VERSES: 1 Kings 10:1-13
MEMORY VERSE: 1 Kings 10:1 "And the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Ezra. Write "Ezra" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class.
PRAYER: May we be as curious about God' Word as the queen of Sheba was about King Solomon and his wisdom.
SPECIAL SONG: This Little Light Of Mine (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: Chalkboard or Whiteboard drawings of the queen of Sheba asking questions of King Solomon. Map, showing Jerusalem and noting that Sheba is not on the map. Bring at least two spices to class that the students may smell (might not let the students smell the pepper; on second thought, might want to leave out the pepper all together, except to mention that there are many different spices that we use every day!).
- King Solomon walked in God's ways. He had built the temple for the LORD, was extremely wealthy, his kingdom was one of peace, and he was the wisest man that ever lived. His fame was spreading to faraway lands--like a place called Sheba. The Bible does not say a whole lot about Sheba, but we do know that it was "south" (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31). There was one who ruled over the place called Sheba and she was a queen. We don't know her name or much about her, but we know that she was curious about this king named Solomon who lived in Jerusalem, so she went for a visit.
- The queen of Sheba must have been wealthy herself because when she arrived in Jerusalem to meet King Solomon, she brought many presents. The Bible says she came to Jerusalem with a very great train. In Old Testament times, trains like we know trains had not been invented, yet, so this train meant that there were A LOT of people and camels traveling to one place! The camels were bearing gifts for Solomon. The queen of Sheba had come from far away, so she brought special spices from her country, gold which was very valuable, and precious stones which must have been valuable, too, and gave them to the king. Did King Solomon need her gifts? Maybe not, but the queen of Sheba was very generous and wanted to give King Solomon presents. Sometimes when we go visit someone for the first time, we bring the ones we are visiting a present, too. Maybe a plant or food, it doesn't really matter what it is, but we want to give our new friends a "hello" gift. That is what the queen of Sheba did!
- The queen of Sheba was also very wise because the reason she wanted to visit King Solomon was to talk to him. She wanted to ask him questions and, the Bible says, "to commune with him of all that was in her heart." She wanted to meet this wise man, whose fame had spread to her faraway land.
- So, King Solomon answered all of her questions and there was not anything that he hid from her. Everything she wanted to know, he told her. She had seen all of King Solomon's wisdom, the temple that he had built, the food at his table, all of his servants and the ones who ministered to him, the things that he wore, his cupbearers, and the way by which he went up to the house of the LORD, she was left breathless. She was in awe of all that she saw and heard.
- The queen of Sheba said that what she had heard about King Solomon was true. Before she had come to Jerusalem, she had not believed what she had heard, but when she came and saw with her own eyes, she said only half had been told to her. Solomon's wisdom and prosperity far exceeded his fame. She said that his servants were happy to serve him and hear his wisdom. She said, "Blessed be the LORD who delights in you and set you on the throne of Israel, King Solomon!" She could see and understand that the LORD was behind everything she had seen and that the LORD loved his people because He had placed such a wise man to rule over them.
- After the queen of Sheba had given all of her presents to King Solomon, he, too gave her presents in return. He gave her what he wanted to give and, also, whatever she asked for. Then, after a good visit, she and her servants turned and went back to Sheba.
- It is interesting that the queen of Sheba realized that the LORD was behind King Solomon's wealth and prosperity and wisdom. Nothing is said of her believing or that she worshiped the LORD, yet because of Solomon's wisdom, she believed.
- We might not think of spices being special today, but in the Old Testament times, spices were very valuable because it was hard to find them and transport them to where a person lived. Spices were a great present for Solomon, and, of course, gold is always a good gift!
ACTIVITY: "The Queen of Sheba Brings Presents to King Solomon"
Materials needed: two different spices, 9"x 12" blue construction paper, 5" x 12" light brown construction paper, 9" x 12" dark brown construction paper, scraps of leftover paper (hopefully a small piece of gold paper for everyone), crayons, scissors, glue, markers.
- Hand out blue paper. This is the background of blue sky.
- Hand out light brown paper and tear off the very top edge of the paper, so it looks like low mountains.
- Glue mountains onto blue paper.
- Hand out dark brown paper.
- Cut two large ovals (about as big as your fist) with one hump each, two small ovalsfor the camel's heads, two thick curves for the camels' necks, and eight small strips of dark brown paper for legs (cutting one strip in half for two tails).
- Cut one of the large ovals in half.
- Cut one strip in half and, on one end of each, cut like grass. These are camels' tails.
- Glue the whole large oval in the middle of the paper.
- Glue one curve for a neck.
- Glue one small oval to the top of the neck.
- Glue four legs.
- Glue tail.
- Glue half of the other oval to the left of the middle camel.
- Glue two legs.
- Glue one tail.
- Glue the other neck on the right of the blue paper.
- Glue the other small oval on top of the neck.
- Glue one leg to the tight of the middle camel. (See picture above.)
- Draw faces on camels.
- Decorate camels' humps with small pieces of paper. These are hump rugs.
- Color hump rugs.
- Cut three small packages for King Solomon.
- Fold top edges of packages.
- Glue ONLY THE EDGE of the presents or they cannot be lifted to reveal the presents. Place them on top of the hump rugs.
- Lift packages carefully.
- Under one package glue a small wedge of gold paper. This is the gold.
- Under the other packages, put a little glue.
- Sprinkle each spice on the glue that is under the packages.
- Write "The Queen of Sheba Brings Presents To King Solomon" and "1 Kings 10" at the top of the blue paper.
- Let the students lift the presents and smell the spices as they tell the story.