Monday, March 24, 2014

Book 2 - Day 13 The Queen of Sheba

We think they have everything.  We think they have no problems, concerns or aggravations.  We think the luxury, money, trips, houses and “stuff” make a person satisfied. Fortunately, we are wrong.  Why did Jesus look intently at the rich young man and command, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”? (Matthew 19:21). This “poor” young naïve man thought money would win him to Christ.  He had everything, saw Jesus perform miracles and wanted to follow him.  But, Jesus sees something inside his heart, the love of money.  “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Matthew 19:22) This young man would depart with his wealth.
            The Queen of Sheba had wealth, power and prestige, but lacked something.  She apparently was intelligent, inquisitive and had heard the rumors of a King so wise her thoughts plagued her a night thinking of him.  Unable to restrain her heart longer, the Queen of Sheba mounts an entourage to see King Solomon and test his wisdom (1 Kings 10:1). 
            “Arriving in Jerusalem with a very great caravan – with camels, 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.” (1 Kings 10:2-5).
            Let us stop right there for a moment.  My heart desires for “worldly” wealth to come and gaze upon the churches of God.  If someone took a few minutes to sit and ponder the workmanship of God’s churches, why a man would built a Temple to the Lord and worship with all his heart; I pray that person would be the as the queen, overwhelmed.  Maybe the thought would be along the lines of, “Something is bigger than me.”  “Maybe there is more to life than money and stuff.” The bible says after walking in the Temple and seeing the burnt offerings Solomon gave to the Lord for sacrifice, then she was overwhelmed.  I am sure the queen saw the “first fruit” and “best” offerings, no Cain skimping here with Solomon.  Her reply to the king is priceless.
            “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 to me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.  How happy your men 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.” (1 Kings 10:6-9).
            How I would love for the “world” to look on the church as blessed for God’s wisdom and righteousness.  I would love to see more Christians blessed with money and the world look on at our worship to the Lord in thanksgiving.  I do want to make one point clear.  God’s blessing of money is not evil although many who quote, “Money is the root of all evil”, this referring to 1 Timothy 6:10.  Actually, the verse says this, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
            Proverbs 10:22 reads, “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.” I do not how the Queen of Sheba would have responded to Christ’s direct confrontation as did the young rich man, but I do know she was seeking after wisdom and something else.  Her heart must have sought something more than money for the Lord Jesus of Nazareth mentions her in the book of Matthew, “The Queen of Sheba will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42).  The Queen of Sheba sought wisdom, but was enriched by knowing who provided Solomon’s money.  I believe she returned to her country a changed woman.
            The desire for “worldly pleasures”, including money can cloud our vision.  My prayer to the Lord is to remove any and all scales or hindrances from my life which would lead me astray from the Lord and my plan.  I have prayed, “Father, if money will deceive me, if money will cause me to desire and quest after the world, then I do not want it.” The queen had it all, but Romans 1:14-15 brings to mind what God writes on our hearts, “When Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even thought they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thought now accusing, now even defending them.” 
            Woman, God has placed a yearning in our hearts for him.  The Queen of Sheba, a gentile, did not have the Ten Commandments that Solomon had.  She knew not of “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” The Queen knew something of the God of Israel, but maybe she was feeling Ecclesiastes 3:11, “God has made everything beautiful in its time, he has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” I am sure Solomon repeated many Proverbs to the Queen and made the God of Israel very plain to her; a changed woman she was indeed!
            Solomon’s reputation preceded him and I pray our reputations precede us as Christian women.  I would love for a person to say, “I have heard of your joy.  I have heard of how happy you are and want to know why?” or “I have heard you are on troubled times, but you look so at peace. Why?” or maybe, “I have heard you are a woman of prayer. Who do you talk to and what do you say?” I think if unbelievers saw happy, joyous, generous, loving and caring Christians, more people would be in our churches; more souls would be won to Christ.
            I do understand “first hand” experiences are what a heart needs to know Christ.  Think of the Samaritan woman who told her village about what Jesus had told her.  On her testimony many believed, but it was when he stayed with the village two days their hearts were won (John 4:39-42). When we have a “first hand” encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, our lives are changed.  I pray if someone encounters you, as a Christian woman, their lives are touched and inquisitive.  If you know of someone who needs a revelation of Christ, then pray for them; pray for the Lord to open their heart and see Truth removing whatever hindrances stand in their way of Truth.  Be as the persistence widow continually knocking, seeking and asking for their acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  A life changing experience as the Queen of Sheba had with Solomon and his love for Yahweh.

Let us pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God;

            I have a desire for Truth.  If I have never had a life changing encounter with Christ, then I open my heart to receive him as my Lord and Savior.  I do not want to perish for lack of knowledge, but will continue knocking, seeking and asking for Truth (Hosea 4:6)
            I do not want to be blinded by the world’s pleasures.  If money, power or prestige has been my focus, then I pray for redirection, a redirection of my priorities, a revival of my spirit and restoration, a transformation of my mind to know Christ and the power of the resurrection (Romans 12:2). I do not want to be as the rich young man, unable to let go of his wealth, treasures stored up where moth and rust destroy (Matthew 6:19).
            I know the love of money is the root of all evil, leading some away from their faith and causing my grief (1Timothy 6:10).  My heart’s desire is to be content where ever you place me, whether abasing or abounding (Philippians 4:12).  If I need time to spend with you, then lead me to green pastures and living water (Psalm 23).  Help me as the Queen of Sheba, seek you out and the Truth in which I desire to know.  For I know in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). I want to know more for I do not want to be deceived by fine sounding arguments or help captive by the hollow, deceptive philosophies of the world (Colossians 2:8).
            As Solomon instructed the queen, I know that fear of the Lord is beginning of knowledge and wise men store up this knowledge (Proverbs 1:7, 10:14). It is written who ever loves discipline loves knowledge, I do not want to be one who hates correction for the Lord disciplines those he loves (Proverbs 12:1). Help me to sit, study and listen to the Word.  I have zeal for the House of God, but it is written not to be zealous without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way (Proverbs 19:2).
            Thank you Lord for the Word.  Thank you I can study the women of the bible and learn from them.  Thank you Father I can come to you any time I desire for wisdom, knowledge and correction.  I praise you Lord for your goodness! In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray. Amen.

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