Far Better Than You’re Thinking

Twenty years ago, my roommate in graduate school challenged me to read 1 Kings 10 as a picture of myself approaching Jesus. If you remember, in 1 Kings 10:1-13, the queen of Sheba visits Solomon. Picture yourself coming to Jesus just as this woman comes to Solomon. Consider these highlighted phrases that show her heart and the response of the King.

When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed. She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.” . . . King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.

I love this passage because it showcases a beautiful picture of the way we approach God with our hard questions. We come to him with doubt and a mind full of worry. I love that the queen shares all she had on her mind. And the king answers every single question. 

I also love that the woman needs to experience the king with her own eyes. It wasn’t enough just to hear about him; she wants to come herself, and she finds the reality is far better than the report about this king. Finally, I love the heart of this king who gives the woman all she desired and asked for in addition to what he had already given her.

When I forget the character of God, I look to this picture of Solomon and the visit from the queen of Sheba. I come with my questions. I come wanting to see for myself. I come with desires and requests.

And God far exceeds even the best things I’ve ever heard about Him.

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