Study 6 QUEEN OF SHEBA: A ROYAL VISIT
(Scripture Portion: 1 Kings 10: 1 – 13)
In Matthew 12: 42, the Lord Jesus authenticated the historical accuracy of this beautiful story of the queen’s visit to the king. She was a wealthy woman, and she lived and ruled in what is now Ethiopia. King Solomon reigned in Jerusalem, and he was not only wealthy and powerful, but he was also very wise. Between Jerusalem and Ethiopia were trade routes by sea and by camel caravans. Thus, there was considerable commercial activity in fragrant spices, precious stones and gold, and it was along this caravan route that the queen travelled to visit the king. As we consider this graphic and heart-gripping story, we shall notice the steps by which men and women may come to the One who declared Himself to be greater than Solomon – even Jesus Christ our Lord – and how they may discover in Him all that they need for time and for eternity.
1. WHAT SHE HEARD.
Verse 1 tells us that she heard of the fame, the wisdom and the riches of King Solomon – look up 1 Kings 4: 29 – 31. We are not told how she heard all this, but presumably someone came down from the north, by land or sea, by camel or ship, and told her of the king. Hearing is the first step towards entering in to any spiritual blessing – look up John 5: 24 and Romans 10: 17. Have you heard of the love of God in Christ and of the fame of our King, the Lord Jesus? What a responsibility rests upon those of us who have heard! – look up Romans 10: 12 – 15.
2. WHAT SHE DID.
Verse 2 tells us that “she came to Jerusalem with a very great caravan, with camels…spices…gold…precious stones…” What a sight it must have been, and what a hazardous and long journey it was for a royal personage in those far-off days! But any journey is worthwhile if it brings us into touch with the King! The sad thing is that there are so many today who have heard of Him, but they have not come to Him. His invitation to them is clear (Matthew 11: 28), and His guarantee is certain (John 6: 37), but still they do not come to Him – look up John 5: 40. Is it true that you have heard what a wonderful Saviour and King He is, and you know your need of Him – and yet you have not come to Him? The queen opened her heart to the king (verse 2), and she brought all her problems to him for solution (verse 1). To whom else can we turn in our time of need? – look up John 6: 68.
3. WHAT SHE FOUND.
Verse 3 tells us this. She found that there was nothing she asked Solomon concerning which he was not able and ready to give an entirely satisfactory answer – and this is absolutely true of the Lord Jesus Christ – look up Colossians 2: 3. He is the One who can give an authoritative answer to all our questions and a solution to all our problems. For example:-
(1) Question: How can I have my sins forgiven? Answer: Acts 13: 38.
(2) Question: What must I do to be saved? Answer: Acts 16: 31.
(3) Question: Is there any other who can save me? Answer: Acts 4: 12.
(4) Question: Can I be sure He will receive me? Answer: John 6: 37.
(5) Question: Can I be cleansed from all sin? Answer: 1 John 1: 7.
(6) Question: Surely I must work to be saved? Answer: Romans 4: 5.
(7) Question: Shall I ask Him now? Answer: Romans 10: 13.
4. WHAT SHE SAW.
Verses 4 and 5 tell us this.
(1) She saw his wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1: 24; Ephesians 1: 8).
(2) She saw his house. Have you recognised the wonderful house that our King is building (Ephesians 2: 19-22)?
(3) She saw his table laden with good things. (Psalm 23: 1; 34: 10).
(4) She saw his servants – his cup-bearers, his ministers and their apparel.
(5) She saw “the burnt offerings he made” (Compare Hebrews 10: 19-22).
And what happened when the queen saw all this? The end of verse 5 tells us. She was overcome, humbled. Seeing the Lord always results in a deep humbling – compare Job 40: 4; Isaiah 6: 5; Acts 9: 4 and Revelation 1: 17.
5. WHAT SHE SAID.
We get this in verses 6 – 9; and as those who have come to Christ and have trusted Him as Lord and Saviour, we can say the same.
(1) She said: “The report I heard…is true” – look up John 4: 42.
(2) She said: “I did not believe…until I came and saw”
(3) She said: “Not even half was told me.”
Verse 8 makes us consider whether the Queen of Sheba felt that the king’s servants had something that she did not possess. Do you feel that those who belong to Christ have experienced something that is lacking in your life, for which you long?
6. WHAT SHE GAVE.
Verse 10 tells us this “gold…spices…precious stones”, and in what abundance! Most of us can never give the Lord such valuable gifts, but we own something that is of more value than the whole world, and we can give this to Him – look up Mark 8: 36. Have you given your soul, your life, to Him? “Love so amazing…demands my soul, my life, my all” – see also verses 11 and 12, and compare 2 Corinthians 5: 14.
7. WHAT SHE RECEIVED.
After she had given so generously to the king, see what the king gave to her – verse 13!
(1) “All she desired”… (compare Psalm 37: 4)
(2) “all she asked for”… (compare John 14: 13-14)
(3) “of his royal bounty”… (compare Philippians 4: 19).
How wonderfully satisfied she was! Are you?