Friday, November 14, 2014

Preparing to Compare

READ 1 Kings 9-10

The Queen of Sheba comes to visit Solomon “to test him with hard questions.” She is amazed at his wisdom and the ease with which he answers her questions and the wealth that is displayed in his royal court and she is breathless (10:5). She then gives Solomon and extraordinary gift of 120 talents of gold. At today’s gold prices that would be well over a million dollars. Needless to say, she is impressed.

One wonders exactly why this story is included in the OT account, not once but twice (2 Chronicles 9). We already know that Solomon is wealthy and wise. So, with no further plot to the story, why tell of her visit except to underscore and emphasize the wealth and wisdom of Solomon? Well, I think that’s precisely the point. And it is the point for NT purposes.

Twice in the NT Jesus says, “The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” (Luke 11:31; Matthew 12:42) The wealth and wisdom of Solomon is portrayed clearly for us in all its grandeur primarily so that we can see that Jesus is far greater than Solomon. The writer of 1 Kings is preparing the way for the exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, everything in the OT is leading to this very goal of showing the wonder and work of our Lord and Savior. Carry that thought with you today and worship him continually.

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving your Son. Thank you that Jesus humbled himself and willingly went to the cross for lost sinners like us. Thank you that because of his obedience in death you have highly exalted him and given him a name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord…to your glory, Father. Help us to live lives of bowing and confessing.

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