The Queen of Sheba Seeks Solomon’s Wisdom
Open Your Bible
2 Chronicles 8:1-18, 2 Chronicles 9:1-31, Psalm 72:1-20
BY Aurora Eagen
I wonder if the Queen of Sheba was a bit cynical. Surely she heard of the glory of many kings. She herself had quite the entourage—perhaps an indication of her shrewdness. Showing up in Jerusalem, far north of her homeland, it wasn’t just a prosperous trading caravan she brought with her but an arsenal of questions to test these sensational claims of wisdom.
She didn’t hold back. Her full-fledged encounter with Solomon’s ability to discern between good and evil emptied her of any doubt. She saw the gift he had for seeing things as they were and the visible fruit of acting on that knowledge. Solomon’s accomplishments and wisdom were beyond human capacities; the overwhelming blessings seen among his people and land demonstrated the source of his wisdom. Solomon had asked to be taught this discernment by God to receive wisdom as a gift.
In Solomon, the Queen of Sheba saw a taste of what God’s wisdom brings to His people: happiness and longevity. “Because your God loved Israel enough to establish them forever, he has set you over them as king to carry out justice and righteousness” (2Chronicles 9:8).
Solomon’s glory and prosperity, the very evidence for and vindication of Solomon’s submission to God, sadly became as enticing for Solomon as for any human before or after him.
It is far too easy to find security in what we have. It causes us to desire independence from God—to become our own little gods who decide what is good. God had given Solomon great wealth in addition to the wisdom he had asked for, but eventually, his wealth became a snare that led him to choose his way.
Yet the Chronicler’s account focuses our attention on the greater truth. Even the cynical outsider could see that Solomon had come from a God who wanted to bless His people. Solomon’s success gives us, as it did with the Queen of Sheba, a glimpse into the effects of acknowledging the true source of our possessions.
Jesus, the better Solomon, waited for the Father to honor and glorify Him before others rather than bestowing glory upon Himself as we so often do. Jesus submitted entirely to His Father, fully accepting His incarnate humanity. He waited for God to glorify Him in His way and in His own time.
In following Jesus, we learn from the greatest Teacher, whose wisdom and kingdom of justice and righteousness reaches farther than Solomon ever dreamed.
Like the Queen of Sheba, let’s bring Him all that is on our minds. I think we will find, through every hard question, He is the real deal.