by Ken Gardner

There are only two kinds of people in the world, people often say. And then they point out that there are the rich and the poor, the young and the old, or perhaps the healthy and the sick. Religious people suggest there are only the saved and the lost. But there is another division of categories suggested by the Scriptures in a number of passages. In I Kings 10:1-13 and II Chronicles 9:1-12 we read about the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon. The account is interesting not so much because of what it says but because of what it doesn't say. The Bible simply tells us that the queen had heard of Solomon's great wealth and wisdom, and she couldn't believe all that she had heard. So she went to visit him, saw his wealth, learned of his wisdom, and was she ever amazed. Then she and Solomon exchanged gifts, and she went home. And that was that. So what's the point? Why is this account in the Bible? Is it just an interesting, intriguing story? Is God just trying to pique our curiosity? Was she beautiful? Were they attracted to each other? Or could it be that God is stressing how He had blessed Solomon because Solomon was a good man? God rewarded him for his righteousness, so much so that even the Queen of Sheba was speechless, and thus we should be motivated to faithfully serve our Lord. Is that the main point of this account?

True, Solomon was an exemplary man, at least at this point in his life, and yes, God had rewarded him richly. But I don't think that's the main point of the story. The real meaning of the story is found in the New Testament. In Matthew 12, Jesus condemned many of the people of his day because they did not accept Him and His message. According to v.42, He told them, "The Queen of the south will rise in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here." So what is the point? The queen was receptive to the wisdom of Solomon, but the people of Jesus' day refused to accept the wisdom of the Son of God! And not only was the queen receptive, she was a seeker! She went to great lengths to find out if what she had heard was true. And Jesus was virtually standing on people's doorsteps, begging to be heard, but they wouldn't listen. The Queen was a seeker. Likewise, Moses, just before he died, and just before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, told God's people, "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deu. 4:29). Three times in Chronicles, the children of God were assured that if they would seek God they would find Him (I Chronicles 28:9; II Chronicles 15:2,4). And in II Chronicles 15:15 we read that the Israelites "sought God with their whole desire, (that is, earnestly, eagerly, with all their soul, with all their will), and he was found by them." And consider these statement from the book of Psalms: "In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God" (10:4). Also, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (42:1-2). "O God, thou art my God; early [or, earnestly] will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty [weary] land, where no water is" (Psalm 63:1). The prophet Isaiah exhorted, "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6). God through Jeremiah said, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (29:13). Our Lord Himself made three significant statements in the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6). "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matthew 7:7,8). The apostle Paul pleaded with the people of Athens to worship the true God: "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed [their appointed seasons], and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord [God did this so that men would seek him], if haply [perhaps] they might feel after him [reach out for him], and find him, though he be not far from every one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring" (Acts 17:24-28). Let us conclude with two more N T passages:

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is [exists], and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently [earnestly] seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).

"Come near to God and he will come near to you" (James 4:8).

Have you noticed the emphasis in all of these scriptures? If we are going to find God, then not only must we seek Him, but we must seek Him earnestly. Clearly, then, there are only two kind of people: Seekers, and non-seekers. Which are you?