“When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions.” 1 Kings 10:1 (NIV)
Anytime my mother wanted to put me in my place — let’s say I was flouncing around the kitchen in some dime-store costume, wearing borrowed makeup and putting on airs — she shot me a stern look, one eyebrow arched: “Who do you think you are? The queen of Sheba?”
If she meant to scold me, it didn’t work. Sorry, Mom. Being the queen of Sheba sounded positively delicious. To my way of thinking, she was Delilah, Nefertiti and Cleopatra all rolled into one — an exotic beauty from a foreign land with wealth, power and appeal beyond anything a small-town girl could fathom.
Is that how you’ve imagined her too? Then it’s time to meet the real queen of Sheba and leave the Hollywood version behind.
A leader of uncommon boldness and vision, this real-life queen traveled from the ends of the earth to seek wisdom, drawn to King Solomon’s doorstep because of his bond with the One true God, who was wisdom Himself.
This remarkable woman journeyed for two months across an unforgiving desert — on a camel. All we have to do is cross the room, reach for our Bibles and God’s wisdom is ours for the taking.
Maybe that’s the problem. His Word is so convenient, it’s conveniently forgotten. I’ll read it later. I’ll start tomorrow.
Or we wait until we’re desperate for answers, then don’t know where to find them. We aimlessly flip from one chapter of the Bible to another, looking for a verse that will magically solve everything.
The queen of Sheba took a different route. As we see in our key verse, she put her royal life on hold and made seeking wisdom her number-one priority. Here’s what she teaches us about wisdom by her good example:
1. Wisdom requires time.
We say, “Time is money,” but the truth is, time is worth more than money. It can’t be bought, sold or bargained with. Each minute ticks by, never to be seen again. If we can spend 10 minutes each morning bathing in a hot shower, we can spend at least 10 minutes being cleansed by His Word. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12, NIV).
2. Wisdom requires sacrifice.
When I first embraced the grace of God, He clearly instructed me to unplug my television and start reading the Bible. Do what?! It was hard at first, but as the months went by, I forgot about what I was missing and rejoiced in what I was learning. “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7, NIV).
In case you’re curious, the television eventually returned, but with greatly diminished appeal. God’s plan, absolutely!
3. Wisdom requires humility.
I hate admitting I don’t have all the answers, yet that’s what seeking wisdom is all about. It’s saying, “Lord, I haven’t a clue, but You do.” Admitting, “I don’t know, but I know the One who does.” Only then will God’s wisdom be revealed for what it is: His and His alone. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2, NIV).
As the queen of Sheba discovered, information is interesting and facts are fascinating, but wisdom is world-changing. Wisdom is the resource we bring to the workplace, the encouragement we offer to our friends, the gift we give to the body of Christ, the legacy we leave for our children.
However full our schedules, adding just one more line to our to-do list can make all the difference: Open God’s Word. Find wisdom there today.
Father God, help us never take Your Word or the wisdom it contains for granted. Give us a passion for learning and a thirst for Your Truth. Fill us with the courage to ask hard questions and seek wise answers from You alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 2:6, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (NIV)
Colossians 1:28, “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” (NIV)
Liz Curtis Higg’s new book, It’s Good to Be Queen, explores how you can become as bold, gracious and wise as the queen of Sheba. Pre-order your copy today and receive an exclusive collection of 4×4 Queen Cards that will put God’s wisdom front and center in your life.
Visit Liz’s blog for more encouragement.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
More than 3,000 years ago, the queen of Sheba sought the wisdom of King Solomon and discovered its Source, making her a worthy role model for her modern sisters. Solomon likely penned most of the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Consider reading one chapter a day, starting today. If you do, you will have read the entire book of Proverbs in a month.
Of the three needs mentioned here in our quest for wisdom — time, sacrifice, humility — which one is the most challenging for you? What step could you take this week to help you begin to overcome that obstacle and grow in wisdom?
© 2015 by Liz Curtis Higgs. All rights reserved.