1 Kings 10:1-13 – Let Us Be So Unique That They Have To See It for Themselves

Posted: December 20, 2018 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 10:1-13

Visit of the Queen of Sheba

When people come visit your or my church, what will they find? They may have been invited by someone within our church. They may be friends with or the family of someone in the church. Just as possible is that they are complete strangers to the church. They felt compelled, by the Holy Spirit (though they might not recognize that fact), to visit the church. Maybe, they are going through a tough time and are seeking answers to life’s tough questions. Maybe, they have never been to church EVER but something the church did in the community impacted them and they just felt the need to “check out that church.” What will they find? What kind of church will they find?

Is it a church that is welcoming or is a divine country club? I have visited many churches over the years. Some churches you can visit and never get spoken to except by those assigned to speak to people. There was one church that I went to in California went I first moved out there in 2008 where I went there for 3 Sundays in a row and was never spoken to once at any of the three services. That’s an extreme example but you get the idea. Even if your church does its best to make people feel welcomed, we sometimes can make them feel like they are on the fringes and not part of the central core of the church.

Some churches, though, you get hugged and spoken to by virtually everyone you see. Some churches realize that if you are new that they don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Some churches make the new person feel at home. Members are taught to remember when they were new and taught to seek out new people that they see and not depend on those volunteers that are charged with greeting folks. Some churches express the idea that we are all greeters. What kind of church will guests find at your church? Will they find a welcoming church? Will they find a well-organized Sunday morning service from the street to the parking lot to the doors to the kids ministry to the gathering of saints before service to the worship to the preaching and do they feel loved and wanted after the service as well? What will they find at your church?

People are drawn by the Holy Spirit to your church – some for the very first time to church in their lives. What kind of church will they find? Will they be loved? Will they be cared for? Will they be challenged by the truth of God’s Word? Or will they find nothing different from the world outside? The church’s greatest witness is that it is different from the cutthroat world outside its doors. The church’s witness is the love and wisdom of its people. The church’s witness is the demonstration of the agape love of Christ for the world. Our church services from the parking lot to worship & preaching and back to the parking lot should so intrigue people that they will come back. Those people made me feel loved. Those people seem so genuine in their love for Jesus Christ. Those people are sincere about doing things first class to reflect their desire to please the Lord. Those people are sincere about making me a part of their fellowship. Those people are sincere about me no longer calling them “those people” and me start calling them “my people.” What kind of church will they find?

That’s how I related to today’s passage, 1 Kings 10:1-13, about the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon. She was drawn to visit Israel because she had heard how different Solomon was to the typical king. She was so intrigued that she had to see it for herself. It got me to thinking about new people visiting our churches and what they will find when they get there. Let’s read the passage now with that idea in mind.

Chapter 10

1 When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord,[a] she came to test him with hard questions. 2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a large group of attendants and a great caravan of camels loaded with spices, large quantities of gold, and precious jewels. When she met with Solomon, she talked with him about everything she had on her mind. 3 Solomon had answers for all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba realized how very wise Solomon was, and when she saw the palace he had built, 5 she was overwhelmed. She was also amazed at the food on his tables, the organization of his officials and their splendid clothing, the cup-bearers, and the burnt offerings Solomon made at the Temple of the Lord.

6 She exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements[b] and wisdom is true! 7 I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told. 8 How happy your people[c] must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom! 9 Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”

10 Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds[d] of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

11 (In addition, Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir, and they also brought rich cargoes of red sandalwood[e] and precious jewels. 12 The king used the sandalwood to make railings for the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and to construct lyres and harps for the musicians. Never before or since has there been such a supply of sandalwood.)

13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she asked for, besides all the customary gifts he had so generously given. Then she and all her attendants returned to their own land.

In this passage, we see that the Queen of Sheba came to see for herself if everything she had heard about Solomon was true. Although Solomon had flaws in his relationship with God that were already beginning to show, he still sincerely tried to follow God at this stage in his life. The Queen of Sheba marveled at Solomon and claimed that God must live His people Israel greatly to give them such a king. Israel greatly prospered under Solomon. It was a powerful witness to God’s power and love for His people. The Queen was overwhelmed by the extent of Solomon’s wisdom and God’s blessings upon him and his people. She marveled at the organization of his government as well. She was impressed and lavished praise upon Solomon and Israel. It is apparent that Sheba understood that this was not your average king and not your average kingdom. Many kings and kingdoms of this era had great wealth, but she did not go visit them. Such kings were unlike Solomon. Such kingdoms were unlike Israel.

So, what can we learn from this passage? It is that we as Christians and particular as the fellowship of Christians called the local church are the local reflection of Jesus Christ and people will be drawn to us by the Holy Spirit to check us out. Let us be different from the world! That’s what draws people unto Christ is that they have seen the world and tried the world’s ways and seek answers that they are not finding. The church should be different. It is Christ’s church not the world’s church. We should be so unique, so loving, so welcoming, so engaging, so different than the world that it draws people unto Christ. Help us to be members of churches that seek out new people. Let us be members who care deeply about the eternal destination of our guests. Let us love them so much that they want more and want to find out more about this Jesus Christ. Let us make them feel at home right away. Let us be an example of what is missing in their lives. Let us be examples of the love of God in their lives. Let us be so unique that they stop becoming they and become part of the “we” – we, the church!

Amen and Amen

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