She was impressed by his wealth. But she was blown away by his wisdom. And it would seem, at least to some measure, it showed her the Way.
This morning, I’m hovering over the meeting of two heads of states as recorded in 2 Chronicles 9 — the queen of Sheba and Solomon, the king of Israel.
Along with an impressive caravan, the queen has arrived in Israel on a fact finding mission. She had heard of Solomon’s fame and came to see for herself. Perhaps a little more accurately, she came to hear for herself. She wanted to know if the stories she had heard about Solomon’s words and wisdom were true. So, “she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions.” She told him all that was on her mind and peppered him with questions. And Solomon aced the test, “Solomon answered all her questions” (9:1-2).
And 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, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard.”
(2Chronicles 9:5-6 ESV)
But it’s what she goes on to say that has me thinking.
Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on His throne as king for the LORD your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, He has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.”
(2Chronicles 9:8 ESV)
She looks past the wealth because she’s interested in the wisdom. But then her encounter with wisdom brings into clearer view the Source of wisdom. Solomon’s wondrous works and Solomon’s cognitive capacity serve to reveal something of Solomon’s great God.
Isn’t that how it should work even for us non-Solomon types? I’m thinkin’ . . .
Whatever material goods we possess, whatever mental proficiency we might demonstrate, at some point it should direct others to the King we represent. Those who encounter us in our world should be able to look over our shoulder, past our accomplishments and abilities, and see something of our Savior.
The mission of God’s people has always been to make God known by who we are.
That goes for all His people. True of ancient Israel, delivered from Egyptian slavery, true of His present people, the church, who have been delivered from sin’s bondage. True of the wealthy, true of the not so wealthy. True of brainiacs recognized for accomplishing great things, true of every day Joes (and Josephines) who, without a lot of attention, get ‘er done every day to earn a living and care for their families.
Regardless of earthly status, regardless of material wealth, regardless of how wise we are in the world’s eyes, would we desire that it be said by those who encounter us, “Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you.”
Only by His grace. Only for His glory.