Lesson 14 | Sabbath, 3 October 2020
Sheba means “expedition.”2
“The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.” Psalm 72:10, 11.
“In the early part of his reign, Solomon was visited by the queen of Sheba. She came to see and hear his wisdom, and after she had heard him she said that the half had not been told her.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 159.
An investigative judgment
- What special role did Jesus say the queen of the south would play in last day events? Similarly, what will those who are saved in the heavenly kingdom do?
Luke 11:31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
1 Corinthians 6:2, 3 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
“In the day of final judgment, every lost soul will understand the nature of his own rejection of truth. The cross will be presented, and its real bearing will be seen by every mind that has been blinded by transgression. Before the vision of Calvary with its mysterious Victim, sinners will stand condemned. Every lying excuse will be swept away. Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. Men will see what their choice has been. Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy will then have been made plain. In the judgment of the universe, God will stand clear of blame for the existence or continuance of evil. It will be demonstrated that the divine decrees are not accessory to sin. There was no defect in God’s government, no cause for disaffection. When the thoughts of all hearts shall be revealed, both the loyal and the rebellious will unite in declaring, ‘Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name?… for Thy judgments are made manifest.’ Revelation 15:3, 4.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 58.
- What kinds of questions did the Queen of Sheba ask King Solomon? Just as he answered the Queen’s questions, about what will those who are preparing for heaven need to provide answers to their interrogators?
2 Chronicles 9:1, 2 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. 2And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.
Matthew 12:36, 37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
“Thus it was when the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon. Hearing of his wisdom and of the magnificent temple he had built, she determined ‘to prove him with hard questions’ and to see for herself his famous works. Attended by a retinue of servants, and with camels bearing ‘spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones,’ she made the long journey to Jerusalem. ‘And when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.’ She talked with him of the mysteries of nature; and Solomon taught her of the God of nature, the great Creator, who dwells in the highest heaven and rules over all. ‘Solomon told her all her questions: there was not anything hid from the king, which he told her not.’ 1 Kings 10:1-3; 2 Chronicles 9:1, 2.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 66.
- By what law will everyone be judged in the investigative judgement? Just as the Queen of Sheba was impressed by the clothing worn in Solomon’s court, what will characterize our clothing and characters?
James 2:12 So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Matthew 22:11, 12 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
“In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative judgment is clearly represented as taking place before the marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see the guests, to see if all are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Matthew 22:11; Revelation 7:14. He who is found wanting is cast out, but all who upon examination are seen to have the wedding garment on are accepted of God and accounted worthy of a share in His kingdom and a seat upon His throne. This work of examination of character, of determining who are prepared for the kingdom of God, is that of the investigative judgment, the closing of work in the sanctuary above.” –The Great Controversy, p. 428.
- What was the testimony of the Queen of Sheba regarding Solomon? To whom did the Queen attribute his glory and wisdom?
1 Kings 10:6-9 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. 7Howbeit, I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. 8Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. 9Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.
“By the time of the close of her visit the queen had been so fully taught by Solomon as to the source of his wisdom and prosperity that she was constrained, not to extol the human agent, but to exclaim, ‘Blessed be 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.’ 1 Kings
10:9. This is the impression that God designed should be made upon all peoples. And when ‘all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart’ (2 Chronicles 9:23), Solomon for a time honored God by reverently pointing them to the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Ruler of the universe, the All-wise.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 67.
- What rich gifts did the Queen of Sheba give King Solomon? Spiritually, what do these gifts symbolize?
1 Kings 10:2, first part, 10 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones:… 10And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Revelation 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
“They will feel the necessity of buying gold, which is pure faith and love; white raiment, which is a spotless character made pure in the blood of their dear Redeemer; and eyesalve, which is the grace of God and which will give clear discernment of spiritual things and detect sin. These attainments are more precious than the gold of Ophir.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 254.
- What did Solomon give to the Queen of Sheba? What will God give to those who are found righteous in the investigative judgment?
2 Chronicles 9:12 And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
“Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs, but after a time his wisdom became mingled with chaff. Whence came the chaff? After a manhood of such glorious promise, a change came in Solomon’s history. He did not continue true to his purity and allegiance to God. He broke through the barriers that God had erected to preserve His people from idolatry. The Lord had singled out Israel as a nation, making them the depositories of sacred truth to be given to the world. But Solomon cherished pride of political powers. He encouraged alliances with pagan kingdoms.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 159.
- Who, like the Queen of Sheba, gave gifts to One much greater than Solomon? Therefore, what spiritual merchandise does the Great Merchant offer to those in Laodicea?
Matthew 2:1, 10, 11 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem….10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented to him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
Isaiah 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.
Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
“Intellect and earthly riches were powerless to remove the defects of the Laodicean church, or to remedy their deplorable condition. They were blind, yet felt that they were well off. The Spirit of God did not illumine their minds, and they did not perceive their sinfulness; therefore they did not feel the necessity of help. “The gold here recommended as having been tried in the fire is faith and love.
It makes the heart rich; for it has been purged until it is pure, and the more it is tested the more brilliant is its luster. The white raiment is purity of character, the righteousness of Christ imparted to the sinner. This is indeed a garment of heavenly texture, that can be bought only of Christ for a life of willing obedience. The eyesalve is that wisdom and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise. God has given His church eyes which He requires them to anoint with wisdom, that they may see clearly; but many would put out the eyes of the church if they could; for they would not have their deeds come to the light, lest they should be reproved. The divine eyesalve will impart clearness to the understanding. Christ is the depositary of all graces. He says: ‘Buy of Me.” –Testimony Treasures, vol. 1, pp. 477, 478.
“Professed Christians, worldly Christians, are unacquainted with heavenly things. They will never be brought to the gates of the New Jerusalem to engage in exercises which have not hitherto specially interested them. They have not trained their minds to delight in devotion and in meditation upon things of God and heaven. How, then, can they engage in the services of heaven? how delight in the spiritual, the pure, the holy in heaven, when it was not a special delight to them upon earth? The very atmosphere there will be purity itself. But they are unacquainted with it all. When in the world, pursuing their worldly vocations, they knew just where to take hold and just what to do. The lower order of faculties being in so constant exercise, grew, while the higher, nobler powers of the mind, not being strengthened by use, are incapable of awaking at once to spiritual exercises. Spiritual things are not discerned, because they are viewed with world- loving eyes, which cannot estimate the value and glory of the divine above the temporal.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 265.