What advice did King Solomon give to the Queen of Sheba about the poor versus the wealthy?.
In a novel excerpt, I surmised, based on his proverbs, how he may have answered her questions in their biblical meeting. The novel is a contemporary application of a story form to promote understanding of proverbs and ancient wise sayings in relation to our modern times.
“Solomon, your story this morning of how you organized your gathering to present your ideas on change is very inspiring. I have already envisioned myself presenting my plans to a gathering of wealthy and powerful leaders with a message to share their wealth and power with our people. I surmise that they will initially respond by bowing down in reverence to proclaim their loyalty and adulate my wisdom. A short time later, they will gather to conspire and poison me same as they did my mother.”
“Solomon, tell me the wisdom of why some people are poor while other people have wealth? Why are people like ants, either a queen, soldier, or worker ant? Where is the justice in your God to choose one man to be rich and another to be poor, even though both may be equal in righteousness?”
“Bilqis, you have made a comparison of people to ants. We must recognize that there is an order for all of God’s creations to have a useful purpose, talent, story, and meaning for their life. Some will excel in their role of as kings, queens and rulers, with a purpose and talent to rule in the best interests of their followers. Some will be born and be completely happy in their role as farmers, builders, or to perform other useful tasks in their community.”
“The order of God or his justice is not relevant for us to question in relation to wealth. You will never see any animals or insects wearing gold necklaces or bracelets on their own. There is an order of dominance or rank visible in animal and insect behavior as evidenced by their sharing that I believe we should emulate.”
“Solomon, give me an example of this animal dominance and generosities you present.”
“For example, we can learn sharing from the birds. Every morning I load my bird feeder with a limited amount of seed. The most dominant birds fight each other to enter a chamber and choose from a variety of seed choices from an inner trough to eat their fill. As they eat, they push out the other seeds that fall to the less dominant birds that feed on the ground below the feeder.”
“Birds do not hoard their daily seeds; instead, they share each day’s allocation among the entire flock. I wish our more dominant humans would emulate the actions of birds. Yes, the more dominant birds do get first choice, however, birds treat the entire flock better than some wealthy humans by sharing after they eat their daily fill, instead of hoarding more seeds than they can ever consume in their lifetime.”
“So my dear Solomon, are you now telling me that we mortals are no different than ants and should be happy same as a poor worker ant and we should share everything like the birds?
“Bilqis, mortals differ from ants because we have the diversity and capacity through the wisdom of our God to choose whether to strive for wealth or not. I believe the Goddess of Wisdom will lead all that seek wisdom to benefit spiritually regardless what rank or wealth they achieve during their lifetime. The higher their rank in their choosing the greater may be their capacity to benefit themselves, their family and their community as do the birds.”
“Solomon, I am now becoming confused about your thinking about the order and justice of your God. You state he leads both to achieve both wealth and wisdom. Why allow wealth for some and poverty for others? What are the benefits for either?”
“Although wealth will provide worldly comfort, only the blessings of God will achieve wealth. A person must endeavor to attain the wisdom of God to achieve a spiritual state of peace and joy in a one’s life regardless whether they are rich or poor. The order of our God or His justice is not for us to question, but to discover, admire, and emulate.”
“Do you ever feel guilty or vexed about your wealth?” Bilqis asked.
“The path of wisdom can lead to both wealth and a long life. Wealth gained through righteousness should not create guilt. Wealth derived from righteousness is a blessing we should enjoy and profit without vexation.” It is Yahweh’s blessing which brings wealth, and there is no increase of vexation with it. (Proverb 10:22)
“And what have you to say when thieves profit and achieve wealth?”
“A man that gains wealth by wickedness is profitless. Wickedness will lead to violence and ultimately lead to death, whereas righteousness leads one on a path of safety from death.” Ill-gotten gains are not profitable, but righteousness brings deliverance from death. (Proverb 10:2)
“Solomon, I hope I do not offend you, but it appears to me that there are a lot of thieves in this world living long lives safe from death.”
“There are different type deaths to avoid. One comes about from the risks the wicked may experience by their act. The other is the judgment of their maker when they die.”
“Solomon, you stated that wealth is a blessing from your God. Why then does your God choose one righteous man to become wealthy and another to be poor?”
As a Lily Among Thorns, a Story about King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom
Available as an eBook at most sellers.