Friday, March 1, 2013

Solomon: The king of exceeding wisdom

They had been speaking for hours. Sheba had wise men, of course, but she would have to refer to them simply as "advisers" or "counselors" from now on. They were undoubtedly men of experience, men of great insight, men with extensive knowledge of the natural world. Yet never before had she spoken with anyone of such profound wisdom.

She had begun with a few of her favorite philosophical questions, just to take a measure of the man. She quickly gave up trying to probe the limits of knowledge and moved on to matters of state and politics. Matters of importance. But as their conversation progressed, she found him drawing out the deeper questions which lay hidden in her heart. Some were questions that she had never even dared to voice aloud. Yet, again and again, he brought answers and insight and understanding.

He paused to take a long drink from his cup. She did the same and took the opportunity to once again take in the beauty of his banquet room. It was, like the rest of Solomon's palace, glorious in both design and decor. The luxury almost defied description. From the food and drink at his table, to the golden vessels in which they arrived, to the finery of the servant who carried them, it was all unbelievable. Which, she decided with a smile, was entirely fitting.

She put down her cup and turned back to the King. "The reports which reached my land of your great wisdom were true," she confessed. "Every word was true, but I would not believe them until I came and saw it with my own eyes. And now I can state that the reports were inadequate. Indeed, the half has not been told."

The Queen of Sheba traveled a great distance from her southern home to confirm firsthand the stories about Solomon. Her journey revealed that the reports of his wisdom and wealth were merely half-truths, but not in the way she may have first suspected. In Solomon, she found a king that exceeded his reputation. His wisdom exceeded that of anyone with whom she had ever spoken. His wealth and achievements exceeded those of anyone she had ever met. No doubt she stumbled for new superlatives to express the incredible person of the King of Israel.

The Lord Jesus used a single word to compare himself with Solomon: greater. He said that one day the Queen of the South would rise up and condemn that generation. She came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, but they had the privilege of listening to one whose wisdom exceeded that of the ancient king. While we have not witnessed his works firsthand, nor heard his words as they were spoken, we have the preserved testimony of Scripture on the person of the Saviour. The apostle John wrote that the world itself could not contain the books that would be needed to record all that Jesus did. If the ancient reports could not express even half of the greatness of Solomon, then what tiny fraction of Christ's greatness have we been told?

(1 Kings 10:1-13, Luke 11:29-32)