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1 Kings 10:1-11.10.8
The world and the Church together are foreshown by this queen; all to whom ever the word, sight, name of Christ come within ken are warned by her example; while the king whose wisdom awoke such a rapturous feeling is the pale shadow of the wisdom which Christ among us is ever uttering.
I. The principle which makes this Oriental visit of barbaric splendour worth a Christian study is this, that the queen recognised the existence of a higher wisdom than filled as yet her daily life, and that she was laborious. With her, wealth given and received was but a background, only a means of obtaining higher things. She owned and she sought out wisdom, knowledge, learning, thought, as something of a different order, and infinitely more precious, plants, proverbs, music, songs, simple names, indeed, yet standing at the beginning of lines of knowledge which are dignified by greater names, and opening out before the eyes which were first lifted to them dreams and possibilities which were yet in the far distance.
II. We do not always understand what a distinction there is between the progressive and thoughtful and the careless, whose days, from sunrise to sunset, add nothing of wisdom to their hearts or of knowledge to their minds. Christ draws the greatest distinction between the one class and the other, between the inattentive listener to His words and the attentive one with infinitely less advantages.
III. Christians in the world, and thoughtful Christians among nominal ones, are like those very men whom the queen so envied. We stand about the throne of Christ. Happy are we if we know and realise our privileges.
Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 96.
References: 1 Kings 10:1-11.10.9 . Parker, vol. vii., p. 324. 1 Kings 10:1-11.10.25 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. v., p. 16. 1 Kings 10:7 . Christian World Pulpit, vol. xii., p. 283. 1 Kings 10:22 . Woodhouse, Good Words, 1877, p. 349.
1 Kings 10:23
(with Matthew 6:29 )
The life of Solomon is a mournful story. We can hardly wonder that though his real greatness made oblivion impossible, though his name will live as long as the human race endures, yet an evil shadow as of high hopes baffled, of a great cause lost, rests upon his memory. Great in himself, great in what was given him to achieve, the impression that he made overflowed the bounds of his own kingdom, and he appears again and again as the lord of spirits and the master of the powers of nature in the multitudinous and fantastic legends of later and of other races, though his own people did not greatly cherish his memory.
I. To Solomon, even more than to his father, we owe the ideal of the peaceful and perfect King that was so deeply planted in the minds of the Jewish people, the fruitful hope of the Deliverer that was to be, which sustained the nation through all the long vicissitudes of captivity and enslavement, exile and oppression.
II. The temple of Solomon, the wisdom of Solomon, the empire of Solomon, have each in turn given way to something different, something higher. If the temple of Solomon and the temple worship have given place to something different from each, as Christian churches and Christian worship, these too may remind us that they in their turn are means, not ends; that our best altar is in our own hearts, our truest sacrifice that not only of praise and thanksgiving, but that of our souls and bodies.
III. It is never wise to underrate the effects of human genius, even when partly or wholly divorced from goodness. Great men, it has been wisely said, are, even in spite of their wickedness, lights from God. Yet there is a sense in which the humblest may aspire to that in which the greatest has come short, and he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater even than Solomon.
G. G. Bradley, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxiv., p. 65.
References: 1 Kings 11:1-11.11.13 . Parker, vol. vii., p. 333. 1 Kings 11:4 . J. Van Oosterzee, The Year of Salvation, vol. ii., p. 473. 1 Kings 11:4-11.11.6 . Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iii., p. 235. 1 Kings 11:6 . American Pulpit of To-Day, vol. i., p. 131. 1 Kings 11:9 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xvi., p. 341. 1 Kings 11:11 . H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 745; Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 84. 1 Kings 11:12 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ix., p. 20.
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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany