I Kings 10:1-2 NIV
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. 2 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.
Subject: “We Need To Sit With The King”
There are many wonderful stories in the Bible that articulate the experiences of women as they encounter Jesus. We ought to pay attention to these stories because we have much to learn from these great women of faith and their experience in God. For example:
#1- You remember Luke 8:43-48 NIV
The woman who suffered with a medical issue for 12 years and in-spite of being abandoned by her community, when all else failed she pushed her way through the crowd, with great faith, and grabbed on to Jesus. She was healed and called daughter by Jesus, yes she was.
#2- How about the woman at the well in the gospel of John chapter 4 vs 7-42 who after her sitting with Jesus she returned to her community and told them about her glorious encounter with Christ . The Bible says in Verse 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony.
#3- How about the women of Faith who stayed at the foot of the cross, in solidarity with Jesus while many of the men fled in fear? John 19:25
#4- And How about Mary Magdalene, who went to the empty tomb and was the first to share the news of the risen savior. She boldly proclaimed: “I have seen the Lord!” Gospel of John 20 Verse 18
These are some of the New Testament accounts, but I want to go back and retrieve, from the 1st testament, the story of the Queen of Sheba, where we find rich content, as we explore her encounter with the king.
Solomon was the King of Israel, said to be the tenth son of David and the second son of Bathsheba. Solomon became the third king of Israel and reigned forty years. His reputation was far reaching. The Holman Bible dictionary reports that Solomon is remembered most for his wisdom, his building program, and his wealth generated through trade and administrative reorganization. Solomon was also remembered as speaking three thousand proverbs and a thousand and five songs in his repertoire (1 Kings 4:32). So, it is not surprising that Proverbs and Song of Solomon in the Bible are largely attributed to Solomon’s authorship.
1 Kings 4:29 says:
“29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.”
A question today is simply, what can we learn from from the Queen Of Sheba and her encounter with the King?
Please open your Bible to 1 Kings Chapter 10
The first half of the first verse tells us that:
10 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord,
Right away we see that.
1-“She had A Listening Ear and A Listening Heart”
She heard the testimonies. Testimonies about Solomon had reached the ears of the queen. Not only of his popularity, his wealth, and wisdom, but more importantly she heard about Solomon’s relationship with God. As a matter of fact, what she heard was so remarkable, that she was compelled to investigate it for herself. Her admiration for what she heard ignited and inspired her interest, and her suspicions. She decided that she had to get up and go to Jerusalem to meet Solomon in person.
I think that this verse can remind us all of our own experience with the Lord. Just like the Queen heard many things about the king, I know that early in our lives we had heard a-lot about Jesus from other people. Our mothers, fathers, grandparents, guardians they told us something about Jesus. Sunday school teachers, preachers, people knocking on your door or people standing on the street corners handing out tracks. We heard a lot of good things but, we may have also heard some stuff that wasn’t clear to us. We had our doubts, we had our criticisms. We had our suspicions, questions and hesitancies. But, at some point along our faith journey, something happened on the inside. I know what I heard but I needed to know for myself.
The Queen heard a lot of marvelous things about King Solomon. But she was led to do more than just “hear”
2-The other half of verse 1 says:
“she came, to test king Solomon with hard questions”
In order to get to the King, she had to leave where she was.
She was willing to leave her kingdom behind, step out of her comfort zone and step away from her daily routine in order to embark on a journey to satisfy the questions on her mind.
“She left where she was to visit the King”
Are you willing to leave your trouble behind, and look past your circumstance in order to sit with the king?
As a powerful Queen with great resources, she could have stayed home and sent an inquiring, investigative delegation. But, the intensity of her curiosity compelled her to leave her safe space, and set out on a journey seeking an encounter with the king. This expedition was well over 1000 miles. She didn’t have the luxury or the convenience of meeting Solomon on a zoom or facetime call. So she made a deliberate and intentional endeavor to embark on a journey to go and meet with the King.
Now this journey to get to the king came with some challenges. Using my imagination, I can picture this long, gift- laden caravan of camels with weary and exhausted servants, covered in sand dust, slowly moving across the deadly desert terrain, enduring the extreme heat of the day and freezing cold at night. They traveled through dangerous territory known to be a pathway occupied by predators and robbers who were willing to kill to take everything she had. As we gaze upon this caravan carrying the Queen of the South, we can draw a safe conclusion.“This women is an earnest seeker of truth.” This is someone who has set her heart on getting into the presence of the king. Willing to leave all behind, and travel a treacherous road filled with uncertainty. She wasn’t about to let the threat of wild animals or robbers deter her or stop her from getting to the king. Yes she was on a mission. She didn’t just want t to visit the King
Verse 1 also said she came to test Solomon with hard questions.
There are some secular scholars that would suggest that the cultural practice during this period was to assess the intellectual capabilities of a person by questioning them someone with non philosophical, non religious riddles to see how quickly they could solve the riddle. I don’t buy into that theory. I believe The queen wanted to probe the heart and mind of Solomon and learn about his relationship with God. She wanted to know more about the God Solomon served. She prepared herself with hard questions. The questions came from her deepest concerns. They weren’t casual, flippant, rhetorical questions. She wanted a look into the man who was so blessed, so wise, so wealthy. She wanted to know more about this God that Solomon believed in. She wanted to see for herself if all that she heard was true.
