In my last blog I mentioned that I’d received an online family tree album. It had lots of photos and documents I’d never seen before, including my parents wedding certificate which was intriguing because it had the wrong age for my mother. Through exploring the album, and asking questions, I’ve discovered things I didn’t know before, including a key fact that has completely changed the way I think about one person. Sorry, I’m not at liberty to share what I’ve learned, but it’s made me do an awful lot of thinking. I’ve realised that there was a huge discrepancy between what I thought I knew and what I now know. I’ve lived for most of my life with a false perception, and built up a negative view of someone as a result.
There was a woman in the Bible who had a perception of a man based on what she’d heard about him, but it wasn’t good enough for her. She decided she had to find out for herself what he was really like. She was a queen, the Queen of Sheba, who came from either Ethiopia or Yemen according to scholars. He was a king, Solomon the King of Israel, who was renowned for his wisdom. This is how it’s portrayed in the Bible.
“When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan —with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed.” (1)
What we’re told next is that she spoke to Solomon and said, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.” (2)
Solomon may have been the wisest man on earth, but we must give credit to the Queen of Sheba for her wisdom. She wasn’t prepared to make an evaluation of Solomon based on others opinions, and by seeing for herself she realised that he was more than twice as good as she’d first thought.
I like a good quiz and I’m impressed by the knowledge some people have until they answer questions on the Bible. Generally speaking, people today have very little knowledge. They don’t know that Genesis is the first book of the Bible, Adam was married to Eve, and Jesus was born in Bethlehem. These are simple facts that everyone should know, but they don’t. It means that they don’t read the Bible, and never have, sadly a common situation today.
I have to ask, if people don’t read the Bible how can they reject it? How can they say it’s nonsense, full of errors and of no value? Why do people think they can live without the Bible, the God whose word it is, and the Jesus it speaks about? It’s obvious people are making their decisions based on other people’s opinions, and probably other people who haven’t read the Bible either.
The Queen of Sheba didn’t make the mistake of judging Solomon based on others opinions, so why should you judge the Bible that way? If you have rejected the Bible without reading it you’re making a huge mistake. Read it objectively with an open mind and you’ll discover the great God of heaven and his Son, Jesus, who died for you. You’ll discover the path to eternal life and a way to live that equips us to cope with every trial that comes our way. Give it a go. You won’t regret it.
- 1 Kings 10:1-5
- 1 Kings 10:6-7