After all, whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens and He never changes (James 1:17).
How Can We Apply These Lessons to Our Lives?
1. Pray for wisdom from God. Pray this every day because new situations and circumstances call for new discernment. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking (James 1:5 NLT).
2. Read some of the Bible each day and pray for God to show you new wisdom to apply to your life. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT).
3. When a good blessing comes into your life, be aware that jealous people may want to take it away from you. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind (James 3:16 NLT). Pray for their hearts to soften and change like the Queen of Sheba’s did.
4. Look for the Giver of blessings above the blessings themselves. Also, make spiritual blessings more important in your mind than physical blessings. Thank God for all your blessings. Follow the words in this old hymn: Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
We should be thankful for all blessings but hold the spiritual blessings of Christ even more dear.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure (Ephesians 1:3-5 NLT).
Physical blessings will pass away after we take our last breath, but spiritual blessings will go on and on for all eternity.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Yevhenii Strebkov
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on Amazon. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at her website and/or on Facebook.