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Her story is recorded both in 1st Kings 10:1-13 and 2nd Chronicles 9:1-12.

Jesus also mentioned her in Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31.

Let's study her and the spiritual message she teaches!

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

LESSON 1:

Jesus called her the "queen of the south."  In two places the Gospels give us His very words.  "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."   Matthew 12:42 

Luke 11:31 says nearly the same thing.

Of course this "queen" is known in the Old Testament as the Queen of Sheba.

There again she is described twice!

1st Kings 10:1-13 and 2nd Chronicles 9:1-12 both detail her visit with King Solomon.

It seems that this foreign woman had a keen interest in the wisdom of Solomon and in the Name of the Lord and she was willing, at great risk, to travel far to hear such great things!

And that is just the point Jesus is making in those Gospel accounts!

Our Lord had just been accused of doing His marvelous works in the power of the devil!  Then some of these same accusers, certain Pharisees, wanted to further harass the Lord.  That's when He mentioned to them this "queen of the south."

Here's Luke's wording:  "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."    Luke 11:31

I believe the truth Jesus wanted to show them includes the following points:  an earthly king (Solomon) drew the Queen of Sheba to the things of God!  But even the very Son of God couldn't draw those rebellious Scribes and Pharisees!

And she came simply to "hear" of God's Wisdom!  These who were in Jesus' presence could "hear" and "see" and even "react" to the Lamb of God Himself!

Furthermore she came from a great distance (from Arabia) to know the things of God, while the enemies of Jesus lived in the same country He did ... to no avail!

Jesus was astounded at their non-interest in things eternal!  Their blindness stunned Him!

(Few times did Jesus ever act surprised.  But get this one thing that astounded Him:  "And He marvelled because of their unbelief."  Mark 6:6)

What a Lesson Jesus gave those men that day!

How interested are we in the things of God?  In the Lord Jesus Christ?  In real Wisdom?

Are we more like that sincere Queen or like the skeptical Pharisees?

(By the way, this being Sunday, our behavior will answer that question!  Will I be in Church, leaning the Word of God?  Or down by the river side, learning worldly things?)

Oh, yes, Jesus does add one more point.  At a future judgment, this lady the Queen will testify against those disinterested (willingly ignorant) souls who rejected the Lord!

Maybe she will say, "I came ... why didn't you?"

Or "I heard ... why wouldn't you?"

And "I believed ... even with less 'light' than you have had!"

Folks, truly a "Greater than Solomon" has come!

His Name is Jesus.

How are we responding to him?

Solomon spoke of the Wisdom of God, but Jesus IS The Wisdom of God!  (Paul, speaking of the Lord Jesus, said ... "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."  Colossians 2:3

Friend, avoid condemnation!

Come to Jesus.

You will find Him "altogether lovely!"  Song of Solomon 5:16

Be saved today!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

The first thing we are told about the Queen of Sheba is found in 1st Kings 10:1. "And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions."

I just want you to notice today that she came with some spiritual interest in mind! Her visit was "concerning the Name of the Lord!" 

The little word "concerning" is in the Hebrew Text a preposition.  It consists merely of their letter "L."  It means "to, for, towards, according to, in regard to," or even "in!"

This lady wanted to know more about our great God!

The way this first verse is worded her interest is much more in the Lord than in a mere man, Solomon.  See that its merely the "fame" of Solomon but the NAME of the Lord that interests her!  (That's "shema" versus "shem" in Hebrew.  The word used of our God is a greater term!  Preachers have fame or lack of it.  The Lord has the NAME that saves sinners!)

Then see with me what "peaked" her interest.  She had "heard" some things!  This verb ("shama" in Hebrew) means more than just to physically collect auditory sounds!  It means to listen and perceive and discern and even to obey!  I suspect it's the kind of hearing Paul mentions in Romans 10:17 --- "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."  Remember Rahab believed ultimately because of some things she had heard! She said:  "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath."  Joshua 2:10-11

The method of her quest is a little unusual I think.  She plans to "prove" the King with some hard questions.  This verb ("nasah") means to test or to try!  She wants to know some things for sure!  She will evaluate the things she has heard!  That's all right!  The Lord invites us to ... "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."   (Isaiah 1:18)  Then again God allows us to "prove" Him.  At least in one case He does;  "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."   Malachi 3:10

The expression "hard questions" is interesting too.  It translates just one word in the Masoretic Text (the Hebrew Bible that the King James translators used).  It's "chiydah" (found 17 times in Scripture) and in our Bible is rendered as: "riddle" (9 times) and "dark sayings" (3 times) and "hard questions" (2 times) and "dark sentences" (1 time) and "dark speech" (1 time) and "proverb" (1 time).

She had (apparently many) hard questions for the King!

It appears that such things are all right with the Lord.

In fact, He allows us to bring (not only our cares and worries and burdens but also ...) our difficult questions to Him!

Where did we come from?

Where are we going?

What is the purpose of life?

Why am I here on earth?

What is the central point of history?

Who is THE Central Person of creation?

Where will world history end?

How can I live forever?

Does anyone really love me?

Yes, Jesus ... Who IS The Truth ... can handle all these (and a whole lot more), giving precise and satisfying answers to them all!

I am beginning to believe this Queen of Sheba is a type (a picture or an emblem) of a soul seeking the Truth that's found in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Amen!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

It's so interesting!

How different people first "hear" about the Lord!

Naaman, the Syrian Army Captain who was later healed of leprosy, first heard about our great God from "a little maid" from Israel. (2nd Kings 5:2-3)

Simon Peter, the New Testament Disciple, first heard about Jesus from his own Brother named Andrew.  (John 1:40-41)

Countless Jews and Gentiles first heard because of a little Preacher named Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus).

And so it goes.

But there are others of whom we know little or nothing ... at least concerning their first contact with the Lord God Almighty!

Abraham's salvation is still a bit of a mystery to me.  "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee."  Genesis 12:1

And Obadiah, the "governor" of wicked (King) Ahab's household, the Obadiah who protected a hundred Prophets of God from his vicious royal "boss,"  how did he hear?  And in such an unusual place!

There's a lady who fits into this category too!

She is simply known as the Queen of Sheba.

Here's all we are told about it:  "And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions."  (1 Kings 10:1)

She just "heard!"

