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1 Kings 10:14-29, Visit of the Queen of Sheba

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the fleet of ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
— 1 Kings 10:22

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, November 2, 2018

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

My extravagant kitchen

Extravagance. That’s the word I find best describes Solomon and his riches. He seemed like someone who was never satisfied with what he had — he worked hard to acquire more. More gold. More horses. More silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. (Who doesn’t need more peacocks?!)

If I could live as extravagantly as Solomon, I wouldn’t be drawn to peacocks. No, my passion is my home. I would build a gigantic kitchen, and then model my home around it. My kitchen would have so much counter space, I could leave out all the small appliances that now have to be dug out of the back of the cupboard to use (waffles, anyone?). I’d have a spice rack that ran the entire length of the kitchen, but at the right height so I didn’t need a stool to reach it. I’d have a double oven and a stove top with 6 or 7 burners. I’d have a pantry fully stocked with baking supplies on hand at all times. (Homemade chocolate chip cookies are a staple at my house already.) The entire thing would be decorated by Joanna Gaines (at least until next year, when I’d have it remodeled again to reflect the style of the day). I’d put in two dishwashers — one for the dishes, and one for the pots and pans. No, scratch that — I’d hire a housekeeper to do the dishes every day. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Of course, Solomon obtained his riches in part by building his city on the backs of slaves, so I wouldn’t want that kind of extravagance. And I hope I’d have the sense not only to put some away for a rainy day, but also to give a lot away because there would be way more people that need it than I do. Still, it’s fun to dream.

Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

1 Kings 10:14-29

The weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold, besides that which came from the traders and from the business of the merchants, and from all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land. King Solomon made two hundred large shields of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each large shield. He made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. The king also made a great ivory throne, and overlaid it with the finest gold. The throne had six steps. The top of the throne was rounded in the back, and on each side of the seat were arm rests and two lions standing beside the arm rests, while twelve lions were standing, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made in any kingdom. All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver—it was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon. For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the fleet of ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. The whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. Every one of them brought a present, objects of silver and gold, garments, weaponry, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year. Solomon gathered together chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as numerous as the sycamores of the Shephelah. Solomon’s import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king’s traders received them from Kue at a price. A chariot could be imported from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty; so through the king’s traders they were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

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