Claim Your Megiddo for the Kingdom of God
The climactic moment of King Solomon’s life occurred when the Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s fame connected with the name of the Lord. She arrived with all kinds of lavish gifts—literally tons of gold and precious stones and exotic spices. But by the end of her visit, she was blown away by Solomon’s prosperity, staggered by the fact that even Solomon’s servants lived like kings.
The Queen also tested Solomon with riddles to see if the rumors of his wisdom were true. Now, don’t think “riddles” like the ones I tell my kids: “What do you call it when a cow jumps over a barbed-wire fence?” (Udder destruction) No, think of the real challenging questions that everyone has a hard time answering—questions like, “Why does it seem like sometimes God is not fair?” or “What on earth am I here for?”
The Queen of Sheba was left stunned, more impressed by Solomon’s wisdom than by his admittedly gaudy wealth. As she told him,
The report I heard in my own country about your words and about your wisdom is true. But I didn’t believe the reports until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, I was not even told half. Your wisdom and prosperity far exceed the report I heard. How happy are your men. How happy are these servants of yours, who always stand in your presence hearing your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God! He delighted in you and put you on the throne of Israel, because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel. He has made you king to carry out justice and righteousness.
(1 Kings 10:6-9 CSB)
What you see here is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham to bless his people, to put his wisdom into them and use them as a testimony to his blessing power so that other nations might come to believe.
In Solomon, we get a taste of what the reign of the kingdom of God is supposed to look like. Solomon’s magnificent life was a preview for the feature film of our lives in the kingdom. You see, God doesn’t just want us to be impressed with Solomon; he wants us to evoke the same awestruck response Solomon did.
Now, I want to be careful here, because in our day the fullness of the kingdom has not come in any of us. And I’m certainly not saying that we can all become as smart or proficient in these things as Solomon was.
God doesn’t just want us to be impressed with Solomon; he wants us to evoke the same awestruck response Solomon did.
But the kingdom was most fully revealed in Jesus, who, in the New Testament, calls himself the truer and better Solomon (Matthew 12:42). And, in 1 Corinthians, Paul describes unbelievers coming into the church, sensing God’s wisdom at work, seeing the beauty of our relationships, having the secrets of our hearts revealed, and falling “facedown and [worshipping] God, proclaiming, ‘God is really among you’” (1 Corinthians 14:25). Paul is remembering this very scene between the Queen of Sheba and Solomon, applying it to the way our neighbors will see the kingdom in and through us.
Jesus has put his Spirit in us. Through us, God can give people glimpses of his kingdom, just like Solomon did. When we ask for God’s wisdom and put our gifts to use through the power of the Holy Spirit, people will come from far and near to the church and say, “I’ve heard, but not half was told to me.”
Earlier in 1 Kings it says that during his reign, Solomon controlled Gezer, Megiddo, and Hazor, which were the three main cities of what historians call the Via Maris (the way of the sea, or, at the time, the main trade route of the world). The most prominent of those cities, Megiddo, is where we get the term “Armageddon”—the site of the last battle in Revelation. Throughout history, more battles have been fought in Megiddo than any other place in the world.
What this means is that Christianity was never supposed to exist on the fringes. We’re not supposed to be ghettoed in our own subculture with our exclusively Christian music and Christian novelette series, both of which end up sounding like bad copies of real music and literature. No, like Solomon, we are to be in the cultural centers—the Megiddos of our day—demonstrating the kingdom of God.
The battle for Armageddon is symbolic of the battle for cultural control of the world. Those of you in so-called secular work need to see yourself in today’s Megiddos. They are the places that control culture—entertainment, media, business, higher education—and where we are to demonstrate the wisdom of the kingdom.
If you are in one of those places, you are there for a reason. God has commissioned you to stand before the Queens of Sheba, with God’s Spirit at work in you, and tell them about Jesus. So plead with God to give you the wisdom you need to faithfully apply the gospel where you are. It just may be that someone is watching, waiting to cry out, “Blessed be the Lord your God!”