It's apparent that we don't need to know "how."

Maybe a passing shipload of merchant marines talked one day, down at the docks ... praising their wise employer (who would have been King Solomon)!

Maybe some Jewish document of state had made its way to the foreign kingdom of Sheba, falling into the hands of its feminine leader.  In its official wording some "hint" of the wisdom of a King named Solomon might have appeared.

But "hear" she did!

And after "hearing," she "came!"

And after "coming," she "saw!"

Somebody, directly or indirectly, got the "message" to the seeking Queen!

Paul puts some perspective on the subject for us.  "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent?"  (Romans 10:14-15)

This much I'll guarantee you.

If a man or a woman is hungry to "hear" the Truth, God has the power and ability to get the Message to them! 

One day a man from the Queen of Sheba's part of the world (however generations later in time) was "seeking" the truth!  And the Ethiopian Eunuch went to Jerusalem to learn such information!  He even bought a "scroll" of Holy Scripture!  Isaiah!  But he still lacked the discernment to understand the Gospel!

But God knew all about it!  He took a preacher name Philip, moved him to the desert, and connected him with this spiritually hungry black man! 

And ... "Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus."  (Acts 8:35)

As you well know, the man got saved!

Folks, God's plan involves somebody telling the Message ... somebody  else hearing it ... and God's saving Grace doing the rest!  (All of which is made possible by the shed Blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary!)

My point today: 

Aren't you glad someone told you about Jesus?  Do you remember the day you first heard?

Are you willing to tell someone else?

There just might be someone today ... someone with whom you'll come in contact ... who is seeking Truth!  And real Truth is found in our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Tell them please!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:  

As I drove to the Revival Meeting last night, I began to think about the Queen of Sheba and her first meeting with Solomon.

She was so excited.

"And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart."  1 Kings 10:1

She met the King, bearing gifts!

I got to wondering, did those "spices" she carried contain any "myrrh?"  In all likelihood they did!

And do note that she brought gold, much of it!

And even precious stones!

She and her party remind me of another group who approached another King one day (centuries later)!

Wise men (Magi) from afar came to see Baby Jesus ... bearing gifts also!  Gold and frankincense and myrrh!

It just seems that when approaching deity ... gifts of worship are in order! Psalm 96:8 even says so!  "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts."  Wow!

And notice the Queen's offerings!

Spices!  The Hebrew noun ("besem") means sweet fragrances!  If that included "myrrh," for which Arabia was famous, it pictures Jesus in a unique way!  As Prophet of God He came ... preaching Old Testament prophecies about Himself as Redeemer ... then fulfilling those same prophecies on the old rugged Cross! The "spices" emphasize His role as Prophet!  (Myrrh was a favorite embalming ointment in ancient days.  It almost always spoke of death!)

And the "gold?"  Why, that's the metal of Kings!  They loved it!  They were worth such precious substance!  Heaven itself is said to be paved with streets of gold!  And ... Jesus is not only Prophet, but King too!

And then notice the "precious stones" she brought Solomon.  Do they not remind you of the Breastplate worn by the High Priest as he officiated for his people?  And that is emblematic of our Lord as High Priest over all His (saved) people!

She (the Queen of Sheba) came (as did the Wise Men), bearing gifts for the Monarch!

And those "gifts" are so suitable for the Recipient!

Today let us all bring "gifts" to our Saviour and King and Lord, Jesus the Son of God!

What gifts?

Try this:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."   Romans 12:1

Then add this:

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."  Hebrews 13:15

In fact, go ahead and give Him your all!

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind."  Luke 10:27

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

When the Queen of Sheba (who is partly a type of a seeking sinner) finally came into the presence of the wise King Solomon (partly a type of Christ) we are told that "she communed with him of all that was in her heart."  1 Kings 10:2

And when Solomon answered her, these words are used:  "And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not."  1 Kings 10:3

Look at this exchange!

She brought everything to him, the King!

He met all her needs, dealing with each question, and hiding nothing!

All this is a beautiful "picture" of a soul coming to the Lord!

Jesus is the Saviour of sinners!

One can come to Him and "tell Him all that's in his heart!"

Eventually ... that's what the "woman at the well" in John 4 did!  Listen to her as she talks to the people of her village:  "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"   John 4:29

Truly Jesus had drawn out of her "all things!"

Zacchaeus also told Jesus all that was in his heart, resulting in this astounding resolution.  Luke 19:8 tells us:  "And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold."  Wow!

All I'm trying to say today is that if we will bring everything to Jesus ... He will deal with it all!

He is the Answer!

He will forgive our sins, calm our fears, relieve our stress, meet our needs, answer our questions, assure our doubts, strengthen our weaknesses, and commune with us constantly!

No wonder Paul said of Him:  "In whom (Jesus) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."  Colossians 2:3

And it's not surprising that Peter wondered:  "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."  John 6:68

If today you are lost in your sin ... come to Jesus!  Tell Him everything!  He cares!  He will withhold nothing!  He knows the answers to all your difficulties!

And today if you're saved but have not lately fellowshipped with Him as you should, remember three verses:  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Then recall the Bible invitation:  "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

Plus Jesus Himself says:  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Thank God for His marvelous Grace!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

Watch what her first interview with Solomon did to the Queen of Sheba!

"And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her."  1st Kings 10:4-5

I have capitalized her reaction!

There was no more spirit in her!

One valid translation for that noun "spirit" (in Hebrew = "ruach") is "breath" or "air!"  Solomon's glory knocked the breath out of her!

She was overwhelmed!

She was amazed!

Is that not the same effect a "Greater than Solomon" has had on you, friend?

Paul never got over His meeting with Jesus that day on the Damascus Road!  He talked about it the rest of his life and ministry!  (Telling of it repeatedly ... in Acts 9 and Acts 22 and again in Acts 26!)

It's the same with Peter and John and everyone else who has been truly saved!

Now in a negative sense also ... one can "have no more spirit!"  In Joshua 5:1 (the only other time this "no more spirit" phrase in used in Scripture) we read:  "And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel."  Joshua 5:1

Great fear ... "no more spirit!"  (A group of wicked kings!)

Great joy ... "no more spirit!"  (One soon to be wise queen!)

And our great God produced both reactions!

