Sunday, May 09, 2010

Learning from the Queen of Sheba

You know the classic, sarcastic saying, "I wasn't born yesterday." Most of us have said it at least once in our life.

But the truth is we live like we were born yesterday. I've been in conversations with twenty and thirty-somethings who espouse values and "wisdom" based on observations and lessons learned in their short life span.

Cold war? To a twenty-something? Never heard of it. Never lived with the idea of the USSR pushing the big button to blow us up.

Herb Meyer of American Thinker wrote this:

History had three turning point. During the Crusades, there was a battle between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The Christians and Jews lost and experienced the Dark Ages when their societies did not thrive. Muslim society grew and thrived. Things were discovered there, and not in Europe. The key was learning how to reconcile their faith in the modern world.

A huge battle happened outside Vienna on SEPTEMBER 11, 1683 where Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe. The Muslims lost, and then they stopped developing and adapting. The Jews and Christians went on from there and developed their civilizations and we had the Renaissance and a growing society. Since our 9/11 we are now in a new phases of an old war.

One of the greatest sorrows of the world is the inventions and creativity that was not allowed to occur in the Muslim world for centuries.Their society does not encourage creative, free thought and so…they were stuck in the past. The problem now is that we are playing defense in the world. And when you play defense you have to win 100% of the time. We can’t do that.

The good news is that the moderate people of every country are the majority. The bad news is that the minority is louder.

History didn't begin the day we were born. We may think the world began with our first newborn cry, but it didn't. We must learn from history. We must live free to discover the past to determine our future.

This weekend my pastor taught on prayer and used the Queen of Sheba as a reference point. As I looked into the scripture myself, I learned something from the past. In 1 Kings 10, the Queen travels to visit Israel's King Solomon, the wisest man in the world. She wanted to see with her own ears his wisdom, see his riches.

"So she came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels carrying spices and very much gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from the king which he did not explain to her."

The Queen of Sheba came to Solomon with an open, teachable heart. She brought gifts and richest with her. She came to worship and to gaze on his beauty.

Like the queen, we are to come to Jesus with an open, teachable heart bringing all that we have in adoration and worship. To gaze upon His beauty and splendor.

If Solomon, being a mere man, revealed himself and his splendor to the queen, how will Jesus, being God and man, hold back from us, His Beloved? The ones He died for? He won't. He can't. He longs to reveal Himself to us.

'King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire which she requested, besides what he gave her according to his royal bounty. Then she turned and went to her own land together with her servants."

Solomon gave to the queen ALL HER DESIRE WHICH SHE REQUESTED besides WHAT HE GAVE HER ACCORDING TO HIS ROYAL BOUNTY! That's incredible. Solomon already had a royal bounty set up for her. I'm sure it was unimaginable knowing Solomon. But on top of that gift, he GAVE her all she requested of him.

Jesus has already given us an amazing gift: life abundantly, life forever more. But on top of that He gives us what we request. Like the queen with Solomon, we must first sit at His feet and learn, see His splendor and majesty and marvel at Him.

Can we be bold like the queen and go to our King and ask our heart's desire? Yes, we can and we should. But first we must be found in Him. We must learn to adore Him and worship, be taught and instructed by Him.

As we learn, we run. As we mature, we learn to ask. I'm not talking name-it-claim-it gospel. I'm not talking ungrounded faith. But as we move into Jesus, as we make Him our aim, our obsession, He reveals to us His heart.

In John 4, Jesus runs into the Samaritan woman at the well. First, He talks to a Samaritan. Second, He talks to a woman. He willingly broke societal traditions. Look what He does when she asks Him about the Messiah and worship.

"The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us. Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

Jesus clearly reveals Himself as the Messiah. Until now, when asked if He was "the One" He merely answered, "What do you think?"

Jesus longs to reveal Himself to true worshippers. Are you one? Can you learn from your past, from those who've gone before us?

In our natural history, we must learn about the past and mistakes to ensure our future. Our spiritual history is the same. What and who has gone before you? What image of God and Christ do they mold on your heart?

If you don't have Christian family members, can you look to history to fine flaming examples of love? Start with Jesus. His love for you nailed Him to the Cross. And when they taunted Him, jeering for Him to come down and save Himself, He refused. "No, I'm purchasing the one I love."

You. Me.

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