Can we STAND UP against the TESTS of GOD & PEOPLE?
April 10 Bible Reading: 1 Kings Chapters 10-12
"Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her." (1 Kings 10:1-3)
From the very beginning of human existence on this earth, there has been the phenomenon called ‘testing’. After God had created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, they had to obey only one single commandment: they were not to eat "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:17). It is very clear that God allowed Satan to enter the garden in the form of a serpent and test Eve (Gen. 3:1-5). Both Adam and Eve failed in their only test, and as a result were driven out from the garden by God (Gen. 3:24). On the other hand, Abraham passed the test when he was asked to sacrifice his only son Isaac on the altar for God (Gen. 22:1-18). Similarly, the patriarch Job was subjected to some intense tests, but he survived them all due to his patience and trust in God. God also subjected even His Son Jesus Christ through some intense tests (e.g. in the wilderness: Matt. 4:1-10; in the Garden of Gethsemane: Matt. 26:36-39) but He overcame them all…!!!
In the case of King Solomon, his various accomplishments gave rise to international fame, and his reputation spread as far away as Sheba on the South Arabian Peninsula, which was located more than 1200 miles from Jerusalem. The queen of that land was so impressed with rumors of Solomon’s wisdom that she made that lengthy journey just in order to test him with hard questions (see Judges 14:13), but he was able to answer them all (v. 3a). When she saw the magnificence of his kingdom, she was completely overwhelmed and had to acknowledge that the glowing reports about Solomon that she had heard before were grossly inadequate!
Solomon’s brilliant replies to the queen of Sheba’s difficult questions (v. 3), as well as the skillful use of his wisdom for the needs and interests of his kingdom convinced her that such wisdom must be divinely bestowed. Thus, more importantly, she recognized that Israel’s blessings were due to a gracious and beneficent God (10:7–10). Let us note that our fame and God’s name must go together (v. 1). If God magnifies our names one day (Josh. 3:7; 6:27), let’s make sure that He gets all the glory!
The best question to ask ourselves now is this: Can we stand up against the tests of God and people? We know that King Solomon evidently passed all the tests conducted by the queen of Sheba (10:6–7). In the similar manner, we will also be tested both by God and people through trials, problems and difficult situations in our lives. When that happens, don’t be surprised by the turn of events. Instead, make a concerted effort to cling closer to God while remembering the following statement penned by Apostle Peter:
"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." (1 Peter 4:12-13)