In fact, perhaps the one precedes the other!

To really know the Lord ... closely know Him ... one must be smitten with the Fear of God (also called Holy Spirit "conviction") ... then the Love of God!

Has the Lord so impacted you?

Do you remember a time when there remained "no more spirit" within you?

When you realized your "lostness" ... and cried out for the Lord to save you?

And yet again ...maybe we should still seek that attitude toward our dear Lord!  To be overwhelmed at His Presence!  At His qualities and abilities and Essence!

Constantly when around Jesus (during His earthly ministry) ... folks were said to marvel!  Or be astonished!  (Fifteen times "astonished!)  Or to wonder!

He is still the Same!

Have we lost the wonder?

Lord, give it back please!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

The Queen of Sheba sought Solomon the King of Israel because of his great God-given wisdom.

However, when she learned of the truth and reality and scope of his vast wisdom, she was also overwhelmed with other things about this unusual King!

"And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her."  1st Kings 10:4-5

Notice that when she comprehended this sublime wisdom ... then she because aware of some other things too!

Here's the list:  Solomon's house (Palace), and his food at table, his servants and ministers, even the clothing of the members of his court, his cup-bearers (body-guards in a sense), and the way he approached the House of God!

These things (wisdom being the central focus) nearly rendered her speechless! She was astounded!

Last night I began to think about this "list."

I believe it is comparable (parallel) in many ways to the impressions we first received when we approached the Lord our God!

I first came to Him because of His great Wisdom and Love shown on the Cross of Calvary!  Jesus' shed Blood has washed away my sins!

But soon I noticed some other things about Him!

Like ... His House!  His Home!  Heaven!

Like the meat He serves at table!  What manna!  What meat!  I speak of course symbolically of the Word of God!

The blessings conferred upon His servants and ministers!  (In Solomon's day --- servants would have been just general workers ... and ministers those of higher order!)  What a privilege to serve God!

And "apparel?"  Yes!  As Believers we are all saved and cleansed by the Blood of Jesus and clothed in robes of righteousness!   Furthermore even here on earth we are distinguished by our "dress."  We dress in a modest and godly way!

Cupbearers ... those menial jobs!  Like being a "door keeper" down at the House of God!  Just a common slave in Solomon's time!  Remember Psalm 84:10 --- "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."

And the ascent to God's House!  To worship!  "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."  Psalm 122:1

Yes, every time we go to Church we're ascending, going up (and not down)!  The fifteen Psalms of Degrees (Psalms 120-134) are all stair-step Psalms quoted and sung when the Jewish people went to God's House in Jerusalem to worship!  They are called the Psalms of Ascent!  Going UP to Church!

Do observe here that Solomon in those days worshipped God truly!

What a list!

All of God's Wisdom (SALVATION) ... plus Heaven ... and Royal Food (the Word of God) ... and the privilege of Christian Service ... and wearing Royal Robes of Righteousness ... and free access to the very Throne Room of Almighty God!

No wonder these things "caught" the attention of this observant lady, the Queen of Sheba!

Spiritually they had better "catch" ours too!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

Once long ago when a foreign lady visited Jerusalem, the city of God, she came to a dramatic conclusion.

God's appointed King, Solomon the son of David, ruled at that time in all his glory!  (In case you're wondering where I got that bold term "Solomon and all his glory," see Matthew 6:29 where Jesus said:  "And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.")

His name and reputation had spread through much of the world.  Something "drew" this woman, known as the Queen of Sheba, to the courts of Solomon!

Here is her conclusion that I earlier mentioned:  "And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom." 1st Kings 10:6

In other words:  "What I heard of thee is right!  It's true! I agree with them now! (In fact, later she adds "the half has not been told!")

If we view Solomon here as at least a partial type of Christ (although a faint one granted), based upon New Testament Scripture --- "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here." --- then we must also see the truth that every sinner (which this Queen was) coming to our Lord (typified by Solomon) needs to acknowledge the very same truth! 

That acknowledgement will go something like this --- "Oh, Lord, I know that Thou art great and powerful!   What I have heard of Thy strength (Thy acts) and of Thy Character (including Thy Wisdom) is indeed true!"

Why, this very attitude is a part of "confessing" Jesus as Lord ... when honestly spoken by a repenting sinner!  (See Romans 10:9 --- "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.")

Here again are the Queen's words:  "And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom."  1st Kings 10:6

Lord, Amen!  Thou art Truth!

Then, even more specifically, look at the two aspects of Solomon's person and reign that she emphasizes!  "Thy acts and thy wisdom" 

Theologians would call this part of the essence of King Solomon.  But it's listed in two categories for a reason! 

The "acts" are what one does ... while the "wisdom" is what one is!  This wisdom-hungry Queen has just acknowledged the things Solomon did (like building the Temple and reigning so long without war) ... and then the things Solomon was (like being wise).

Those are the very two things about the real and true God above, our God Jehovah, that must be praised yet today!

He has done great things (and continues to do so and will for all eternity)!

And He is all He said Himself to be!  (Almighty, Righteous, Just, Love, Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omni-present, Immutable and so much more!)

Both these acknowledgements (the King's acts and his essence) ... are necessary to "know" him in any degree of reality.

The King of Sheba just "agreed" that Solomon is all he was said to be!

And let me show you something else.  In 1st John 1:9 where we are told "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," if we study that verb "confess" (in Greek it's "homologeo") it means "to say ("logeo") the same thing ("homo").  To say the same thing about someone!  (To "confess" in this sense means to agree with God about our old sins!  To say the same things about them as He does! That they're rotten and must be placed under the cleansing Blood of the Lamb!)

In type, that's what the Queen here does!  She says to Solomon, Sir, thou art right!  Thy report is true!  Thy fame underestimates thy true greatness!  I have come and heard and seen ... and say "it was all true!"

Let me transfer these words this Wednesday morning to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:

Lord, thou art great!

Thou art true and righteous altogether!

What I've read about Thee and heard Preachers proclaim (out of the Word of God) concerning Thee are right (without error)!

I today praise Thy great acts and thy great Person as well!

And, Lord, as it was with this king of Israel in bygone days ... it is even more so of Thee ... "the half has not yet been told!"  (Maybe the tenth has not been told or even a hundredth!  ("And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."  John 212:25)

Folks, we have come to a great God!  In fact, to the only true and living God!

