3. SHISHAK KING OF EGYPT
The Psalmist says something under Divine Inspiration that resonates deeply with me. It always has and always will. He rejoicing states in Psalm 122:1,
“I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME, LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.”
Of course, a HOUSE is what you live in. It is your RESIDENCE where you reside. Those that live there are the HOUSEHOLD. The HOUSE HOLDS THEM. How many does your HOUSE HOLD? Or do you have a FULL HOUSE? I am sure that your HOUSE is precious to you. May God bless your HOUSE I pray, may He make it safe by night and day.
In ancient Israel, God had two HOUSES on earth. First it was the TABERNACLE. Second it was the TEMPLE. Whether MOSES’ TABERNACLE, or SOLOMON’S TEMPLE, they were the places God called HIS HOUSE. He dwelt there in all HIS GLORY. He called His people to worship Him there.
David in Psalm 122 is so 😄 happy to be able to go to God’s House – The TABERNACLE, to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. It made his heart so GLAD.
The Hebrew word for GLAD is SAMEACH which is filled with strong emotion. It is expressed in 💃dancing, shouting, clapping, singing.
My precious Dad was like that. I can say without exaggeration that my Dad loved and lived TO GO TO THE HOUSE OF GOD. It was the joy of his life, and the love of his heart. Worshiping God in His HOUSE was what he longed for all 🙌 week! Everything else in comparison was bland and blah.
Jesus tells us in John 14:2,
“IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS…”
Heaven for the believer is called by Jesus A HOUSE WITH MANY MANSIONS. God has A HOUSE in Heaven where His children shall live with Him forever. Welcome home!
Our departed brothers and sisters in Christ are waiting for us there. Each day on earth people are GOING HOME! Heavenly HOME-GOINGS take place around the ⏰ clock. No flights are ever cancelled. All arrivals happen exactly on time. They never leave home again.
The Bible tells us again and again that God does not take it lightly when people break into and violate HIS HOUSE. As a matter of fact, God becomes violently irate against HOUSE INTRUDERS AND HOUSE BREAKERS.
“GOD HAS A SPECIAL LOVE FOR HOUSES OF HIS WORSHIP OVER ALL OTHER HOUSES ON EARTH.”
Does that surprise you? The Psalmist states that very thing In Psalm 87:2,
“GOD LOVES THE GATES OF ZION MORE THAN ALL THE DWELLINGS OF JACOB.”
If you will:
“GOD LOVES HIS HOUSE MORE THAN HE LOVES YOUR HOUSE.”
And when violators and robbers break into HIS HOUSE to rob and destroy, serious consequences will follow.
SHISKAH KING OF EGYPT got it into his head to invade and attack Judah. At that time Rehoboam was King 👑 of Judah. Things were not well and pleasing to God in Judah. The people had made groves and shrines to false gods.
It’s like the Israelites never learned to resist DUMB IDOLATRY. In the world 🌎 there are 4 types of learners:
-NO 👎 LEARNERS
In the case of the Israelites, when it came to falling into IDOLATRY and the awful results, THEY WERE NO LEARNERS. In fact, dumber than the stumps and rocks out which they made their stupid gods.
Now then, SHISHAK KING OF EGYPT was no doubt made aware that the real treasures of Judah were to be found in the HOUSE OF THEIR GOD – THE TEMPLE. In fact it is estimated that the amount of the gold and silver sacred vessels would amount to approximately 13 million dollars today. The golden shields given by Solomon to his son Rehoboam numbering 500 estimated to be worth 33 million dollars. SHISHAK knew on what side his bread 🍞 was buttered.
So we read in I Kings 1:25-26,
“THEN IT CAME TO PASS IN THE FIFTH YEAR OF KING REHOBOAM, THAT SHISHAK CAME UP AGAINST JERUSALEM;”
“AND HE TOOK AWAY THE TREASURES OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, AND THE TREASURES OF THE KING’S HOUSE; HE EVEN TOOK AWAY ALL THE SHIELDS OF GOLD THAT SOLOMON HAD MADE.”
SHISHAK CLEANED HOUSE, both GOD’S HOUSE and the King house. In today’s terms it would be referred to as THE CHURCH AND THE PARSONAGE.
Be that as it may, SHISHAK proved to be smart and a totally sacrilegious HACK. He was after the gold – who cares about their holy purpose and use?
In short, SHISHAK was a spiritually and morally bankrupt degenerate as so many of the world’s rulers and politicians are. They will rob God and kill His babies without a twinge of conscience. THIEVES AND MURDERERS!
The Historian Josephus
The trusted historian writes that when SHISHAK returned home, things went down hill very quickly. Disaster after disaster came upon his family, so to regain the favor of the gods, he sacrificed two of his children to them on 🔥 fiery altars. His brother then conspired against him. His son who succeeded him was stricken with total blindness. That son gave much of the riches his dad had stolen from Rehoboam to strange gods.
It all reminds us of Nebuchadnezzar who plundered the TEMPLE of God, only to find himself grazing with oxen and feeding with beasts. His son Belshazzar violated the sacred vessels of God’s House and lost his kingdom.
So and so WOULDN’T DARKEN THE DOOR OF THE CHURCH. At least so I was told. With his spirit such as it was, he surely would have been a dark presence when he came in. But he never did.
What is there about GOD’S HOUSE that repels children of darkness? I’ve known from a young age that there is the special presence of the Lord in the HOUSE OF THE LORD.
My dear sister was the church ⛪ organist for many years. I would often go with her to the HOUSE OF GOD on Saturday evening as she practiced for Sunday services. It was a humbling experience, when even at that young age I sensed the presence of God there as in no other place. I recall not being able to move and not wanting to move as the organ filled that SANCTUARY with the stirring praises to God. Oh yes, I was in HIS HOUSE, and I knew it!
The next morning, Sunday morning, we returned to that SANCTUARY for Divine worship. SANCTUARY from the Latin SANCTUS which means HOLY-SACRED. And it surely was and is.
I know that the ⛪ church is not a building, but rather the church is the blood bought people of God. That is a totally different subject and has nothing to do with the SACREDNESS OF THE HOUSE OF GOD.
I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID TO ME, “LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.” And when you do, you will find HIM HOME.
We don’t invite Him to come into His house! He invites, and in fact commands, His people to come to His HOUSE OF WORSHIP! You will be GLAD that you came, GLAD that you stayed, and a much GLADDER person that you came. The GLADDEST people in all the world are those who go again and again!
4. THE QUEEN OF SHEBA
You know how it is when a sitting Ruler is visited by another Head of State! There is so much pomp and circumstance, and the greater the Head of State, the greater the pomp and circumstance. Sometimes soldiers are paraded, bands are playing, multiple flags are unfurled, and even red carpets are rolled out for the visiting dignitary. It is really quite an event!
King 👑 Solomon, King of Israel, was one of the most fabulously wealthy and wisest kings of his day, or for that matter any day. His WEALTH was unsurpassed, and his WISDOM was UNEQUALED. I Kings 10:23 tells us,
“KING SOLOMON WAS GREATER IN RICHES AND WISDOM THAN ALL OF THE OTHER KINGS OF THE EARTH.”
Solomon was far from all blow and no show. He was all show and no blow. Every good house must have a good wife. King Solomon had 700 wives, and 300 concubine subwives, waiting in the wings.
Everything about King 👑 Solomon was excessive. To say that Solomon majored in overstatement is in itself an understatement. He is the type of guy that gets really carried away.
SHEBA was in the area that we know as ETHIOPIA. SHE was no doubt darker skinned and herself wealthy – she was THE QUEEN 👑 OF SHEBA. THIS WAS AN OFFICIAL STATE VISIT to the King 👑 of Israel. And by Divine design, we get to eavesdrop.
ISRAEL has never been and never will be on the HIT PARADE of the nation’s of the world. Quite the opposite. But it is obvious from I Kings 10 that Sheba and it’s Queen were rare allies of Israel and King Solomon. There is respect and camaraderie between them. It is a very positive State meeting.
A wonderful thing happens, and certainly not incidentally. When the Queen had seen Solomon’s immense wealth, and heard 👂 his staggering wisdom, she declared in I Kings 10:9,
“BLESSED BE THE THE LORD THY GOD, WHICH DELIGHTED IN THEE, TO SET THEE ON THE THRONE OF ISRAEL, BECAUSE THE LORD LOVED ISRAEL FOREVER, THEREFORE MADE HE THEE KING, TO DO JUDGMENT AND JUSTICE.”
It is one of the most beautiful texts in the Bible! Let’s break that down for a moment:
-She praises Solomon’s God.
-She tells Solomon that He is God’s delight.
-She attributes Solomon’s kingship totally to God.
-She refers to Solomon’s God as THE LORD.
-She professes that Israel has been loved by the Lord forever.
-She says that it is Solomon’s Divine appointment to carry out judgment and justice.
If she was Islamic, as some contest, she would be killed for saying such things. Just the confession that THE LORD LOVED ISRAEL FOREVER would have gotten her beheaded. Anyone with two brain cells to rub 💆 together knows that The Queen of Sheba is here having a deep and real
What is even as, if not more remarkable, is that Solomon said nothing! No words of agreement, confirmation, affirmation! Nothing! Here is this Queen 👑 from a land of darkness, and she speaks his life’s story to him, and the wisest of all men stands there like the dumbest man on earth.
What has happened to Solomon? I Kings 11 tells us the truth in no uncertain terms. Solomon married hundreds of heathen wives, and though God warned him twice about thus, HE ENTERED INTO THE WORSHIP OF THE FALSE gODS OF HIS WIVES.
We read in I Kings 11:6,
“AND SOLOMON DID EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, AND HE NO LONGER FOLLOWED AFTER GOD, AS DID DAVID HIS FATHER.”
Solomon is now following after the false gods of his wives, which is why the QUEEN OF SHEBA’S GLOWING TRIBUTE TO THE GOD OF ISRAEL fell on deaf ears. Solomon’s passion for God was now cold.
“THE CHIEF SIN OF THE HEATHEN THROUGHOUT HISTORY IS IDOLATRY, THE WORSHIP OF FAKE gODS.”
What is it with this guy? Rich beyond imagination! Wise beyond all of humanity. Wives and subwives coming out of his ears. Spoken to directly by God Himself as the source of his transcendent wisdom. And yet, he goes after dumb idols! What’s with this guy?
FIRST of all,
“LET A MAN HAVE EVER SO MUCH, HE APART FROM GOD WILL FOREVER BE DESIRING MORE.”
That is human nature, and Solomon is classic, namely, the vast disproportion between man’s huge appetites and man’s satisfactions. His enjoyments never measure up to or equal his desires.
SECOND of all:
“APART FROM GOD, MAN’S EXCITED EXPECTATIONS FAR OUT – WEIGH HIS EXPERIENCES.”
What a double let down! Man’s imagination always overmatches reality. Yes indeed, therefore it should not surprise us:
“FOR SOLOMON, ONE GOD WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH EITHER. IT IS CONSISTENT,THAT AN OUT OF CONTROL POLYGAMIST WOULD ALSO BE A POLYTHEIST!”
The Queen 👑 of Sheba a long ways away had heard 👂of the GREAT SOLOMON. HIS REPUTATION was wide spread for wealth and wisdom! Word of mouth is equal to the speed of light. His renown has reached the DARK CONTINENT.
👀 Seeing is believing! So the Queen 👑 of Sheba with her royal entourage makes the long desert journey with a camel caravan of goodies as a gesture of honor and highest regard.
In preparation, the QUEEN 👑 of SHEBA had written down questions that she wanted answers to from this revered sage.
First of course she saw the resplendence of Solomon’s palace and the breathtaking glory of the Temple. Then when she sought his WISDOM on many issues, she has her mind blown. The Bible has a striking way of putting it in I Kings 10:5,
“THERE WAS NO MORE SPIRIT IN HER.”
That is the Hebrew language way of saying:
“IT TOOK HER BREATH AWAY!”
Solomon’s magnificence and wisdom was greater than the reports, and it left her breathless.
She got answers to her questions indeed, way beyond anything she ever heard or imagined. Solomon’s answers were penetrating and unarguable. That is how she knew that Solomon was of the LORD!
You see, what she received from the King was not of this world 🌎 and she knew it. The WISDOM OF THIS WORLD LOOKS NO FURTHER THAN THIS WORLD. All of its thoughts and designs are all below, far below, Heaven. What she received from Solomon was transcendent and far above this world.
Human nature is consistent and searching. I am sure that her searching questions included queries about God, Heaven, and the afterlife.
“NOTHING WILL MAKE A MAN SO MISERABLE AS HAVING NO COMFORTS OTHER THAN THOSE THAT HE MUST LEAVE BEHIND IN THIS WORLD.”
We read in I Corinthians 1:21 these revealing words:
“THAT THE WORLD BY WISDOM (WORLDLY WISDOM) KNEW NOT GOD.”
That no doubt was true of the QUEEN OF SHEBA. That is where she came from. Think alertly:
“WHAT HORROR TO HAVE A WISDOM THAT MAKES YOU TOTALLY IGNORANT OF THAT WHICH YOU ABOVE ALL NEED TO KNOW – THE ETERNAL GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE.”
Then the QUEEN met the KING. Solomon was the personification of I Corinthians 3:18,
“IF ANY MAN DESIRES THE REPUTATION OF WISDOM, HE SHOULD BECOME A FOOL, THAT HE MAY BE WISE.”
That is to say:
“SOLOMON BECAME A FOOL TO THE WORLD, BECAUSE HE BECAME WISE IN GOD.”
But how could Solomon be the channel of Heaven’s wisdom, when he fell away to serve hell’s gods. Because:
“WHEN GOD GIVES THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, SUCH AS THE GIFT 🎁 OF WISDOM, HE DOES NOT TAKE THEM BACK.”
“FRUITS NOT GIFTS ARE THE MEASURE OF SPIRITUALITY AND CHARACTER.”
May God grant it that we are so full of Heaven’s wisdom that people come to us for answers. Is that a knock on your that I hear?
Little did Solomon realize that He was paving the way to God for the Queen 👑. Little did the Queen 👑 realize that she was was calling Solomon back to God. Amen!