Where are you at in your life? What does it take for you to believe something? Are you able to read something and discern if it is true or not and then believe it? Are you able to hear something and discern if it is true or not and then believe it? Or… Do you need to see it to believe it? Is that for everything? Are there some things where reading about it from a trusted source will be good enough to believe it? Are there some things where hearing about it from a trusted source will be good enough to believe it? Or…Do you always have to see it with your own eyes to believe it?
If you were living in the days of Solomon and heard of his greatness, would you be able to believe it or would you have to see it to believe it? If you were living in the days of Jesus after the resurrection, would you have to see the holes in his hands and side to believe He was alive?
Today’s reading begins with Solomon and the Queen of Sheba…
Queen of Sheba Marvels
1Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon because of the Name of Adonai, she came to test him with hard questions. 2So she came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels carrying spices and gold in great abundance, and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him of all that was on her heart. 3Solomon answered all her questions nothing was hidden from the king that he did not explain to her. 4So when the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon, the palace that he had built, 5the food at his table, the seating of his courtiers, the attendance of his servants and their attire, his cupbearers, and his burnt offering which he offered in the House of Adonai, she was left breathless. 6Then she said to the king: “It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your deeds and of your wisdom. 7But I didn’t believe the reports until I came and my eyes saw it. Indeed, not even the half was told to me. You’re way past the report of wisdom and prosperity that I’d heard! 8Blessed are your people, blessed are your courtiers who are standing continually before you, listening to your wisdom. 9Blessed be Adonai your God, who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel. It is because of Adonai’s everlasting love for Israel that He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” 10Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again did such abundance of spices come as what the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 11Also Hiram’s ships that brought gold from Ophir brought from Ophir a great quantity of sandalwood and precious stones. 12The king made from the sandalwood a railing for the House of Adonai and for the royal palace, and also lyres and harps for the singers. Never again did such quantity of sandalwood come in, nor have they been seen to this day. 13So King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire—whatever she asked for—besides what King Solomon gave her out of his royal bounty. Then she and her servants left and returned to her own land.
14Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 15besides what was from the merchants from the traffic of the traders, and from all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the region. 16King Solomon made 200 full body shields of beaten gold—600 shekels of gold on each shield— 17and 300 small shields of beaten gold—three minas of gold on each shield. The king put them in the Forest House of Lebanon. 18Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with refined gold. 19There were six steps to the throne, and the throne had a back with a rounded top, and there were armrests on each side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. 20Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps—six on each side—nothing like it had ever been made in any other kingdom. 21All of King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the Forest House of Lebanon were of pure gold. (None was of silver—that did not count for anything in the days of Solomon.) 22For the king had a Tarshish fleet at sea with Hiram’s fleet; once every three years the Tarshish fleet came, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks. 23So King Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in wealth as well as in wisdom. 24All the earth sought an audience with Solomon, to listen to his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25They brought, each man his gift—vessels of silver and gold, robes, weapons, spices, horses and mules—so much year by year. 26Solomon accumulated chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27Also the king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees in the foothills. 28Solomon’s horses were brought from Egypt and from Keveh. The king’s merchants would buy them from Keveh at a price 29They imported a chariot from Egypt for 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150; and in turn they were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.
–from 1 Kings 10 (TLV)
Ever wondered what things would look like in a time where gold had become a commodity? There were so much that it was common? I saw some pictures the other day that made me consider what that might have looked like based on pictures from UAE today as a small glimpse into the past…
And imagine what it must have been like in the time of Solomon when it had to be gold since silver was as plentiful as rocks.
The Queen of Sheba Visits Jerusalem
1When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with hard questions. Accompanied by a large caravan train, including camels carrying an abundance of spices and gold, and precious stones, she came to Solomon and spoke with him about all that was in her heart.
2Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from Solomon which he did not explain to her.
3When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the palace he had built,
4as well as the food on his table, the seating of his courtiers, the service and attire of his attendants, his cupbearers and their attire, and his procession with which he went up to the House of Adonai, it took her breath away.
5She said to the king: “The report that I heard in my own land about your achievements and your wisdom is true.
6But I did not believe their reports until I came and saw with my own eyes. And behold, not even half of the greatness of your wisdom was described to me—you surpass the report that I heard!
7How blessed are your men, how blessed are your courtiers who continually stand in your presence and hear your wisdom.
8Blessed be Adonai your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king before Adonai your God. Because your God loved Israel, establishing them forever, He made you king over them to execute justice and righteousness.”
9Then she gave the king 120 gold talents, large quantities of spices and precious stones. There had never been such quantities of spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10The servants of Huram and the servants of Solomon who brought gold from Ophir also brought algumwood and precious stones.