Bless His Holy Name!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

Some would say I'm reading too much into this verse of Scripture.

But it seems this truth is so evident.

"Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard."  1 Kings 10:7

These are the words of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon.

In essence she just said, "I did not believe all I heard ... until I came!"

Now do not misunderstand me today.

There is only one way of salvation.

That is through Jesus Christ the Virgin-born Son of God and His shed Blood on the Cross of Calvary!

And that salvation is applied to a sinner's heart as he believes ... by faith ... in Jesus' Name!

Salvation is not of works.  Man can do nothing to acquire it!  That is, nothing but believe.

Ephesians 2:8-9 are still true.  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast."

But do notice with me today that this lady (the Queen of Sheba) plainly confesses that she did not believe what she'd heard about Solomon until she came to Jerusalem!

She fortified her possible faith by acting on it!

She might have never believed ... had she not first looked upon Solomon in all his glory!

Now that's my point in this little Article!

I am writing today and someone (sooner or later) will read this in the very same condition this Arabian Queen was!

Interested in the Lord (of whom Solomon is a "picture" here) ... but not believing (by faith alone) unto salvation!

What about this?

Well, I think the answer is in our verse:  She says: "Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard."

The seeking inquirer here, still not fully believing, made a move!  A move of (although weak) faith! 

She made the journey!

She beheld Solomon!

She spoke to Him!

She actually discover certain "aids" to faith!

And they still exist today!

Let me show you what I mean from the New Testament.

Listen to Romans 10:17 --- "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Did you see that?

Faith (and this is saving faith) ... comes from a foundation!  It "springs" from hearing!  (In our case hearing about Jesus!) 

And even this hearing, if it's right, must have its sources in The Word Of God, The Bible!

Does someone today carry a heart-felt interest in Jesus as Saviour?

And yet that "faith" is elusive to you?

Try this (based solely on the Scriptures) ... begin "hearing" of Him!  Learn all you can of Jesus and His glory and grace!  See the beauty of His Person!  Get acquainted with Him!

(I'd say that will produce faith!)

But where can one "hear" of Jesus?

The answer:  from the Bible!

Sinner friend, go to church.  Listen to a godly preacher tell about our blessed Lord Jesus.  Search the Scriptures.  Seek His Face!

And either immediately or in time (God's time) ... He will grant you faith ... faith to believe!

And believe this the Queen of Sheba did ... in all of Solomon's greatness!  She even acknowledges later in our verse "behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard."  1 Chronicles 10:7

Try this God given method.

It works ... because it is Biblical.

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

The verse sounds like it could have come from the Psalms!

Or perhaps even from the writings of the New Testament ... soaring nearly to the height of some of Paul's great adorations!

Listen to it:

"Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom."

Now here's the surprise.

No Psalmist said this!

Nor did an Apostle or even a preacher!

In fact, it wasn't even a man!

A woman did!  An unsaved woman!

And another surprise:

The words were not specifically spoken of the Lord God Almighty ... but of one of His regents, a King named Solomon!

"Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom."  Now ... here's the reference for our verse:  1st Kings 10:8.

The speaker:  the Queen of Sheba!

But what she said specifically to Solomon here ... could even more truthfully be said of our Lord!

Let's examine the whole statement.

When she said that King Solomon's men were "happy," the Hebrew word she used is "esher."  It is used 45 times in the Bible and is translated "blessed" 27 of those times and "happy" 18 more times.  It's "root" meaning is to be straight! To be right!  To be level!  (Hinting that being "right" with God brings "blessedness!")

Interestingly the noun for "men" is "iysh," meaning the male of the species.  In the King James Bible it is even translated "husband" 3 times.  I think this is a "hint" of the fact that God calls men to preach His Word!  (And remember, if any feminists read these lines ... a rather doubtful scenario ... this is a woman talking!)

Then the word "happy" ("esher") is repeated in the text, but this time applied to the King's "servants."  This noun, "ebed," is just their common word for slave or bondservant.  It's from the Hebrew root verb "to work!"  Even Solomon's "workers" are blessed and happy!

Let me interject this note:  If Solomon's men and servants were blessed ... what in the world are we ... we who have the privilege of serving the Lord Jesus Christ, a greater than Solomon?  (Luke 11:31)

Doubly blessed, triple blessed?  How about blessed an hundred fold?

Then notice what these servants and men are doing around the King!

"Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom."

They are "standing!"

"Amad" means (among several other things) to continue!  To endure!  To be established!  To tarry!  To remain!  To stand fast!  (It means anything but "quit!")

These workers are faithful!

And why not, they are around the wealthiest, wisest most powerful Monarch on earth!

And ... should we who serve the Lord God be any less faithful?  Should we stand any less boldly?  Should we quit ... while a merely human King's men did not?

We "Age of Grace" Christians should of all the saints (of all the ages) be standing for Him ... our dear Lord and Saviour!

Notice they stand "continually" too!  This adverb ("tamiyd") comes from a word that means "to stretch!"  It pictures something that goes on and on and on in duration!  It depicts faithfulness ... just in another way!

And even the little preposition "before"  (These who stand "before" Solomon are blessed!) has significance.  It is their Hebrew word for "face," spelled "paniym."  Before the King's very face!  One day we Believers will see our King's very Face also!  John did on Patmos in Revelation 1:16 --- "And His Countenance (Face) was as the sun shineth in his strength."

But there's one more thing Sheba's Queen said.  These who serve Solomon are "happy" because they get to "hear his wisdom!"

The verb "hear" is "shama" and means more than just the physical act of in-taking sound.  It has the idea of understanding what one hears ... then acting on it, obeying it!

And that's exactly what we today are to do with God's Wisdom ... obey it! (Truthfully, one probably never gets any of God's true Wisdom without obeying first!)

And lastly the noun "wisdom" (in Hebrew = "chokmah") which really carries the idea of being "skilled" at godly living!  Not book wisdom alone ... but personal character-forming wisdom!

And isn't it one of the greatest thrills of the Christian life to hear the Wisdom of God?  The Wisdom He has bound into His precious Book, the Bible!  The Wisdom He so carefully describes and defines through such great Books as Proverbs and Psalms and the Gospels (as well as the rest of Scripture too).

