There is an ancient Egyptian Queen, Hatshepsut, who went on a visit to the Land of Punt, i.e. the Divine Land, with similar presents. In our present piecing together of ancient Egyptian history, she went on her visit 600 years before Solomon. In several modern revised chronologies, she is revealed as the Queen of Sheba – of the South.
Across this and tomorrow’s readings we see Solomon’s heart turning.
The beginnings can be seen in verses 25-29, the material blessing that came to him as the Lord blessed him and the nation.
Even early in verses 16-17 we read of the large shields of gold, twelve lions around the throne, the like of it was never made in any other kingdom! Opulence and wealth, and it seems pretty clear that they were in excess.
In Deuteronomy 17:16-17 we read Moses’ words about a king,
“Only he must not acquire many horses for himself …. And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.”
In tomorrow’s passage the wives truth is seen, but here today we read of the many horses and much gold.
God’s word was clear. Solomon knew God’s word. Solomon knew the commands God had given to the people through Moses. Solomon wasn’t just a smart guy, he had a breadth of mind that surpassed everyone else on earth.
And yet he was a fool.
And yet he ignored God’s word.
Back in chapter 9 we have Solomon’s wonderful prayer of dedication, and the Lord appears to Him again and speaks His covenant.
IF <obedience> THEN <blessing ELSE IF <disobedience> THEN <curse>.
Solomon disobeyed God.
But praise God that through Him the Son, Jesus, He keeps both sides of the covenant.
And that through His gift of faith, His Spirit at work within us, writing His word on our hearts – By this we can choose to walk in obedience!
* Gracious God Above,
Thank You for the blessings You give to Your people.
Thank You for blessing us when we only deserved a curse.
Thank You for calling us to be Your people when we were Your enemies.
Thank You for Jesus, our King and Saviour, who offered Himself up for us – You God become a man and dying in our place.
Thank You Lord.