The Seeker Conclusion
It isn’t a good time to be Jewish these days. In Israel, Jews are being murdered almost daily by Arabs determined to remove them from the tiny sliver of land they still have left in the Middle East. In Europe they are beaten in the streets; their synagogues are torched; their cemeteries, desecrated. In Argentina they are vilified and blamed for the collapse of the national economy. Muslims want to annihilate them. The UN condemns them every chance it gets and has all but tried to erase the Jewish state from existence. And in America, an alarming new hatred is turning college campuses into hotbeds of anti-Semitism. But when has it ever been a good time to be Jewish? The twentieth century produced the Holocaust. Previous centuries gave us pogroms, crusades, the inquisition, and a multitude of other persecutions and expulsions.
Yet there was a day when it was glorious to be a Jew—when Jewish people enjoyed peace in their own land, prosperity, honor, blessing, and a physical manifestation of Jehovah in their Temple in Jerusalem. It was the golden age in Jewish history. King Solomon was on the throne, and “all the earth consulted” him (1 Ki. 10:24).
His forty-year rule was as close as the Jewish people have ever come to tasting the blessings they will have in the future Millennial Kingdom. And the queen of Sheba’s visit is as clear a picture as we have of what Israel’s position will be like when Messiah rules on the throne of David. Israel will be the head, not the tail: “And the nations [Gentiles] shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isa. 60:3). “The sons of foreigners shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee” (Isa. 60:10).
Isaiah 60—62, written two hundred years after Solomon’s reign, is filled with prophecies telling of the wonderful day when Messiah will rule and the glory of the Jewish kingdom will be restored. Today there is no kingdom. Nor is there a king. Unfortunately, as wise as Solomon was, he failed to heed his own advice. He slid into idolatry and sin, and the golden age in Jewish history came to an ignominious end.
When Solomon’s son Rehoboam ascended the throne, the Lord meted out His divine judgment by using civil unrest to split the nation in two. Then, after providing hundreds of years of unheeded warnings to live righteously, He sent the Israelites into captivity. The northern kingdom fell to Assyria in 722 B.C.; the southern (Davidic) kingdom, to Babylon in 586 B.C.
So ended the Davidic monarchy. The Jewish people have never again seen the blessing they enjoyed when the queen of Sheba made her pilgrimage to Jerusalem almost three thousand years ago. And it was only in 1948 that they again received the right to rule a portion of their own land.
When Jesus was on Earth, they were in their land but were subjects of Roman rule. The Jewish hierarchy rejected Jesus’ wisdom just as earlier leaders had rejected the prophets before Him. So Jesus told them,
The queen of the south [Sheba] shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; for she came from the farthest parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here (Mt. 12:42).
Yet someday Messiah Jesus will return. His resurrection was well documented in the ancient world. His lineage and legal right to David’s throne have been preserved in God’s Word. And with greater wisdom than Solomon, He will rule from Jerusalem in justice and truth and will bless the nation of Israel:
For I, the LORD, love justice, . . . and I will direct their [the Jewish people’s] work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the nations [Gentiles], and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed whom the LORD hath blessed (Isa. 61:8–9).
The kings of the earth will again come to Jerusalem to see the great King who will sit on the throne of the Jewish Kingdom. Sheba again will bring its wealth to Israel, as will all the Gentile nations:
The forces of the nations shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; they all from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD (Isa. 60:5–6).
Gone will be anti-Semitism, suicide bombers, swastikas, and UN resolutions equating Zionism with racism. The fight for the little sliver of land in the Middle East will be over—and Israel will have won:
For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. . . . Thy people also shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified (Ezek. 36:24; Isa. 60:21).
Nations the world over will be as the queen of Sheba was, going up to Jerusalem to pay homage: “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish” (Isa. 60:12).
The Jewish people will be in their land—all of it—with Messiah Jesus, the son of David, on the throne. And Israel will finally have peace, not for a mere forty years as in the days of Solomon, but for all eternity. Then “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:4). And it will again be a glorious day to be a Jew.