Maybe the Queen heard Solomon as he dictated these words to his secretary: "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding."  Proverbs 3:13

Yes, I this Thursday morning say unashamedly ... if Solomon's helpers were happy and blessed ... Jesus' followers are many times more so ... happy and blessed!

And just like the Queen of Sheba told Solomon so ... we Christians should tell our Lord Jesus how much we count it an honor to serve Him!  He (Jesus) Who is the King of Kings!

Thank you, Lord!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

Several precious preachers I've met through the years have just had no use for Solomon whatsoever!

I think his backslidings have tainted those dear men of God in their attitudes toward David's wisest Son.

Indeed he did badly err, having 700 wives and 300 concubines!

At that point Solomon's godly wisdom became practical stupidity.

However, we should not totally discount one of the authors of Scripture.  Solomon penned (under divine inspiration mind you) Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon too.

He did sin ... and God did chasten him ... severely!

But the King had a God-given capacity to teach the Word!  (Again, if you have any doubt ... read again Proverbs!  Or Song of Solomon with the Bridegroom (Jesus) and His Bride (the Church) in mind! 

I believe in the Queen of Sheba's statement in 1 Kings 10:9 we see some of the great truths Solomon had "taught" her!

She says to him:  "Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice." 

Let's analyze her benediction for a minute or two.

She has learned something about God's Names!  She uses two of them right here in one sentence!  LORD is the Hebrew word Jehovah, the One Who IS!  The eternal God!  The saving God too!  The One Who shed His Blood that sinners might be saved!  Then see her immediate use of the Name "God," which is Elohim!  "El," meaning power and strength, suggests omnipotence!  (Quite a neat little course in theology I'd say!)

She had also learned a bit about worship, probably from seeing Solomon do such. "Blessed" be God ... she proclaims!  The word "barak" means to salute or to praise to to bow down before Him! 

Note her honesty too.  She did not say the Lord my God!  She has not yet accepted Him apparently.  But she undoubtedly knew that Solomon had!

She also has gleaned the fact that God "delights" in His own!  The verb here ("chaphetzs") means to favor or take pleasure in!  It involves excitement!  God thrills in His people!  Where could she have learned such but from watching and hearing Solomon?

Then she's already learned about God's sovereignty too.  No one is higher than God!  No one rules above Him!  He is supreme!  He places people on thrones ... and removes them as well!  She says God "set" Solomon in position, using a verb ("nathan") that means to give or grant or recompense!  (Later in this verse she says God "made" Solomon King, a word suggesting ordination or divine appointment!)

Then see that she picked up some prophecy also.  She now knows that God has a place for the nation of Israel for ever!  "The Lord loveth Israel for ever."  Amen! She's more accurate here than a few preachers I've met through the years!  Israel is an eternal nation.  "Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever."  Jeremiah 31:35-36

Lastly see that she's pretty balanced in her view of God too.  He is not only interested in wisdom ... but also in judgment and justice (which is the word righteousness ... morally "straight" before God)!  God is the sum Total of all His attributes!  He is NOT just love or just patience or just grace!  He is also holy and a hater of evil!

I personally think this lady has become a student of Scripture.  And while she may not have been saved yet ... surely she's on the way to trust in the only true living God!

After all, that's where faith begins ... in the Word!

Again I show you:  "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."  Romans 10:17

I grieve at how the Church today has lost her doctrinal interest (and knowledge). The result of this can only be one thing:  Folks being "tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."  Ephesians 4:14

Lord, give us another generation of men who will indoctrinate us in the Truth of the Book, your inspired and holy Book, the Bible!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12:

Often Jesus as He preached would refer to certain Old Testament characters.

In so doing He gives each of them great historical and spiritual significance.

For example, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah!

Or Lot, the nephew of Abraham!  (Really, Lot's wife!)

And Jonah ... plus many others.

But the one who has caught my attention today is a lady, a Queen.

He does not call her by name, just by title ... the Queen of the South.  (In Old Testament language, the Queen of Sheba)

Listen to what our Lord says about her.  "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."   Matthew 12:42

And the parallel account of His words:  "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."  Luke 11:31

As you can see they are nearly identical.

It looks to me like Jesus is praising her for one thing ... the effort she exerted in coming to Solomon, the man to whom God gave great stores of wisdom.

The "utmost" part of the earth was her point of origin!

Geographers tell us she traveled somewhere between 1200 and 1500 miles!  In a caravan of camels!  (Covering a distance of about 20 miles a day ... the trip there would have taken her between 60 and 75 days!  And the same going back to her home!)  She traversed from some point in Arabia to the city of Jerusalem!

What effort!

And don't forget all this time her Kingdom was leaderless!

That was a "risk" in those days!

She surely wanted to hear Solomon's wisdom!

And Jesus' point is precisely that.

The Scribes and Pharisees and Jews of His day lived next door and around the corner and in the same land as did our Lord ... but they would not seek His Wisdom at all!

To put it into our vernacular:  The Queen traveled a distance equivalent to half-way across America to hear Wisdom ... while the Pharisees wouldn't walk across the street to do so!  (And Jesus is a far "greater than Solomon" too!)

Plus this little fact:  The Queen had to go to Solomon.  He did not come to her! And with those to whom our Lord is speaking, the very opposite is true.  They did not have to go to Jesus ... He came to them!

No wonder in a coming Day of Judgment she will "condemn" them!

And what about us today?

Some even so-called Christians won't put forth any effort at all to go to Church and hear the preaching of God's Word, God's Wisdom!

Others won't come to Him in prayer daily, seeking Him for their needs!

While others yet seem to avoid Him altogether ... at least for days at a time!

Jesus notices, doesn't He?

He is well aware of any effort expended in getting to Him ... in hungering for the Truth!

And apparently He rewards it graciously!

Listen to our great God:  "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:13

Folks, I think today's Lesson speaks for itself!

Remember Jesus' words to His followers:  "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."  Matthew 5:6

Or, going back to Solomon, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."  Proverbs 4:7

Sometimes the "seeking" can be nearly as thrilling as the "finding," when led by the Holy Spirit of God!

At least it's for sure that Jesus recognizes (and commends) it!

By the way, are you going to Church Sunday morning?  And Sunday night?

