Posts Tagged ‘Queen of Sheba’

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Wisdom 9: Solomon’s Prayer

SolomonsPrayer[1]Solomon is a well-known figure in scripture.  At a fairly young age he is given a unified kingdom by his father, David.  When asked what he wishes to have in this world he asks for Wisdom.  We are told that he receives this and more . . . all the wealth, power and status he had not asked for.  He seems destined for greatness and so he is.

Rulers from all parts journey to visit him, to see the beautiful palace and temple he builds, and to experience at close range how this singular king loves and is loved by his singular God.  Even the remarkable Queen of Sheba requests and is granted a special visit.  Later in his story, we are told that he loved many foreign women and married several.  It is likely that in this way he meant to secure alliances with potential enemies; yet these enemies defeat him in a quiet and insidious way.  The writer of 1 Kings tells us: When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the Lord, his God, as the heart of his father David had been. (1 Kings 11:4) After this, the kingdom comes tumbling down.

Today we spend time with Solomon’s Prayer which can also read in 1 Kings 8 and we speculate what it was that drew him away from God into the world.  We picture what lured him to foreign gods and extravagant women.  We can imagine what and who convinced him that authority and influence were more important than fidelity to Yahweh.  When we reflect on Solomon’s Prayer, we might want to make it our own and pray it often . . . resisting the lure of self-deceit and warding off the siren song of the material world.  And so we pray to the God of Solomon, the Living God.

Give me Wisdom, the attendant at your throne . . . For alone I cannot manage my days and nights sensibly.

Reject me not from among your children . . . I will make mistakes and I know that you will pardon me.

You have bid me build a temple on your holy mountain, an altar in the city that is your dwelling place, a copy of the holy tabernacle you had established of old . . .  I will do my best to act as you ask, to answer as you call, to praise as you create.

Send forth Wisdom from your holy heavens that she may be with me and work with me . . .  I really cannot do this without your voice in my ear.

For who knows God’s counsel, who can conceive what the Lord intends?  I cannot conceive of that you see, all that you know, all that you do. I only understand that your are goodness and therefore do only good.

Piero della Francesca: Legend of the Cross - The Queen of Sheba Meeting with Solomon

Piero della Francesca: Legend of the Cross – The Queen of Sheba Meeting with Solomon

Thus were the paths of those on earth made straight, and we learned what was your pleasure, and were saved by Wisdom.  So abide with me that you might bring goodness out of any action I take may harm another.  Remain with me that I might remain in you.  Love me always that I might always love others.


A re-post from January 9, 2013.

Read more about Solomon in 1 Kings and in 1 Chronicles. www.Biblegateway.com

To read more about Solomon’s Prayer, click on the image above or go to: http://www.hedua.com/blog/solomons-prayer/

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1 Kings 10 and 11The Wealth and Sins of Solomon

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Johann Freidrich August Tishbein: The Queen of Sheba Kneeling before King Solomon

Written on February 5, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

Solomon had such a good beginning.  When he first became king, Yahweh asked him what it was he wished for.  He wisely answered that he sought wisdom rather than fame, wealth or land.  Yahweh was so pleased with this response that he granted the young king wisdom  . . . and also all that he had not sought.  What happened to such potential?  It may have been the visit of the Queen of Sheba.

When we have time to meander through the story of Solomon, we can see the promise he embodied.  And we can see that he was designated by Yahweh as the one who would build the beautiful temple on the mount in Jerusalem . . . a fitting priestly, noble house for Yahweh.  This kingdom of Twelve Tribes which was guided and guarded by Yahweh had become renowned for its fidelity to their God, its strength in battle, its design and construction of the most beautiful temple ever built to a god . . . their God . . . the One True God.  Solomon, as the head of this kingdom, was visited by many diplomats, married many wives to form alliances . . . and eventually succumbed to the siren song of too much success.  He becomes fuddled by the voices of a world which would bring him down rather than raise him up.

My young son-in-law said to me several years ago: Why is it . . . what is it . . . that causes successful people to shoot themselves in the foot?  And he answered his own question:  There is too much success.  They lose sight of what was important in the first place.  Several years later he came to me with a personal dilemma . . .and the answer I gave to him was the one he had already given me.  To his credit, he has stopped listening to those siren voices and he has put his eye back on the proper horizon: living a life well-lived, living in awe of the Lord, living as if nothing else mattered but God . . . because this is the only way to live.  God is the only thing that matters.

Solomon succumbed to the songs sung by his jealous competitors, spouses, courtiers and servants.  As our eyes move over the verses, we can see the end of this tale coming at lightning speed.  Before he knows it . . . Solomon has lost all . . . kingdom, fame, wealth and wisdom.  And perhaps this is the greatest lesson which we can learn from this man.  When we allow ourselves to be called astray by a relativistic, self-satisfying world where pleasure reigns and joy is lost . . . when we begin to stop our daily chats with God because we have no time or no desire . . . we will know that we have taken a wrong turning.

So we may want to think on this . . . if the Queen of Sheba comes to call . . . it is time to focus on the true horizon . . . and resist being swayed by those who do not have Yahweh as the focus of their lives.

A re-post from February 10, 2012. 

Image from: http://www.artexpertswebsite.com/pages/artists/tischbein_fa.php 

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