1 Kings 10: A Queen Visits with Gifts for the King whose Lust is Great

Solomon was infamous. He was known all over the world for his wisdom and his wealth. This sparked the interest of the Queen of Sheba. The land of Sheba was probably modern day Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan, and/or Eritrea. It’s an area known for its spices and incense. What gifts do you bring to a king who has it all? Let’s dig in…

1 Kings 10 – The Queen of Sheba

When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She arrived in Jerusalem with a large group of attendants and a great caravan of camels loaded with spices, large quantities of gold, and precious jewels. When she met with Solomon, she talked with him about everything she had on her mind. Solomon had answers for all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba realized how very wise Solomon was, and when she saw the palace he had built, she was overwhelmed. She was also amazed at the food on his tables, the organization of his officials and their splendid clothing, the cup-bearers, and the burnt offerings Solomon made at the Temple of the Lord.

She exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements and wisdom is true! I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told. How happy your people must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom! Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”

10 Then she gave the king a gift of 9,000 pounds of gold, great quantities of spices, and precious jewels. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

11 (In addition, Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir, and they also brought rich cargoes of red sandalwood and precious jewels. 12 The king used the sandalwood to make railings for the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and to construct lyres and harps for the musicians. Never before or since has there been such a supply of sandalwood.)

13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she asked for, besides all the customary gifts he had so generously given. Then she and all her attendants returned to their own land.

Solomon’s Wealth and Splendor

14 Each year Solomon received about 25 tons of gold. 15 This did not include the additional revenue he received from merchants and traders, all the kings of Arabia, and the governors of the land.

16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, each weighing more than fifteen pounds. 17 He also made 300 smaller shields of hammered gold, each weighing nearly four pounds. The king placed these shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

18 Then the king made a huge throne, decorated with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. 19 The throne had six steps and a rounded back. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, and the figure of a lion stood on each side of the throne. 20 There were also twelve other lions, one standing on each end of the six steps. No other throne in all the world could be compared with it!

21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day!

22 The king had a fleet of trading ships of Tarshish that sailed with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the ships returned, loaded with gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

23 So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth. 24 People from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him. 25 Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.

26 Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah. 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Cilicia; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. 29 At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver, and horses for 150 pieces of silver. They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

1 Kings 10 NLT

Jesus mentions the Queen of Sheba…

42 The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.

Matthew 12:42 NLT
  • The Queen witnessed the sacrificial offerings at the temple and she became a believer. This was God’s goal — to bless the nations through the descendants of Abraham. The Queen of Sheba, when she returned to her land, took her new knowledge and beliefs in God to her people. My church hosts several refugee congregations. One of them is Sudanese. The pastor said that the Sudanese people know of God from the Queen of Sheba and they learned about Jesus, and the Good News of His Salvation, from the Ethiopian Eunuch, who encountered Philip — we find that story in Acts 8.
  • Then, we witness the start of Solomon’s downfall. He was building assets without regard to God’s laws.
    • He was relying on military might rather than God.
    • And he was showing off for local royalty.
    • 3 things that kings were not supposed to accumulate (Deuteronomy 17):
      • Wives — the lust of the flesh (we’ll see what happens in the next chapter)
      • Gold — lust of the eyes – greed
      • Horses — pride and power

Those are the 3 lusts that Satan tempted Eve with in Genesis. They were the 3 temptations of Jesus in the wilderness — which we find in Luke 4. Ex-police detective, J. Warner Wallace, founder of Cold Case Christianity, says there are 3 reasons why people commit murder:

  • Sex – lust of the flesh
  • Greed – money, lust of the eyes
  • Power – pride

That’s it. That’s all you need!

Solomon’s increasing wealth began to turn his heart away from God — the Lord, Giver and Provider of all you need.

Part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount talks about wealth and worry…

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:19-34 NLT

Those last two verses are VERY TRUE!

Do YOU seek God’s Kingdom first?

Are YOU living righteously?

Well, guess what? If you put ALL your TRUST in Jesus, there’s no guarantee that life will be smooth, but you’ll have

Is something MISSING in your life? It’s probably Jesus.

Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart -- let Him in!
Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart — let Him in!

Do you hear Him? Isn’t it about time you let Him into your heart?

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Top image by Moody Publishers from FreeBibleImages.org.

Christ in Me



Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

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