“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 (NrSV)
The story of the Queen of Sheeba and King Solomon begins in 1 Kings 10:1 and says, “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 heard about Solomon, the wisest man, and began to investigate and see if the rumors were true. After speaking with Solomon the queen realized that no one had exaggerated his wisdom. In fact, Solomon was wiser than she expected.
The Queen acknowledged all of Solomon’s riches including his palace and servants. God’s delight in Solomon translates to power, wisdom, and wealth. There is a caution that we should acknowledge here. It’s one we cannot ignore.
The Queen of Sheba sees beyond King Solomon’s success and equates them with God’s delight. She observes that Solomon does what is “fair and right,” and become of this he has a large house and a lot of power. Although carrying out challenging tasks in an honorable 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 delight to a person’s success. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. When we read 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.’
God was clear with Solomon that if he glorified him and honored him as his father King David then he would answer the request for wisdom. There was a boundary of obedience established around the blessing of God’s abundance. Solomon was given the opportunity to use his life to glorify God. As followers of God, we have the same expectation and opportunity today at Solomon had to glorify God with words and actions. This doesn’t mean that we will have the exact same gifts or riches as Solomon. God’s delight isn’t measured by the amount of what we receive. He delights in us when we use the gifts he gives us to glorify him. God calls us to live unique lives for a variety of circumstances. The lesson here is to remember that when our lives reflect our creator we can always rest assured he delights in our choices.
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.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 5, 2017, and has been updated in April 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.