August 7, 2019
Daybreak: 1 Kings 10:1-29
“Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.” (1 Kings 10:18)
Throughout our lives, most of us look for the best we can afford when we need something. We try to find the best home for a price that fits in our budget. When we go shopping, we may look for clothes that don’t wrinkle, but wear well. If we are in the market for a job, most of us want the best — one with good pay, great working conditions, and flexible hours. The best buys at the grocery store attract those looking for bargains. Long-distance telephone companies and organizations offering credit cards constantly advertise that they are the “best,” as they fill our mailboxes with their persuasive packages. Even when it comes to vacations, we look for the best location, price, hotel, or campground. In the area of relationships, we look for “a best friend” to share our hearts with, or “the best person” to share our lives with.
Sometimes we may obtain what we think is the best, yet end up with less than what we had hoped for. However, if our purpose is to yield ourselves to God and He is at the center of our lives, everything He does or gives exceeds all else in being exactly right for us. Following God’s perfect plan for our lives is the best way to live. His love is the best, and His gifts to us are the most useful and eternally valuable of any we will ever receive.
The “bests” in this life may be wonderful, but they will not last forever, yet what God gives only gets better. When we have the Lord as our Savior, even situations that seem difficult can ultimately be the best. For example, the little crowded house can be the best shelter, the bread and soup we had for lunch can be the best meal, and the job where we work hard to earn every penny can be the best job around if we know they are God’s will for us. The Lord is and gives the “best.” Nothing else will ever be better!
The Queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon’s kingdom was so she could personally investigate the reports she had heard of his great wisdom and wealth. Her “hard questions” may have been riddles or unfathomable sayings.
Since Sheba (now Yemen) was also a wealthy and sophisticated country, the queen brought expensive gifts to present to Solomon. These items may have also functioned as samples of the merchandise her country had to offer. The queen gave Solomon an abundance of spices and four-and-a-half tons of gold. In return, Solomon gave the queen whatever she requested from his royal bounty.
Solomon’s annual income was 666 talents of gold (approximately 25 tons), and was obtained in various ways including taxes, trade, and gifts. Some of this gold was used for the ceremonial shields and to decorate Solomon’s throne room.
Solomon purchased horses from Egypt, which Moses had forbidden in Deuteronomy 17:16. He even became a horse trader. Deuteronomy 17:17 also stated that a king of Israel should not have many wives or “multiply to himself silver and gold.”
Other royalty beside the Queen of Sheba came to see Solomon’s wealth and wisdom. These visits of foreign dignitaries promoted trade with other nations, which benefited Solomon and all of Israel. However, rather than Israel influencing neighboring countries toward God, they began to adopt the ways of those around them. Although the country reached its zenith as a nation during the reigns of David and Solomon, under Solomon’s leadership, Israel began turning away from God.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The reign of Solomon
F. The splendor of Solomon
5. The visit of the Queen of Sheba (10:1-13)
6. The revenue of Solomon (10:14-29)
A Closer Look
- What was the Queen of Sheba’s response to Solomon’s magnificent kingdom?
- Looking at the vast possessions of Solomon, what do we learn about having riches as believers?
- In your own life, list the blessings that make you rich. Why do these things stand out?
How wonderful it is to know that, with God at the center of our lives, we never have to settle for less than the best.