When God blessed Abram, He blessed the world, "And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3).
It is through the nation of Israel that God gives the promises regarding the coming Redeemer and the pictures of sacrifice that interpret His redemption of humanity. Israel's story is the world's story; therefore, when people hear who God is for Israel, some respond in faith. They must experience it for themselves. Just as the news of the Living God of Israel captured Rahab's heart when she heard of His exploits on Israel's behalf, so the news of Israel's God captures the attention of the Queen of Sheba, and she travels a great distance to hear more.
The queen's visit occurs after God gifts Solomon with unparalleled wisdom and Solomon completes the building of the temple, and before Solomon takes multiple wives, builds worship centers for their gods, and worships their gods. She cannot contain herself when she hears of Solomon's wisdom; she must know of it firsthand, "Now when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions . . . . So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her" (1 Kings 10:1, 3). She responds enthusiastically to his answers, "Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom. Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness" (10:8-9).
The Queen of Sheba's response to hearing about God's name and His fame reveals a number of truths about God and His wisdom:
People must hear about the Living God before they can believe in Him, "So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17).
People without God's wisdom are often aware of the deficiency of the world's wisdom to resolve life's issues. Exposure to God's wisdom sets them on the quest to have it for themselves.
Proclamation of the message without upright living by the messenger creates dissonance.
Questions from today's chronological Bible reading (2 Chronicles 1:14-17; 8:1-9:28; 1 Kings 9:15-10:29)
What role do the annual feasts play in the early days of Solomon's reign? What does this reveal about Solomon's leadership during the early days of his reign?
How does Solomon consolidate the nation of Israel during the early days of his reign?
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