1 Kings 10:7-9 (NIV) 7 But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. 8 How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9 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.”
On verses 1-9: Having heard of Solomon’s fame, wisdom and splendor, the Queen of Sheba travels approximately 1,200 to 1,500 miles from Sheba (modern day Yemen) to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem. The Queen of Sheba is thoroughly impressed by King Solomon’s ability to answer her tough questions (v3). Even more, she is impressed by the various aspects of his kingdom and how excellent they were — everything from the palace to the food to the way Solomon’s officials were organized to the way the attending servants served to the quantity of offerings made to God at the temple (v4-5).
In response, the Queen of Sheba says to Solomon, “in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard” (v7) and gives praise to the Lord (v9). This is significant. For the Queen of Sheba arrived at Solomon’s court a skeptic. But she became a believer after hearing Solomon answer her questions and seeing how God had blessed him.
How do I know she became a believer? It’s because Jesus talks about the Queen of Sheba in Matthew 12:42 and says that the Queen of Sheba discovered the truth of who God is by talking to Solomon.
What can we learn from this? King Solomon and his court were known for excellence in every aspect. Such excellence helped lead the Queen of Sheba to faith in the Lord. How about you? Do you strive for excellence in what you do? My prayer is that you would be known for excellence in everything you do — in your character, your lifestyle, the way you serve at church, the way you love God and love people, the way you speak, the way you make decisions, the way you love your family, the way you study and work — so much so that others around you would take notice and be led to Jesus. I pray the same thing for THRIVE Church, that we would be known for excellence. Whenever you serve at THRIVE, whether it’s off stage or on stage, may you do it with an excellence that glorifies God, demands your best, and leads people to Jesus.
1 Kings 10:10-13 (NIV) 10 And she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 11 (Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood and precious stones. 12 The king used the almugwood to make supports for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.) 13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.
On verses 10-13: In response to the excellence she saw in Solomon’s kingdom, the Queen of Sheba gave a large donation of gold, spices and precious stones (v10). King Hiram of Tyre also brought large quantities of gold, almugwood and precious stones to Solomon’s kingdom.
What can we learn from this? People are happy to give generously toward what they see is excellent. The church ought to be the most excellent entity in the world, for we represent the name above every name, the king above all kings. If foreigners like the Queen of Sheba and King Hiram would give their best (their gold) to Solomon’s kingdom, how much more should we give our best to the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, You are a God of excellence. You do all things well. Help me and the people at THRIVE to be people of excellence too, that in everything we do we give our best to You. As we pursue excellence, may Your name be glorified and may You lead many people who don’t know You to faith in Your name. In Jesus’ most excellent name, AMEN!