11From the sandalwood the king made ramps for the House of Adonai and for the royal palace, and lyres and harps for the singers—nothing like them had ever been seen before in the land of Judah.
12King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for—more than what she had brought to the king. Then she with her courtiers, returned, going back to her own land.
Solomon Exceeds All the Earth’s Kings
13Now the weight of gold that Solomon received in one year was 666 gold talents,
14besides what the traders and merchants brought and the gold and silver that all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the region brought to Solomon.
15King Solomon made 200 shields of beaten gold, 600 shekels of beaten gold for each shield,
16and also 300 shields of beaten gold, 300 shekels of gold for each shield. The king put them in the palace of the Lebanon Forest.
17Furthermore, the king made a large ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold.
18The throne had six steps and a golden footstool attached to it, and arms on each side of the seat. Two lions stood beside the arms
19and 12 lions stood on the six steps, one at each end of each step. None like it was ever made for any kingdom.
20All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold and all the vessels of the palace of the Lebanon Forest were of pure gold—silver was not considered valuable in the days of Solomon.
21Because the king’s ships sailed to Tarshish with Huram’s servants once every three years, the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks.
22So King Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
23And all the kings of the earth sought an audience with Solomon to listen to the wisdom that God had put in his heart.
24Everyone brought his tribute—vessels of silver, vessels of gold, garments, armor, spices, horses and mules—in the due amount each year.
25Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen that he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.
26And he ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, and as far as the border of Egypt.
27The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars as plentiful as the sycamore trees that are in the foothills.
28Horses were brought for Solomon from Egypt and from all countries.
Solomon Buried in David’s City
29Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, the beginning and the end, are they not written in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Jedo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat?
30Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel 40 years.
31Then Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David, and Rehoboam his son became king in his place.
–from 2 Chronicles 9 (TLV)
God has set a race before us! He has called us on purpose for a purpose! Let’s be prepared! Let’s get prepared! Let’s allow the testing and trials to strengthen us and help us to become complete and lacking nothing and consider it all joy through the process! Let’s finish strong! Let’s keep it all about Him and His glory! Let’s not sway to the left or the right, but let’s pursue after Him and His will in and through everything that comes our way!
BECAUSE WE GET TO! Just like Jesus did “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” we also get to serve, get to suffer, get to sacrifice, get to love, get to give, get to … So don’t lose hope and finish strong! We know that we will get to spend eternity with Him so let’s not grow weary in doing good! We can’t just do it because we want to since one day we could change our minds, we need to be walking with a GET TO mentality! Everything that comes your way today think of it as you got to do that. At work, you got to to through that! At home, you got to go through that! In traffic, you got to go through that! And for the joy set before you, you get to endure it! Blessings to you to today! (Special thanks to Matthew Barnett who spoke a message on “Get to” during the Inspire Conference that took place earlier this year!
Running the Race with Discipline
1Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and lose heart. 4In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed. 5Have you forgotten the warning addressed to you as sons? “My son, do not take lightly the discipline of Adonai or lose heart when you are corrected by Him, 6because Adonai disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He accepts.” 7It is for discipline that you endure. God is treating you as sons—for what son does a father not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline—something all have come to share—then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9Besides, we are used to having human fathers as instructors—and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10Indeed, for a short time they disciplined us as seemed best to them; but He does so for our benefit, so that we may share in His holiness. 11Now all discipline seems painful at the moment—not joyful. But later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble! 13And make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame will not be pulled out of joint but rather be healed. 14Pursue shalom with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God; and see to it that no bitter root springs up and causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. 16Also see to it that there is no immoral or godless person—like Esau, who sold his birthright for one meal. 17For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected. He found no chance for repentance, though he begged for it with tears.
Entering the Unshakeable Kingdom
18For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched, and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and storm, 19and to the blast of a shofar and a voice whose words made those who heard it beg that not another word be spoken to them. 20For they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21So terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am quaking with fear.” 22But you have come to Mount Zion— to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, a joyous gathering, 23and to the assembly of the firstborn who are written in a scroll in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous ones made perfect, 24and to Yeshua, the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than the blood of Abel. 25See to it that you do not refuse the One who is speaking! For if they did not escape when they refused the One who was warning them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject the One who warns us from heaven. 26His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.” 27Now this phrase, “Yet once more,” shows the removal of those things that are shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude—through this we may offer worship in a manner pleasing to God, with reverence and awe. 29For our God is a consuming fire.
–from Hebrews 12 (TLV)
Where does your hope come from? Where does your faith come from? Who do you trust? What do you believe in? What does your faith give you? As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! Jesus is my savior!