Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Our heart shall rejoice in Him because we have trusted in His holy name.”
“Take anxious care for nought,
To God your wants make known;
And soar on wings of heavenly thought
Toward His eternal throne;
So, though our path is steep,
And many a tempest lowers,
Shall His own peace our spirits keep,
And Christ’s dear love be ours.
Today’s Study Text:
“When the Queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom and skill, the house he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, the standing at attention of his servants, their apparel, his cupbearers, his ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord for the burnt offerings he sacrificed, she was breathless and overcome. She said to the king, ‘It was a true report I heard in my own land of your acts and sayings and wisdom. I did not believe it until I came and my eyes had seen. Behold, the half was not told me. You have added wisdom and goodness exceeding the fame I heard.’”
1 Kings 10: 4-7
“Lessons Taught By the Lady From Sheba” Part 4
Lesson #4 – From the words of David in Psalm 119: 133 (KJV) – “Order my steps in Thy word.”
“Order” – Meaning in Hebrew, “to stand erect, to set up, to prepare, to be done properly, to be fixed and framed, to make ready, to make stable.”
“Order is heaven’s first law.”
As I read about all that the Queen of Sheba witnessed in King Solomon’s court, how do I believe I would have reacted if I had observed all she saw?
“Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.”
Pearl S. Buck
“Order is a lovely thing:
On disarray it lays its wing,
Teaching simplicity to sing.”
Anna Hempstead Branch
I’d like to ask you for a moment, to put yourself in the place of the “Lady From Sheba.” Picture in your mind how you would feel walking into the palace and home of the wisest man on earth. Visualize yourself walking along with Solomon as he made his way to the Temple and ascended to the sacred place where he sacrificed burnt offerings unto the Lord. How do you think you would have felt?
I find it noteworthy that after describing all that the Queen of Sheba saw, the Bible says she was “breathless and overcome.” In today’s language we might say she was absolutely speechless!
As I read everything I could get my hands on regarding the visit of this foreign queen to the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, I found that no one laid out better in a more comprehensible fashion, the details of Solomon’s every day world, than Matthew Henry, whose in-depth commentary of the Bible is a feast for those desiring to expand their knowledge of God’s Word.
Here’s how this scholarly student of the Bible portrays the Queen’s visit. Commenting on our study text for today, this is what Matthew Henry penned:
“Divers things are here mentioned which she (the Queen of Sheba) admired. The buildings and furniture of his (Solomon’s) palace. The provision that was made every day for his table (when she saw that perhaps she wondered where there were mouths for all that meat, but when she saw the multitude of his (Solomon’s) attendants and guests she was as ready to wonder where was the meat for all those mouths), the orderly sitting of his servants, everyone in his place, and the ready attendance of his ministers, without any confusion, their rich liveries, and the propriety with which his cup-bearers waited at his table. These things she admired, as adding much to his magnificence. But above all these, the first thing mentioned (which contained all) is his wisdom of the transcendency of which she now had incontestable proofs; and the last thing mentioned, which crowned all, is his piety, the ‘ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord,’ with what gravity and seriousness, and an air of devotion in his countenance, he appeared, when he went to the Temple to worship God, with as much humility then as majesty at other times.”
This description lays out a wonderful picture for us of what I believe to be Lesson #4 from the “Lady From Sheba’s” visit with King Solomon. And it is a lesson about the value and importance of “order” in our lives.
The Queen of Sheba came to listen with her ears to the wisdom which Solomon abundantly shared. But it was with her eyes that she witnessed how the wisdom he spoke was carried forth in all the rounds of daily duties, not only in the palace court but in Solomon’s home and most evident of all, in his worship of God.
I want to underscore what a critical lesson this is for us to recognize in the life of Solomon and why the orderly beauty found in everything this king did, left such a soul-stirring impression upon this Arabian queen.
At this point in Solomon’s life, he did not live in some haphazard way. His was not a life of chaos. He had a distinct purpose for his life. He was walking in God’s way. His will was molded by his heavenly Father’s design. And what’s critical is that everything in his life reflected this fact.
Those who served him were in harmony. Those who ate at his table did so in unity. An atmosphere of heavenly order pervaded all that Solomon set his hand to. And as for the worship of the God of heaven and earth, we find no frenzied displays of human passion, as was so prevalent among the heathen nations which surrounded Israel. Instead, a devoted spirit of reverence was what impressed the
Queen of Sheba as she watched in awe as King Solomon sacrificed to the God who had bestowed upon him so many blessings.
What are we told was the result? The queen was overcome by the orderly tone that permeated the lives of everyone who surrounded Solomon, from his kingly court, to his home, and to the Temple -- God’s house of worship.
It may seem rather strange that a quality such as “order” was so key to bringing a sense of the greatness of Solomon’s God into the life of the Queen of Sheba. However, I find this to be an undeniable fact. And I’d like to expand the way an orderly life was vital to the lives of God’s children throughout the Scriptures.
This past week, I was doing some study on the life of Moses and the children of Israel and their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land -- Canaan. As I read about the organization needed to move thousands of families across the wilderness, it became apparent, very quickly, that without an orderly plan, this move could never have happened. This is why the worship of a golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai had such severe consequences for complete disorder resulted in a flagrant disregard for the reverent, devotion that signified obedience to God and the commands that were at the core of God’s design and guidance of His children.
The fact is that as I thought about my own life, I realized that when the spiritual order God longs to have with each of us is disrupted and becomes chaotic, it is easy for all the peripheral areas of our lives to fall into chaos, too. This may be one of the reasons Edmund Burke stated, “Good order is the foundation of all good things.”
Impressed by all she saw, the Bible says the Queen of Sheba not only believed the reports she had heard, but recognized that what had been said was not adequate in telling the whole of all that she had seen.
How wonderful it would be if the “orderliness” of our own lives, in our work, our homes, and our worship, conveyed the same message to those we meet. May our prayer be that of Thomas Watson, “O Lord, forgive what I have been, sanctify what I am, and order what I shall be.”
“The Lord in Zion reigneth,
Let all the world rejoice,
And come before His throne of grace
with tuneful heart and voice.
The Lord in Zion reigneth,
And there His praise shall ring,
To Him shall princes bend the knee
And kings their glory bring.
The Lord in Zion reigneth,
And who so great as He?
The depths of earth are in His hands
He rules the mighty sea.
O Crown His name with honor,
And let His standard wave,
Till distant isles beyond the deep,
Shall own His power to save.
The Lord in Zion reigneth,
These hours to Him belong:
O enter now His temple gates,
And fill His courts with song;
Beneath His royal banner
Let every creature fall,
Exalt the King of heaven and earth,
And crown Him Lord of all.”
Fanny J. Crosby
Famous Blind Hymn-writer and poet
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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