Community in Action August 14, 2020

Yesterday in my class on the prophets we talked about Solomon and the visit made by the Queen of Sheba. Sheba is where Yemen is currently. It is in the south western portion of the Arabian peninsula. It is as far away as you can get from Israel in Arabia, it is even further than Egypt.

    The queen has come to Solomon because of her interest is this man who has been purported to have accomplished so much in a land far away. The quickest way for her to get there is to take the Red Sea route which would bring her to the tip of Israel where she could then travel north to Jerusalem, the home of Solomon.

    Yet instead she goes by land, a long, arduous, hot, dusty journey. Why does she take this route? Basically because she wants to bring special riches from her country to Solomon to procure an alliance. This can best be done by camels and the desert is a safer route than being subject to the whims of the sea. She does not want to risk her life nor the opportunity to see this man of whom she has heard so much. She has heard he not only has built magnificent buildings, the temple, his Jerusalem palace and other palaces, but she has also heard he is as very wise or so they say.

    She comes bringing spices, gold, and precious stones, some even say she brought just one precious stone, perhaps a large emerald or a glimmering diamond. She asks him numerous questions, which we think were not just factual questions, but riddles to prove his wisdom.

    Finally after her tour of his astounding buildings, precious artifacts, and hearing his words of wisdom she comments in 1 Kings 10:6, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your accomplishments and of your wisdom.”

    She goes on to say that the Lord God should be praised for all he has given to Solomon as God has shown his delight in this successor king to David. She even mentions the love God has for the country of Israel and Solomon a king who will maintain justice and righteousness.

    Of course we know that Solomon started out this way, but later he fell away from God and ended up worshiping the gods of his 700 wives instead of the only one true God. This is a warning to us, that we need to keep our focus on our God, who loves us, and not let our worship be distracted toward other gods, money, material goods, fame, or people who don’t model the justice and righteousness of God.

    The word though which is key here is the word “true.” This word in Hebrew is emet or אמת. What is interesting is that the letters, reading from right to left, א is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, מ is the middle letter, and ת is the last letter. This indicates that the truth she heard and recognizing as actual is an all-encompassing truth.

    Her conclusion is based on the truth. It is true that God does indeed love Israel and Solomon, who at least up to this point has govern with wisdom, justice, and righteousness.

    So let us continue to worship this God, our God, who loves us with an all encompassing love.

    Celebrating God’s love with you,

    Pastor Randy


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