Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1: 6
“God is on my side. He makes Himself responsible for my being. If I will only entrust myself to Him with the cordial return of trustful love, then all that He has ever breathed into my heart of human possibility He will realize and bring to perfection.”
Today’s Study Text:
“When she (the Queen of Sheba) had come to Solomon, she communed with him about all that was in her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king which he failed to explain to her.”
1 Kings 10: 2, 3
“Lessons Taught By the Lady From Sheba” Part 3
Lesson #3 – From the words of Jesus found in Matthew: “Are you listening to this? Really listening?...God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.”
Matthew 13: 43,45
The Message Bible
“It is a great thing, this reading of the Scriptures! For it is not possible ever to exhaust the mind of the Scriptures. It is a well that has no bottom.”
If I had been in the Queen of Sheba’s “sandals,” what kind of questions and thoughts would I have had for Solomon?
Knowing that the Queen of Sheba came to Solomon to find out about the God he served, how do I imagine Solomon responded to her questions?
“The Bible is the greatest traveler in the world. It penetrates to every country, civilized and uncivilized. It is seen in the royal palace and in the humble cottage. It is the friend of emperors and beggars. It is read by the light of the dim candle amid Arctic snows. It is read under the glare of the equatorial sun. It is read in city and country, amid the crowds and in solitude. Wherever the message is received, it frees the mind from bondage and fills the heart with gladness.”
“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful…showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”
II Timothy 3: 16
The Message Bible
An Arabian Queen with an inquisitive mind. Oh, how I would have loved to call the gracious lady from Sheba my BFF! And through the study of God’s Word, the Bible, God’s daughters and sons around the world can come to receive a much sharper image of this woman who came to visit Solomon, first and foremost, because she wanted to more clearly understand “his connection with the Name of God,” as The Message Bible tells us.
I like the way The Message Bible paraphrases our study text for today:
“She came to Solomon and talked about all the things that she cared about.”
At a time in history when “intellectual” pursuits were mainly left to the male gender, I find it notable that King Solomon not only answered the Queen of Sheba’s questions, but in no way did he try to dissuade her with demeaning words, questioning why a “woman” was so interested in the deeper things of God. Frankly, this exchange reminded me of a day in Bethany where the events were recorded by Dr. Luke, whom I believe, was an eye-witness to what transpired in the home of Martha.
Having stopped for some rest and refreshment in this welcoming abode, Jesus found time to share what was on His heart. The Bible tells us that another female trendsetter, Mary, chose to sit at Jesus’ feet, listening to all He said while her sister Martha was absorbed, or as the Amplified Bible notes, she was “distracted with much serving.”
Feeling frustrated by her sister’s lack of interest in what Martha deemed important, she took her complaint directly to Jesus, basically ordering Him to intercede on her behalf and tell her sister, Mary, to get into the kitchen -- post haste!
It is at this juncture we find Jesus weighing in with these words, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. There is need of only one! Mary has chosen the good portion that which is to her advantage, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10: 38-42, Amplified Bible).
What a correlation there is between the Queen of Sheba in the Old Testament and Mary of Bethany in the New Testament. They were both women who longed to learn about spiritual things and they were both rewarded by those they sought to study with.
Both defied the tradition of society. In the words of Jesus, they chose to “learn of God!” And both were honored as they came away from their spiritual encounters feeling blessed and renewed.
But it wasn’t only to these two women that encouragement was given to learn of God and His kingdom. is kingdomIn the book of Matthew, we find that Jesus shared multiple parables with those who came to listen to His words. But in one particular story, He told about the quest of a gem specialist -- a jewel dealer -- who was on the hunt for pearls. When this man found the “One,” he came to the conclusion that this single “flawless” pearl was so valuable, that he must sell everything to purchase this unique and unparalleled discovery!
When I look at the great lengths the Queen of Sheba went to as she pursued the knowledge she wished to obtain about the God of heaven and earth, I find myself awed by the fact that an individual who appeared to be outside the “family circle” of God’s chosen people, the children of Israel, had such a longing and desire to know about the God, who had profoundly blessed King Solomon. There was no impediment which she allowed to block her way from making, what I imagine to be, a very grueling journey across a windswept desert perched atop a camel.
And this brings us to the third lesson we can learn from the “Lady From Sheba.” She teaches us to seek, with unfailing vigor, after the knowledge and understanding buried in God’s Word about His kingdom. Just as the one, precious pearl was buried treasure, waiting to be revealed to the person who would take the extra time to make its discovery, so God’s Word is to you and me a field full of gems, revealing truths that will guide our lives and prevent us from traveling outside the will of God. I love the way Thomas Watson highlighted this exact point when he wrote: “The Bible is a rock of diamonds, a chain of pearls, the sword of the Spirit, a chart by which the Christian sails to eternity; the map by which (she) daily walks; the sundial by which (she) sets (her) life; the balance in which (she) weighs (her) actions.”
What a lesson for us to take away from the life of the Queen of Sheba, whose mission to find answers to her questions and to find out about King Solomon’s connection to the God of heaven and earth, left her with a vision of God’s infinite wisdom, knowledge.
“I believe that the Bible is the best gift that God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book. I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119: 105
“O Lord, You have given us Your Word for a light to shine upon our path; inspire us to meditate on that word and to follow its teaching, that we may find in it the light that shines more and more until the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. Just to let you know, Transformation Garden is now on FACEBOOK. Please come and see us and share the garden with your friends. The Daily Devotional is posted everyday, Monday through Friday on Facebook, too.
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You may also call Transformation Garden at 480-281-1508.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.