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Scriptures:Read 1 Kings 9&10
Key Verse:"So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom."(1 Kings 10:23)

        After the dedication service, the Lord once again revealed Himself to Solomon, probably in a dream as He had the first time at Gibeon (3:5). This time God confirmed to him that his prayer (8:23-53) had been heard and that He would indeed inhabit the Temple, and His eyes and heart would be there to hear the prayers of His people (9:3; 8:29). God also reconfirmed the Davidic Covenant with Solomon. He would establish David's dynasty if he and his sons after him would walk before Him with integrity and righteousness. Then Solomon was given a twofold warning of what the terrible consequences would be if Israel served other gods: (1) they would be "cut off" from the land God had given them; and (2) the Temple would be destroyed (9:7). Sadly, later in Israel's history, these very things happened.

        With Solomon's large work force of Israelites and his Canaanite slaves, he was able to build all he desired. The kingdom greatly expanded and grew quickly in wealth. Solomon was a genius in commerce and trade. Through peaceful means, he became the leading and most wise king, and Israel became the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the then-known world, just as the Lord had promised Solomon (10:23; 3:12-13). Jerusalem was the most magnificent city and the Temple and Solomon's palace were the most beautiful buildings on the face of the earth.

        With the aid of king Hiram of Tyre, Solomon launched a navy on the Mediterranean, as well as at Ezion Geber on the north end of the Red Sea (modern-day Eilat). Solomon had control of all the trade routes on the sea, as well as on the land. He also controlled the monopoly on horses and chariots (10:28-29). His fame spread far and wide, so that every ruler wanted to come and hear his wisdom and see his magnificent buildings — the greatest tourist attraction in the world.

        One of those who came out of curiousity was the famous queen of Sheba. Sheba was probably located in southwestern Arabia (modern-day Yemen). She was truly amazed by what she saw and heard from Solomon. There was no question he could not answer. The fruit of his wisdom was clearly evident everywhere, and she exclaimed, "the half was not told me" (10:7). When she saw all that Solomon had, the queen knew it was because he was blessed by the Lord God of Israel. This all served as a witness to the whole world that there was indeed a living God in Israel. The queen showed faith in God when she said: "Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness" (10:9).

        Solomon's wealth and splendour was beyond belief (Matthew 6:29). His throne was the most magnificent ever made (10:18-20). He made silver "as common in Jerusalem as stones" (10:27). The Temple was awesome; the ceremonial practices and the sacrifices were significant and glorious, yet Jesus said, referring to Himself, "there is One greater than the temple" (Matthew 12:6). Jesus also spoke of the queen of Sheba, who recognized Solomon's greatness from God. He said she would stand at the judgment to condemn those who saw and heard Him (Jesus) and yet did not recognize that "indeed a greater than Solomon is here" (Matthew 12:42).


        Lord, we pray that as the Queen of Sheba came to believe in You through Solomon, may we bring people to believe in You too. We don't have the outward splendour of Solomon, but by Your grace grant that the riches of Christ in our hearts and minds will be seen by searching souls. Grant that the One who was "Greater than Solomon" may shine brightly through us. In His name. Amen.

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