Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart.”
Psalm 27: 14
“Have courage, soul of mine,
The path that you must keep
Is long and lone and steep;
But many thousand feet
Have passed this way before;
All through the vanished years
These stones were wet with tears,
If others knew this road,
And bore their heavy load,
If others went this way,
You, too, can bear the heat
And burden of the day;
You, too, can bear dark night
Until the morning light.
If others passed this way
Have courage, soul of mine!”
Mark E. Rock
Today’s Study Text:
“May he (Solomon) be like rain that comes down upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth…the kings of Tarshish and of the coasts shall bring offerings; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts…And He shall live; and to Him shall be given gold of Sheba; prayer also shall be made for Him, and through Him continually, and they shall bless and praise Him all the day long…Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who alone does wonderous things! Blessed be His glorious name forever: let the whole earth be filled with His glory! The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended” (Psalm 72: 6, 10, 15, 18-20, A Psalm for Solomon, Amplified Bible).
“Lessons Taught By the Lady From Sheba” Part 10
Lesson #10 – From the words of Jesus: “For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced. Then some of the Scribes and Pharisees said to Him, ‘Teacher, we desire to see a sign or miracle from You, proving that You are what You claim to be.’ But He replied to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation (a generation morally unfaithful to God) seeks and demands a sign…The queen of the South will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, Someone more and greater than Solomon is here’ (Matthew 12: 37-39,42 Amplified Bible).
PROPHECY: A prediction often given by a prophet. An inspired utterance. A divine declaration.
“Prophecy is not given to make men (and women) prophets, but as a witness to God when it is fulfilled.”
Sir Isaac Newton
What can we learn about prophecy from the life of the Queen of Sheba?
How do Jesus’ Words in the New Testament instruct me about my responsibility to learn of God’s Word?
“Words of prophecy in the mouth are no infallible evidence of a principle of grace in the heart.
“Prophesying is a dangerous business for those who are not inspired.”
R. I. Dabney
We hear a lot about “prophetic words” in this day and age. In fact, I’ve frequently found there are those who claim to have a prophetic gift and are more than willing to share their ability to prophesy with others. In a time when so much around us seems unsettled, having a true word, a Biblical word which we can count on, is truly a blessing. But I’ve asked myself, how are we to know that the word of prophecy which someone claims to speak, is true or rather that the individual who is bearing the message, is really just carrying a false prophetic message, not one from heaven?
This is where I find Lesson #10 to be of great assistance as we look at the final lesson from the life of the Queen of Sheba. Lesson #10 is found in Matthew 12 where a sign is demanded to prove Jesus is who He says He is. And we find the Queen of Sheba called to provide a witness in the judgment based on what she learned for herself.
Specifically, there are two very interesting areas in the life of the queen from the south that we find are not associated with the book of 1 Kings 10.
First of all, in Psalm 72, a Psalm written for Solomon, the visit of the Queen of Sheba is foretold. This Psalm relates the fact that she will bring gold to the young king. How interesting it is that throughout Scripture we find that those who fulfill God’s Word and carry out His commands are not always reflective of the image you and I might have in our minds of what a messenger should be. As we learned initially when we first began to study about the Queen of Sheba, it does us well not to be so hasty in judging an individual, believing that their heritage, their gender or their religion disqualifies them from carrying out God’s purpose. And certainly this is true of the Arabian queen.
In his book on 1 Kings, Dale Davis opens our eyes to the prophetic significance of the Queen of Sheba’s visit when he pens:
“There is a sense in which 1 Kings 10 is a “word of prophecy,” for the attraction that Solomon’s kingdom held for the nations of his day is a fore gleam of the destiny of the kingdom of God on earth. The Queen of Sheba is simply a sample of the future homage the nations will bring to Yahweh’s covenant king.”
But there’s even more we can learn in a “prophetic sense” from the life of the Arabian queen when we turn to the New Testament where Jesus proceeds to inform the religious leaders of His day that the Queen of Sheba was given as a “sign” or as the Greek tells us: an indication or a wonder. What was it the Queen of Sheba indicated by her visit to Solomon?
To “indicate” something means to proclaim something. This queen’s visit indicated her desire to gain a broader and deeper knowledge of the things of God. And so, with haste, she came to visit the individual known worldwide for being blessed with the greatest outpouring of wisdom during Solomon’s life on earth. Nothing held her back from learning all she could. And shouldn’t we be the same today!?
In the New Testament, we find that with the giver of all good gifts in their very presence, the Pharisees casually by-passed the knowledge of Jesus and instead chose to demand a sign they felt would wipe away their disbelief. In a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon delivered in 1902, this great preacher had this to say about Jesus’ commentary regarding the Queen of Sheba in Matthew 12:
“As our Lord has given the Queen of Sheba for a sign, (Matthew 12: 42), it would be unbecoming if we did not try to learn all that we can from that sign. She came ‘to hear the wisdom of Solomon;’ but Christ is ‘greater than Solomon,’ in every respect…Because He (Jesus) is with the Father, and knows the Father, He has such wisdom as no one else can have.”
As we look at the lessons from the life of the Queen of Sheba, we find that God’s messengers, as well as His messages, may often not be packaged just as we errantly believe them to be, but if they work in harmony, in testimony, bearing witness to the God of heaven and earth, God’s truth will be found in them. As Thomas á Kempis correctly noted: “Do Thou speak, O Lord God, the Inspirer and Enlightener of all the prophets, for Thou alone without them canst perfectly instruct me, but they without Thee will profit nothing.”
“I would not give much for prophetic intelligence if it does not begin, continue and end with the person, work, and glory of Christ.”
“Breathe from the gentle South, O Lord,
And cheer me from the North;
Blow on the treasures of Thy word,
And all the spices forth!
Help me to reach the distant goal,
Confirm my feeble knee;
Pity the sickness of a soul
That faints for love of Thee.
I seem forsaken and alone,
I hear the lion roar;
And every door is shut but one,
And that is mercy’s door.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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