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13:

The Lord Jesus was extremely impressed with the Queen of Sheba, with her "effort" in getting to Solomon ... solely to hear his Wisdom!

In fact that is THE thing about her that has placed her (twice) in the New Testament!

"The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."  Matthew 12:42  (Also Luke 11:31)

I've been thinking of all the exerted effort that journey took!  Up to 3,000 miles round trip!  Desert travel!  Either on camel back or on a dusty primitive coach of some kind!  No motels!  So showers or private baths along the way!  No safety from the weather!  Little privacy!

She really meant to hear this Wisdom ... endowed upon Solomon by the great God of Israel!

You might say she vigorously pursued it!

Jesus commented one day upon such folks.

Those who "wanted" the things of God so badly that they would do anything!

(Of course salvation is not to be earned!  It is a gift of God!  Through the sacrificial death and shed Blood of Jesus our Saviour!)

Still, listen to Jesus:  "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."  Matthew 11:12

In essence Jesus is observing that some "take" the kingdom of God more earnestly and more fervently than others!

The old Puritans used to teach that Jesus was here commending those who so crave the spiritual things of life (in a true and godly sense) that they "take it" (seize it) at any cost!

That would describe someone who so desires salvation that nothing else matters!

Or a young Preacher who so wants to know the Bible that he vigorously cuts things out of his life (many good things even) to acquire that knowledge!

Or a Christian who so longs to see a loved one saved that he (or she) prays and fasts for that blessed event!

That's the kind of hunger for truth that Jesus has in mind here.

And I believe that's what He so admired in the life of this Queen!

This "Kingdom of Heaven" business is serious!

Listen to Solomon:  "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding."  (Proverbs 23:23)  Get it at all costs!

Again, salvation is without cost to us!  Jesus paid it all!

BUT ... it's altogether different when it comes to such things as the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the power of God, the assurance of one's salvation, thorough knowledge of the Bible, skill at winning lost souls, constant communion with God and a host of other spiritual disciplines!

Anyone willing to expend "Queen of Sheba" like effort to enjoy such blessings?

She did ... and was graciously rewarded for doing so.

Will our Lord do any less for you?

                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14:

Once the Queen of Sheba fell under the "pull" of King Solomon ...

Once she traveled nearly 1500 miles to "hear" his Wisdom ...

Once she became convinced that he was a genuine man of God ...

Once she found him to have the answers to all her questions ...

Once she confessed his excellence with her mouth ...

Once she acknowledged and blessed his God ...

THEN she did something amazing!

"And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon."  1st Kings 10:10

She GAVE him some things!

Here's my point today.

Once we old ex-sinners fell under the "pull" (conviction) of the Lord Jesus Christ ...

Once we "heard" His Wisdom (the Word of God) ...

Once we were convinced that This all was real ...

Once we found Jesus to be the Answer to all our questions (and needs) ...

Once we repented and confessed Christ as Lord ... in other words, once we were saved ...

THEN we will do something amazing too!

We will do the very same thing this Queen did!

What?

We too will give our new Friend all those things that are dear to us!

According to our verse today, the Queen gave Solomon gifts of three kinds.

Gold ... and spices ... and precious stones.

In the dark early morning hours of this Saturday, the Lord showed me something about these "gifts."

First, the gold.

The Hebrew noun here ("zahab") is derived from a root word meaning "to shimmer or to shine."  Then it came to mean anything that was precious ... and was eventually used exclusively of the precious metal.

It typifies that which is precious or valuable to one's heart!  And that's why the Queen gave so much of it to Solomon!  (120 talents!)  Figuring a "talent" as roughly a hundred pounds, and the value of gold as 425.00 an ounce, the "total" money value of this gift alone was $81,600,000.00 in today's American money!

The Queen simply gave Solomon anything of value to her! 

Isn't it so with the new Christian?  His or her whole "values system" changes! All of a sudden, Jesus become the most precious thing on earth!  (I'd rather have Jesus ... than silver or gold!) 

Why, tithing and other forms of Christian giving too might just be an expression of such love!

Secondly, the spices.

"Besem" means "sweet odors or smells" and is emblematic of real worship in Scripture, primarily being used as incense.

The Altar of Incense in the Tabernacle pictured prayer and worship drifting heavenward, toward the Lord!

We Christians also, when having been saved but just minutes, want to give our great God worship and praise!  We immediately know He is worthy of our prayers and adoration!

Lastly, the precious stones.

These Biblically represent (at least they do on the High Priest's Breastplate) people ... the people of God!

While the Queen of Sheba was merely giving gifts to Solomon, we Believers today want to give "precious stones" to our Lord in reality, souls saved for His honor and glory!  Sinners having been born again and made into servants of our dear Lord!  Paul once spoke of "offering up" the Gentiles to God as a gift of love!  Romans 15:16

The Christian's passion ... souls saved and serving God ... all for His Glory!

Do you see what I mean today?

The Queen meets Solomon and is swept off her feet ... then gives gifts!

We meet Jesus and are gloriously saved ... then reverently give gifts of love to Him from now on!

Gifts like our most precious treasures (gold)!

Gifts like our worship and honor and love (spices)!

Gifts like souls we want to win to the Lord (precious stones)!

Some would say I'm reading "way too much" into this little-known Queen's actions, but I know what happened when the Lord saved me!

I sure wanted to give Him all!

How about you?

This weekend ... be sure and at least tithe to Him your income ... and worship Him with all your heart ... and try to point some sinner His Way too!

Then you also will have offered to a "greater than Solomon" gold and spices and precious stones!

Amen!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15:

Suddenly the "Queen of Sheba" narrative seems to be interrupted with a two verse paragraph about "almug trees!"

Let me show you what I mean:

"And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day."  1 Kings 10:11-12

Why would the sacred historian want to do this?

Is there perhaps something special about these "almug trees" that warrant our attention?

Theologians and Bible scholars are unsure exactly what kind of tree this is. In my studies I've read everything from a sandalwood tree to a juniper.  It is said that over 15 different trees have been suggested through the years!

But this much is sure!

It is a precious tree, very valuable.

It is a durable tree, not given to decay.

And it is a fragrant tree, emitting a sweet odor.

I began thinking about that.

What TREE (in symbol and type now) would have to be inserted into a story about a lost woman meeting a Type of Christ?

