Stories of the opulence and genius of Solomon wound their way into the Queen of Sheba’s court. So, she set out to see for herself by testing Solomon with hard questions and examining his worth. What she found in Solomon and his palace had no rival:
She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard” (10: 6-7, NIV).
How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness” (10:8-10, NIV).
At first blush, it seems that the takeaway of this passage is that our prosperity will lead others to God (not great news for those of us without lucrative jobs!). But Jesus’ view of Solomon’s wealth takes a different turn.
Jesus refers to Solomon in his instructions on not worrying:
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor and spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was not dressed like one of these” (Matthew 6:28-9, NIV).
What becomes apparent from these passages is that God is deeply involved the reality of these stories. Solomon is king because God made him king – even the Queen of Sheba acknowledged this truth. It is God’s “withness” that is the ultimate reality. God’s “withness” and his care are our reality.
God has not changed and will not change. It is “because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel” and “because of his own purpose and grace” that he is with us (2 Timothy 1:8-9). And not only with us but also in control to make us beautiful reflections of His provision and glory.