1 Kings 10 … Consider Him Who Takes Our Breath Away

Originally posted: 2/18/2020

When the queen of Sheba observed all of Solomon’s wisdom, the palace he had built, the food at his table, his servants’ residence, his attendants’ service and their attire, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he offered at the LORD’s temple, it took her breath away, (10:4-5 HCSB).

She came a long way; theologians suggest up to 1,500 miles of travel was involved in order to make her way to Jerusalem. She came bearing gifts, “with a very large retinue, with camels carrying spices and very much gold and precious stones,” (10:2). But her generosity was not her motivation. She came, as it were, to test the Name of the Lord.

Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with difficult questions, (10:1).

As though on trial, as though the Lord had anything to prove to anyone, the queen of Sheba came to test the facts of this God of Israel. Can any god really be so great and powerful?

A kingdom’s success or failure, prosperity or poverty was typically attributed to the gods they worshipped and revered. It is clear the news had spread about this King Solomon and his kingdom, and therefore his God.

And the Queen of Sheba assumed she was just the one to be the final authority on the accuracy of the reports. So, she came to test Solomon, and thereby test his God. And after hearing, seeing and perceiving the breathtaking magnitude of the God of Israel, “there was no more breath in her,” (ESV).

Other versions translate this phrase as:

“she was overwhelmed” (NIV)
there was no more spirit in her” (NASB)
“it left her breathless and amazed” (GNT)
“it took her breath away” (HCSB)

Consider Him Who Takes Our Breath Away

It was not the sight or wonder of the king of Israel that astounded the Queen of Sheba. In her own words, this queen, who was most assuredly accustomed to the splendor and magnificence of royalty, was undone by His Words and Wisdom, His Wealth and Wonder, which far exceeded her expectations.

This God, Who would so bless His chosen king as to bless His people forever, Took Her Breath Away.

Then she said to the king, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard. How blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness,” (10:6-9).

  • He Takes Our Breath Away by His Words and Wisdom. Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with difficult questions… When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. 3Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from the king which he did not explain to her, (10:1-3).
    • For the Lord gives wisdom;
      From His mouth come knowledge and understanding,
      (Proverbs 2:6).
    •  but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men, (1 Corinthians 1:23-25).
  • He Takes Our Breath Away by His surpassing Wealth. When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her, (10:4-5).
    •  So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom, (10:23).
    •  But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day, (Deuteronomy 8:18).
    • To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 3:8-10).
  • He Takes Our Breath Away by His indescribable Wonder. “And behold, the half was not told me,” (10:9).
    • Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
      And Your thoughts toward us;
      There is none to compare with You.
      If I would declare and speak of them,
      They would be too numerous to count,
      (Psalm 40:5).
    • “For the Father loves the Son and reveals to Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater deeds than these will He reveal to Him, in order that you may wonder,” (John 5:20 Weymouth NT).
    • But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him, (Acts 3:6-10).

How do we respond to Him Who Takes Our Breath Away?

I remember the first time I laid eyes on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls in 1992. I still recall the audible sound escaping my throat as my eyes welled up with tears. The sight literally took my breath away.

I also still remember the feeling, shortly after coming to know Jesus and opening my own Bible to read His Words of Wisdom, Wealth and Wonder (as though He had written them just for me). And in His Word came the overwhelming sensation of Him taking my breath away. And He continues to Take my Breath Away, every day.

  • Oh, let us expect Him to Take Our Breath Away as we seek His Words and Wisdom.
    • My son, if you will receive my words
      And treasure my commandments within you,
      2Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
      Incline your heart to understanding;
      For if you cry for discernment,
      Lift your voice for understanding;
      If you seek her as silver
      And search for her as for hidden treasures;
      5Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
      And discover the knowledge of God,
      (Proverbs 2:1-5).
    • “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 25Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live,” (John 5:24-25).
    • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me,” (Revelation 3:20).
  • Oh, let us expect Him to Take Our Breath Away as we experience His surpassing Wealth in Christ.
    • And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:19).
    • Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed, (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
  • Oh, let us expect Him to Take Our Breath Away with a fresh sense of indescribable Wonder as we meditate on His grace.
    • O sing to the Lord a new song,
      For He has done wonderful things,
      His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him,
      (Psalm 98:1)
    •  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy, (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)

Oh Lord Jesus, Take Our Breath Away we pray, and please let every breath we take, be given back to You in praise.

“The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him…”
(Exodus 15:2).

To the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory, (Ephesians 1:12).

…so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen, (1 Peter 4:11).

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply