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The Queen of Sheba

The details of the story from the First Book of Kings furnish a grandeur to it that is somewhat alluring. It may seem at first that the Queen of Sheba is taken in by the great riches of Solomon’s palace and the Temple. However, her remarks show us that there is something much greater at work here as she recognizes Solomon’s wisdom.

Blessed be the LORD, your God, who has been pleased to place you on the throne of Israel. In his enduring love for Israel, the LORD has made you king to carry out judgment and justice.

First of all, she is what we would ordinarily call a pagan queen. Yet she praises the God of Israel. She recognizes that Solomon’s wisdom is not of human origin but is a gift from Solomon’s God.

Secondly, she also recognizes that the riches which adorn his palace and the Temple that he has built for God are not really all that important. She places emphasis on the fact that the gift of Solomon’s Wisdom was really a gift to the entire people because he is meant to use it to carry out God’s judgment and justice.

The lectionary invokes Psalm 37 and seconds that idea by reminding us that true wisdom is found in adhering to and learning God’s Law.

The Gospel also makes us pay attention to the nature of true wisdom as Jesus pronounces all of God’s creation to be good. That which is evil comes out of a heart that fails to recognize the wisdom of God’s Law.

As we celebrate the Eucharist, we remember that it is Jesus’ obedience which has purchased our salvation. Those who choose to follow Jesus will also choose to do God’s will rather than our own.

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