Why, the Cross!

And the Cross was a tree!  Listen to Paul in Galatians 3:13 --- "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

And the Cross introduces a lot of hazy thinking to men of the world!  They can't figure it out!  They suggested a whole lot more than 15 different meanings for Calvary ... all of them being wrong but one!

And the Cross is a precious Tree!  (Excellent in character!) That's where we got saved, folks!  Where the Blood of Jesus was shed!

And the Cross is a durable Tree!  Its Message will not die ... ever!  That's because of Jesus, Who changes not!  "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."  Hebrews 13:8

And the Cross is fragrant!  To an Almighty God above It is the "power of God unto salvation!"  To a repenting sinner on earth It is the only means of Life, eternal Life!  What sweet aroma it brings to the spiritual senses! Talking about the Cross and "hinting" at this sweet-smelling Affair, Isaiah says:  "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him!"  Isaiah 53:10

I believe this almug tree faintly pictures Calvary!

Then notice what Solomon did with the almug trees!

"And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day."

He used these trees for two purposes.

For "pillars!"

This word is used only here in all the Bible!  It means a "support!"  (And what supports everything in the Christian life?  THE CROSS!)  It's the support for both the Church and the home!  See the text ..."the House of the Lord and the King's house"

And "for harps and psalteries" for the singers too! 

Music!

And what gives us our song as Believers?  THE CROSS!

"But God forbid that I should glory (sing, praise, rejoice), save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians 6:14

The first singing in the Bible is in Exodus 15 ... just after God had redeemed His people from bondage!  (First the Cross ... then the singing!)

By the way, "harps" comes from a verb meaning "to twang" and "psalteries" comes from a noun meaning "skin-bag!"  Figure that one out on your own! Sure sounds like my kind of singing though!  An old "skin bag" like me can "twang" with the best of them!  All because of the Cross!

Oh, notice one more thing about those almug trees.  "There came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day."  There were none like those ... ever before or ever since!  Complete and unique excellence!  Unmatched! Unparalleled!  If that doesn't describe the Cross, I don't know what does!

David once said (1 Samuel 21:9) of the dead giant Goliath's sword:  "And David said, There is none like that; give it me."  I say that is also true of the Cross! 

Praise the dear Lord!

And thank God for Calvary!

                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 16:

The Queen of Sheba visited Solomon and was astounded at his wisdom.

She also gave him many gifts such as gold and treasures of rare spices plus various precious stones!  These items, if calculated by today's standards, would equal billions of dollars in worth!

I have thought a time or two that maybe she was trying to just "buy" the Israelite King's pleasure.

Or favorably impress him simply for trade purposes. 

Or "soften" any political antagonism Solomon may have had toward the Sabeans.

It just looked like she was lavishly heaping "gifts" upon the Monarch.

Then I read 1 Kings 10:13.

"And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants."

That verse changed everything!

Based upon this text, I am prepared to say something today. 

It appears to me that in the long run, the Queen of Sheba received more than she gave!

That noun "desire" (in Hebrew = "chephetzs") means pleasure or delight!  And the little adjective "all" (in Hebrew = "kol")  means the whole of something!

And the word "royal" simply translates the Old Testament word for "king."

But ... get this ... "bounty" (in Hebrew = "yad") means "hand" 1,359 times in the King James Bible.  Solomon gave to her out of his majestic hand!

Yes, she got much more than she gave!

Now, watch this:

If this Queen is a picture of a soul seeking real godly Wisdom, seeking the fountain of knowledge, seeking life in all its meaning ...

And if Solomon is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ (at least in his Glory) ...

Then we have a "parable!"

The ex-sinner, having gone to Jesus and recently being saved, is certainly willing to give and give and give to the cause of Christ!  Nothing is too much to ask of him or her!  Cost is not even considered!  "All for Jesus" is the motto. Some believers have been accused of even being fanatics!  There are those who have rejected Christianity and her Lord because of the sacrifice often required.  (What kind of Saviour, they ask, would sit by and let a widow lady give her last two mites into the treasury?  Mark 12:42)

But that kind of worldly reasoning is all wrong!

Of course, salvation itself is a Gift of God!  It can't be bought or earned and certainly not stolen!  Jesus paid the Price on Calvary, His precious Blood.

But there is cost in serving God faithfully!

Multitudes have even given their very lives for the Faith.

Have they, as it first appeared with the Queen of Sheba, given more than was prudent?  Are they "losers" in the investment of life?

No!  No!  No!

Just as Solomon ... "gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty" ... so does Jesus give His children MORE than they could have ever imagined!

No one has ever been the fool for trusting in Christ!

He, our gracious Lord, always bestows more than we could ever sacrifice!

In fact, here's what He plans to do for His children ... "to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified."  Isaiah 61:3  (That's a pretty good "trade!")

He gives, always, MORE and MORE and MORE!

In fact, His standard for providing for His family is described in Philippians 4:19. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." 

Paul began a great prayer once this way:  "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us ...."  (Ephesians 3:20) 

And you think I have any regrets for serving Him?

Do you?

Incidentally, the Queen may have been just as satisfied spending that time in Solomon's presence, even if no gifts were shared!  (Can you preachers imagine a day or two with Paul the Apostle?)  In other words Solomon may have to her been the gift ... rather than the giver!  And again so is it with us followers of Christ ... He is the Blessing, not simply the Blesser!  He is the Reward, not just the Rewarder!  Truthfully, He is Everything to the spiritually healthy growing Christian!

Amen!

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 17:

In the New Testament our Lord says of King Solomon: "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here."  (Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31)

"A greater than Solomon!"

The Queen of Sheba, at great risk and investing at least six months in the journey, traveled to hear the wisdom of Solomon ... and a GREATER than Solomon has come, but few desire to know His Wisdom!

Preacher Bagwell,  how is Jesus greater than Solomon?

In every way!

While it is true that Solomon was born in a royal palace amid great comforts ... Jesus was virgin born!   Now, you tell me.  Who is greater?

In riches, Jesus is greater!  Solomon of course had his billions ... but Jesus is the Treasure of God, His darling only begotten Son!

In wisdom, Jesus is greater!  Solomon was wise but Jesus is ALL-WISE (Omniscient)!

