The country of Yemen today is one of the poorest places in the Arab world, and its poverty glares all the more by comparison with its oil-rich neighbors. But Yemen was once a rich and prosperous trading center and oasis. Known as Sheba in the 900s b.c., it was governed by a formidable queen.
This remarkable woman is a hero to me because when she heard of King Solomon’s wealth and achievements, she didn’t just stew in envy or plot ways to try to dip into his river of cash. She packed up a camel train of servants and fabulous gifts and traveled to Jerusalem, convinced that he was speaking for the Lord God.
“She said to the king, ‘The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. . . . Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your men must be! . . . Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel’” (1 Kings 10:6-9).
The queen of Sheba was also a hero to Jesus himself. He cited her as a model of faith, in stark contrast to the hardhearted unbelief he saw all around him: “The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom” (Matthew 12:42).
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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