The second verse begins with:
2 Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—
She didn’t arrive at the king's palace empty handed.
Some would suggest this was simply a trade mission, or a business venture, in which The Queen of Sheba was looking to do business with Solomon. But note that the second half of verse two is where the scripture says
she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind.
And what was on her mind certainly included His “relationship with God”. and guess what… she brought gifts with her. GIFTS showing respect and honor, not only for Solomon, but in honor of the God That had so richly blessed Solomon.
So here’s the big point, the Queen of Sheba made it her business, her priority to set up the meeting, and finally after enduring the difficult journey:
She got to sit with the King. What a blessing. What happened when she sat with the king? The Bible says:
In verse three:
3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her.
Remember that when you are in search of wisdom, go to the king. There is nothing that is beyond the wise counsel of God.
She spent hours in deep conversation and contemplative dialogue with the King. He answered all, not some, all of her inquiries and his insight surpassed her expectations.
She experienced life changing moments of revelation. She had “aha” moments along her epiphanic journey. The King captivated her, fascinated her, and attracted her even further, through his self disclosure. He told her all about himself, the mighty God he served and how GOD had blessed him beyond measure.
I want to let you know that she was overwhelmed in the presence of the King
4 When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5 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[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.
And guess what, She couldn’t keep quiet about it. She began to testify about what she had heard and now what she is seeing with her own eyes is better than what she heard.
6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 7 But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told to me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. 8 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!
At this point in the story, as she testified as to the greatness of God’s activity in the life of Solomon, she moves from the powerful witness of testimony, to sho nuff praise.
She praised God in the presence of the King
I don’t know who you think she was but knowing what I know about this queen of Ethiopia,
She might have broken out in a praise dance. She shouted it out. In verse 9
9 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.”
But She did more than offer words of praise: Her expression of faith didn’t stop there.
“She blessed the King”
She had a giving heart and a generous hand,
10 And she gave the king 120 talents[b] of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
We can also bless the King today.
Most importantly first and foremost: with how we live our lives. And yes as we embrace the shared ministerial work, carrying out the missiology of the church, we can bless the Lord as we offer our support, our tithes, talents, our time, our gifts, and our willingness to do GOD’s work.
Our willingness to step outside of the boundaries of our own salvific experience and do something for someone in need is a way that we can bless the King.
Yes We bless the Lord with our songs and praise. I love the worship experience, and yes it's great to be able to sing and shout, dance in the aisle on Sunday morning, but, come Monday through Saturday evening, we must be willing to honor God and bless our King, with the way we live our lives, as we walk circumspectly in this world.
After she testified about all she saw, compared to what she heard, after she praised God, after she gave her gifts, and she blessed the king. Then what happened? It was no surprise to me:
“She was blessed by the King” verse 13 informs us
13 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
She returned to her country with the abundance of the King’s blessing. Glory to God, Hallelujah.
So here is the crux of the matter.
Have we sat with the King of kings, King Jesus lately?
The Queen of Sheba did and the king blessed her. Her life was transformed in unimaginable ways. History and tradition tells us that she returned to her country and spread the news about the God of Solomon.
We are a very busy people, living in a world that offers great distractions and frequent opportunities to be pulled away from God.
But let us be reminded by the Queen. She made a deliberate and intentional effort to move out of her comfort zone, out of the busyness of her schedule, to make time to sit with the King. Sometimes we get so caught up in the rhythm of life that we forget, neglect or even resist spending time with God. I know some people, nobody here of course that are so busy all day long that they finally decide to check in with God as they are getting ready to go to bed, they utter a few words and fall asleep. The truth is, God wants to spend a better quality time with us. In His presence there is fullness of joy. It is there, as you intentionally sit with God that you will experience the glorious, captivating splendor of His Majesty. And It is there that he will refresh you, restore your strength, reveal himself and his will to you and send you away with more than you expected . He will bless you over and over again. I don’t know about you but As He continually reveals himself to me I get overwhelmed with gratitude , he gives me assurances of His amazing grace and his unfailing love. He graces me with consolation. Every increase of hope, faith and charity That I experience comes from God. He gives me joy on the inside that points me to his truth and mercy. This joy that I have, the world didn’t give to me and the world can’t take it away. This love that I have, this Holy Ghost that I have they can’t take away
He quiets my soul and grants me peace in and through His Son. I still am in awe of How God has blessed me and my wife, and I can’t keep quiet about it.
So, I've talked a lot about sitting with the King. But, what does that look like for us today?
It looks like making time and spending time in prayer. Talking to God and listening to hear from God. Whether you are sitting, kneeling, standing, walking it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are a praying people.
Sitting with the King is also Making time and spending time prayerfully reading and searching the scriptures to get to know God. Letting God speak to you through the divinely inspired, word of God.
And like the Queen of Sheba,
we can enter into the sacred encounter with our King called prayer:
1-Come prepared with our deepest concerns and present our sincerest inquiries.
I know that, we will leave HIS presence blessed by GOD in ways beyond our measure and our expectation.
Isaiah 55:3 says:
“Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.”
Rev 3:20 Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with me.
Let us be reminded today that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Let us be sure to make time daily to spend sitting with the king.