by Stephanie Strom
‘For King Solomon gave to her all that she desired,
whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of the King.’
(I Kings 10:6-7)
The queen arose early in the morning and stood to look out the window. Her servants were bustling around the palace making their final preparations. Today was the day. She called for her maidens to make herself ready and took the palace steps where the caravan was awaiting her. Wagons were loaded with the finest her kingdom of Sheba had to offer; spices, precious stones and gold filled to the brim. Fine fabrics and silk ropes draped the train of camels.
The journey to Jerusalem was lengthy, but she would need every minute to organize her thoughts. She had been preparing her heart for this long-awaited meeting and was determined to be bold in conversation. She was armed with impossible and intellectual questions and she would present them with upmost care and royal refinement.
For you see, she had heard fables and rumors of both the king and his peculiar people all of her life. Their stories boasted of the supernatural hand of the one they claimed to be the Sovereign God. She had her choice of gods perched in their temples, each one promising protection and blessing for her worship. But, they never satisfied her longing. Her heart demanded more, a greater Truth. Now, Israel had been exalted to her highest prosperity of all by the rule of a king who seemed as mysteriously wise and untouchable as his God.
No one could answer her heart on the issues of this unseen God. With her list of questions and intrigue a mile long, she had to know for herself. She knew He alone had the answers of her tormented spirit. This journey would settle it once and for all. Oh, how she wished desperately for the stories to be true; the miraculous exodus from Egypt, the Red Sea escape, the countless victories and provisions in the wilderness. And above all, she had to know if the rumor of the king himself was true:
‘King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom,
which God put in his mind.’
I Kings 10:23
As the caravan approached, the palace and the temple filled her view. They were magnificent, something from a dream. When she stepped out of her litter, she took a breath. No turning back now.
In the presence of the king, she poured out her heart, leaving nothing unsaid or unasked. When she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. She was courageous and bold in her requests and quandaries. And, to her surprise and awe, he answered her everything in totality, completion… all! He answered all her questions. He took her breath away! vs. 2-5
She said to the king:
‘The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard.’ I Kings 10:6-7
In pondering this story, I wonder what we forfeit because we do not inquire of the Lord. I wonder what blessings, insights, and wisdom lay in wait if we would only sit at His feet and partake in the sweet communion of intimate conversation. Our part in this is simple: Just come.
‘For King Solomon gave to her all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of the King.’ I Kings 10:6-7
Do you have troubles on your mind? Is your soul weary today? Are you in the midst of a trial that is proving difficult to navigate? Do you have questions about the Lord or about His Word? Do you simply need to be refreshed?
Perhaps, the answer to those questions is yes. Even so, something within us may give us pause. Is there a sense of hesitation? The Queen of Sheba may have felt the same way. Perhaps that was what kept her from going to Jerusalem earlier than she had. What if? What if her expectations fell short? What if the stories of the king were false, or at least, over indulged?
Do we hesitate to come to the king for fear He may disappoint us? Let us down? Leave us lacking in some way? Take hope! The greater than Solomon is here! Jesus, who abides with us and we in Him!
We believe in Him, but… we must also believe Him!
The Queen of Sheba came to the king with an honest heart, seeking truth and confirmation. She came and simply sat at his feet in wonder and drank in his presence and his words. She pressed him with difficult questions. And the king held nothing back from her. He lavished upon her more than she could ever give to him. She returned home satisfied, and full… and blessed. No trouble on her heart was left untied. The King settled her completely.
Oh, can you hear the heart of our King in this story?
Can you hear the wooing of His voice to come and be soul-satisfied?
Take the challenge of the Queen of Sheba and put it all on the line. Go ahead! By faith, go! Approach the throne of grace boldly and present him with a heart that is open and honest. And watch Him smile at your coming, sing over you with grace, settle your doubts, blow away your fear, and fill you to overflowing! Just as the Queen of Sheba came to understand,
He will not disappoint you!
(1Kings 10, Matthew 12:42)