1 Kings 10.1-10
The reading today tells the story of a visit from the queen of Sheba, or modern day Yemen. Back in the day Sheba was a hub for trade from Asia and Africa, and the queen most likely came to size up Solomon and to determine what if any threat he was to her economic interests.
What she found was a man who answered all her questions and riddles. My first thought was Solomon was still a teenager at this point, with answers for everything! All joking aside, Solomon had grown famous for his wisdom, and the text tells us that this was due to the Lord.
Things were good for Solomon, the temple had been built, trade and wealth increased, for his household at least, and Israel’s fame and stature drew the attention of its neighbors. This will lead to problems for Solomon, but those will come soon enough, for today it is enough to focus on the source of all of this.
When I was in seminary Rush Limbaugh was just hitting it big and was on KSTP 1500 a station I listened to frequently as I drove back and forth from home. I haven’t listened to him in years as I don’t think he is on any stations in this area, but he had as part of his intro schtick this line; “with talent on loan from God.”
Whether he knows it or not, he has it exactly right. All our skills, our gifts, and all we have and are is a gift from God. Solomon’s wisdom, wealth and position were all gift.
What difference does it make for you to think about your life this way?
I have a nasty habit of comparing myself to others, this always leads to problems. Sometimes this leads me to think too highly of myself, other times it has the inverse effect, neither one is good. Today I will try and remember in all I do that my life is a gift, my skills, such as they are, are a good and gracious gift, and others are a gift as well.
Yes, sometimes these gifts are wonderful, “just what I always wanted” and other times, not so much. Today I will try and remember to be thankful, both for my gifts and the gifts of others. Finally I will try to remember that it isn’t all about me, in all these things God is up to something good for me and for all.