The Queen of Sheba enters the Bible scene in 1 Kings 10:1-13, 2 Chronicles 9:1-9, and 2 Chronicles 9:12. Jesus also makes reference to her in Matthew 12:42. The Queen of Sheba was no ordinary lady. She was a great monarch in her own right with plenty of power, wealth, and an intelligent mind to carry on a conversation with the wisest man who ever lived.
1 Kings 10 reads: “Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions…she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.” Solomon answered all of the Queen’s questions; there was nothing he did not explain to her. After the Queen of Sheba experienced all the wisdom and prosperity of Solomon’s house, she exclaimed: “Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” Afterwards, King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba exchanged generous gifts before she went back to her own country.
Here are three things we can learn from the Queen of Sheba:
1. The Queen of Sheba came seeking knowledge. Having heard of the wisdom that God had blessed Solomon with, the Queen traveled to hear it herself. She did not think she already knew everything just because she sat on her own throne. She humbled herself. She asked a lot of questions. She told Solomon all that was in her heart. We would be wise to seek knowledge today – not from Solomon, but from Someone greater.
In Matthew 12:42, Jesus is telling the scribes and Pharisees: “The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.” Jesus praises the Queen of Sheba’s desire to seek out wisdom. He rebukes the scribes and Pharisees because the wisdom that Jesus offers to them is greater than Solomon’s, yet they refuse to seek it.
God is omniscient. This means He knows everything that can be known. There is nothing that God does not know. What better person to seek wisdom from than our Creator? Spending time in prayer, reading and studying the Bible, and asking questions from other mature Christians are all ways for us to seek wisdom.
2. The Queen of Sheba acknowledged the Lord. We are not told if the Queen was a believer, but we do know that she credited God for the fame of Solomon. After seeing and hearing all he had to show and tell her, the Queen of Sheba did not praise Solomon. Instead, she said, “Blessed be the Lord!” When we see others who have acquired power, wealth, and wisdom through honest means, we should remember that it comes from God. We should praise God for the blessings we receive and for the blessings He gives to others.
We should also encourage others to do good with the blessings they have been given. The Queen of Sheba told Solomon that God made him king to “do justice and righteousness.”
3. The Queen of Sheba was generous. 1 Kings 10:10 reads: “Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, spices in great quantity, and precious stones. There never again came such abundance of spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.” In return, King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked.
When God blesses us, we should bless others. The Bible is full of promises that if we give, we will also receive.
There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. (Proverbs 11:24)
The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. (Proverbs 11:25)
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)
While giving to get is a good incentive, that should not be the main reason for our generosity. Material possessions are not the only things we can give. We can give of ourselves, our time, our love. We should not only give to people who can repay us. We should give to those who will never be able to do anything for us. The more we give to others, the more we will have for ourselves – not just material wealth, but peace, satisfaction, confidence, and infinite happiness that we are helping others rise.