Under Solomon's reign Israel was at or near its greatest zenith ever, but Jesus' reign will be from sun to sun, world-wide in scope! 

Solomon built many great buildings (especially the Temple), but Jesus is building the Body of Christ, the Church!  Ephesians 2:21 calls the Church a "growing temple!"

Solomon's great prayer, at the dedication of the Temple, is one of his greatest know spiritual accomplishments, but Jesus' prayers are greater!  Read John 17 for example.  Do you remember Solomon praying all night at any time?  Jesus did often!

Solomon had a fancy throne too!  (Ivory overlaid with pure gold!)  But Jesus' throne is at the right hand of God the Father!  That's "greater!"

Solomon's food was impressive too!  (Thirty oxen and a hundred sheep plus other meats daily!  1st Kings 4:22-24)  But only Jesus could take a few loaves and fishes and feed multitudes!

And let's look at their respective homes!  Solomon's took 13 years to build and was luxurious!  Jesus lives in His Father's House, which is taking longer to build ... and is far more ornate and glorious!  It has "many mansions!"

Solomon received gifts all his life, millions of them probably!  But, Jesus is again greater!  He has received worship ... and honour and the untold sacrifices of many for centuries!  And He deserves every one of them ... and more!

And when Solomon sacrificed offerings TO His God, he was extravagant, once (at the dedication of the Temple) giving the Lord 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep!  But ... Jesus gave the Father Himself, dying on the old rugged Cross, shedding His Blood for sinners to be saved!  Jesus is greater!

And, finally, Solomon died!  But Jesus died ... and rose again!  Who is greater?

And if you want to look at the negative side too ... Solomon sinned.  Again and again!  Way too much!  Sins that eventually became his downfall!  Jesus was sinless!  He never disobeyed His Father ... not once!  Jesus ... is GREATER and GREATER!

Then Solomon's son Rehoboam succeeded him, and he was a foolish young man.  Jesus needs no successor!  He is alive for evermore!

And not only that ... Solomon never worked a miracle!  Never changed a life! Never wept over a city!  Never touched a leper!  Never saved a soul!

He couldn't!

I simply repeat our verse for today:  "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here."

That adjective "greater" is "pleion" in Greek and means superior, more in quantity and quality, or just superior!

Even in name meaning, Solomon is less glorious than Jesus!  Solomon (meaning "peaceful one") indeed never fought a war in his forty year reign!  But Jesus is the TRUE Peaceful One!  Paul in Ephesians 2:14 says of Jesus:  "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us!"

It's worth studying the Queen of Sheba chapters in the Word of God (1st Kings 10 and 2nd Chronicles 9) just to remember how Jesus is greater ... even greater than Solomon!

Christian, sometime today get alone with your Lord and tell Him just how great He is to you!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 18:

The question remains ... did she (the Queen of Sheba) really get "saved?"

Some commentators and theologians and preachers say yes ... while others don't think so.

She does seem more interested in the THINGS around Solomon than in the God Who gave those things!

And she did call Jehovah God (when speaking to Solomon) "the Lord THY God!"  (She did NOT call Him the Lord MY God!)  "Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice."  1st Kings 10:9

Yet she traveled so far!  And Jesus used her an an illustration of a hungry seeking soul!  And history tells us a Church of Believers was established back in her home land about this same time!

But ... truthfully, we do not know for certain whether she personally believed on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or not!

There is no doubt in  my mind but that as they talked ... Solomon would have told her of their common history.  (Remember, the Queen was a descendent of Abraham through his wife Keturah, whom he married after Sarah's death.)  She would have learned about Isaac and about the near sacrifice up on that hill (a picture of Calvary)!  Perhaps he taught her too about the blood sacrifices God required, innocent little animals that foretold of the coming Lamb of God!  Maybe he even added a little course on Adam and Eve and the Fall of man into sin!  She could have easily gained enough information to trust in a coming Messiah, a Redeemer to save the lost! 

But, again, whether she believed, we just don't know.  The text does not say for sure!  We must leave it at that.  (When the Bible speaks we can speak.  When it's silent, we had best be silent too!)

But I do know this.

If you're reading here today ... it is by "divine appointment!"

God has you "here" for a reason!

Are you saved?

Have you trusted Jesus to wash away your sin?

Is the Holy Spirit of God speaking to you right now ... drawing you to the Lord?

If so,  "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."  Romans 10:9

That's for sure!

                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 19:

The last part of the last verse about this amazing Queen reads:  "So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants."  1 Kings 10:13

She, having heard and seen Solomon's wisdom and glory, went back to Arabia!

That's interesting!

Why did she not stay longer at Jerusalem?

Why did she not leave permanent couriers in the court of Solomon?

She just ... went back home!

Yet that's exactly what Jesus told others to do!

After they had met Him in all His Grace and Love ... our Lord told them to return to their own homes and spread the Word!

Here's the cleansed and cured (and saved) former maniac of Gadara.  He's the one who was inhabited by thousands of demons!  As Jesus was leaving the Gadarene territory, this event is recorded ... "And when He was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed Him that he might be with Him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel."  Mark 5:18-20

Sir, go back home ... and tell the Story!

Basically the same thing occurred to the "woman at the well" in John 4. Having met Jesus and being saved by His Grace ... she "left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?  Then they went out of the city, and came unto him."  John 4:28-30

She went back home ... and told the Story!

And look what happened at the telling of such a Story:  "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did."  John 4:39

That's why we are to go home and witness for Jesus!

So ... little wonder the Queen of Sheba returns to her own land.  And both history and tradition tell us that where she went ... people were changed and churches sprang up and spirituality increased.  Maybe ... and I do say maybe ... she too got saved ... and as she both traveled and then lived the rest of her life with the Sebeans ... told the Story of the great God of Israel, the One Who has a Son Who loved sinners and planned their redemption!

Now this text suggests a great idea!

Why don't we all today go home and tell the Story!

A hungry sinner just may be waiting to hear!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

THANK GOD FOR THIS BIBLE ACCOUNT OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA!  AND THANK GOD FOR FAITHFUL BIBLE STUDENTS LIKE YOU ... WHO LOVE AND STUDY THE WORD!  THIS SERIES IS NOW COMPLETE (19 LESSONS).

 

 

 

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