“But I didn’t believe those things. So I came to see for myself. And now I believe it! You are twice as wise and wealthy as people say you are. The report I heard doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story about you. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials must be! They always get to serve you and hear the wise things you say. May the Lord your God be praised. He takes great delight in you. He placed you on the throne of Israel. The Lord will love Israel for all time to come. That’s why he has made you king. He knows that you will do what is fair and right.” 1 Kings 10:7-10
If we back up to the beginning of 1 Kings 10, verse 1 places this exchange posted above into context. “Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with difficult questions.”
The queen of Sheba has heard about Solomon, the wisest man and begins to investigate. After speaking with Solomon the queen realizes that no one has exaggerated, in fact, Solomon is wiser than she expected.
The queen acknowledges all that is around Solomon. His palace and servants are noted. God’s delight in Solomon translates to power and wisdom and wealth. There is a caution that should be acknowledged here we cannot ignore.
The queen of Sheba sees outside success and equates that with God’s delight. She observes that Solomon does what is “fair and right,” has a large house and a lot of power. Although carrying out hard tasks in a right way can be a measure of someone’s heart it is not always the case that a heart reflects outward gestures.
It is easy to attach God’s favor, blessing and yes delight to a successful person. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. When we turn back to 1 Kings 9: 1-5 we learn more of the story.
Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do, that the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
If you walk before me as your father David walked is where the boundary of obedience is established. Solomon was given the opportunity to use his life to glorify God. We too are offered this chance.
I’m participating in Write 31 Days this month. I’ll be writing on Delight. Join me here each day in the month of October for a short reflection on something I’m learning about what God is delighted by, and how delight connects us to him.