AUTHORS, LIZ CURTIS HIGGS, QUEEN OF SHEBA

It’s Good to Be Queen: Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba – by Liz Curtis Higgs

ITS GOOD TO BE QUEEN - 840KB

Paperback: 320 pages. Imprint: WaterBrook and Multnomah,

Publisher: Penguin Random House, Publication Date: July 16, 2015.

ISBN-13: 978-1594155093. Price: $10.11


PUBLISHER’S SYNOPSIS

Sheba Journeyed Across the Desert with a Caravan of Riches,
Only to Find the Greatest Treasure of Them All. So Can You.

When it comes to famous queens of the Bible, we know the good one, Queen Esther, and the bad one, Queen Jezebel. Now meet the wise one, the queen of Sheba, who traveled to Jerusalem to test the mind and heart of a king. Her quest for wisdom will surprise you, challenge you, inspire you, change you. This wealthy royal from antiquity will show you how to live boldly, seek after truth, ask the right questions, encourage others, receive graciously, and honor the Lord above all. Shedding new light on this ancient Biblical role model, Liz Curtis Higgs unveils timeless wisdom for all who aspire to please the King of Kings.


REVIEW BY MIRIAM JACOB

The Queen of Sheba is one of the Bible’s most mysterious and captivating women. Here is Biblical history come to life. The epic wisdom of the Queen of Sheba is legendary, as her search for wisdom leads her to the One true source of all wisdom. This book opens our hearts to a journey of transformation, a veritable feast of rich truth, divine wisdom, and abundant grace. Liz Curtis Higgs’ avid description, graphic imagery and extensive research culminates spectacularly in a stunning blend of spiritual insight and practical application, culled from years of personal experience as a gifted spiritual writer. Every page sparkles with warm wit, insightful wisdom and Liz’s own unique signature style, as she breathes new life into this stunning account of the mysterious queen of Sheba. Her writing is a perfect blend of humor and insightful commentary. Liz has the intelligent mind of a Biblical scholar and the poignant heart of a talented novelist. Her in-depth knowledge of the Bible and personal relationship with the Lord gives her the ability to transform profound Biblical truth into practical application in daily life.

This book starts with tantalizing thoughts from the Queen of Sheba, written and signed in queenly style by “Sheba”, who is intrigued by reports of King Solomon, “blowing across the Arabian Desert like the fragrance of cinnamon on the night wind.” I like Liz’s apt choice of words and style. Only one man’s name resounds through the air: King Solomon. But the Queen of Sheba is a royal queen in her own right, monarch of the land of Sheba, well aware that a crown is worthless unless the sovereign has wisdom, tempered with sound judgment. King Solomon of Israel, worthy of his throne, rules his people with words of wisdom, not weapons of destruction. When he speaks, his words of insight are engraved on clay tablets for posterity, to ensure that his wisdom will outlive him, long after he is gone. Travelers bring the wisdom of King Solomon, impressed upon their hearts, to the Queen of Sheba, who is intrigued, wondering how Solomon learned these truths and who taught him? His father, King David, was a warrior-king; a poet in his own right. But Solomon surpasses David in wisdom. The Queen of Sheba is deeply inspired by King Solomon’s vast knowledge and wisdom. “When the Queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. – (1 Kings 10:1).”

The mysterious Queen of Sheba is one of the most fascinating and infamous monarchs in Biblical history. A wise queen of extraordinary boldness and clear-cut vision, she traveled far and wide, from the ends of the earth, to seek wisdom and to test the mind and heart of King Solomon. Her passionate quest for wisdom challenges and inspires us. This wise royal from antiquity boldly seeks after truth, asks the right questions, and acquires timeless wisdom to please the worthy King Solomon. “No other ruler merits the same attention” as the Queen of Sheba. Her unique search for truth is why this wise queen serves as a worthy role model. “She prized wisdom above power.” Her story in Scripture is short, yet inspiring— select verses in 1 Kings 10 and in 2 Chronicles 9. We marvel over the treasures to be found in God’s Word. The Lord’s name is rightly praised and we sense God’s presence. A changed heart is a wonder to behold. Even the all-wise King Solomon welcomed the brilliant Queen of Sheba.

This Queen of the Arabian Desert, the Queen of Sheba was true to her royal calling. All the deeds that truly matter: her words, actions, and motives,  as recorded in Scripture, reveal a queen almost as wise as King Solomon himself. A fiercely independent woman, the Queen of Sheba was “at ease with herself and with her world”, ready and willing to venture into the unknown, in search of knowledge, wisdom, and truth. “Educated with royal care, in all the learning of her country,” the Queen of Sheba was always eager for more. Her caravan of camels always stood nearby, raring to go in search of adventure. The Queen of Sheba’s visit to Jerusalem was probably around 945 BC. An unmarried woman of royal blood, a virgin queen, the Queen of Sheba was alone on the throne.

What made King Solomon so renowned a celebrity in the tenth century BC? It was his amazing wisdom, “greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.” King Solomon’s praise was sung by everyone —“his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.” The world honored Solomon because of his unique bond with God, who was wisdom itself and the only true source of all knowledge. Solomon had a unique relationship to the Lord. The Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon and about his God, too. Solomon had amazingly great clout and importance only because of “the reputation of the Lord”. Everything he had was “due to the Lord’s name”. Our only purpose is to magnify the Lord’s fame and “sing the glory of his name.” That’s why Solomon stood out. From the time he was born, “the Lord loved him,” and Solomon worshiped the Lord. Did Sheba wish to meet Solomon’s God? Matthew Henry thought she was “religiously inclined” to know more about the God of Israel, the divine Teacher of the wise King Solomon.

The queen herself came  in person to see Solomon. “From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.” She was determined to investigate on her own, by undertaking a long and arduous journey of almost fifteen hundred miles, through the Arabian Desert, across Moab, past the Salt Sea, across the Jordan, through Canaan, and up into Jerusalem. Her mode of travel was by a caravan of camels—the “living ship of the desert” – in a journey of over two months. The Queen of Sheba was a bold and brave pioneer, noble and daring, enduring sandstorms and scorching heat, as her caravan traversed the wide sweeping expanse of sand dunes and trackless desert. The Queen of Sheba was a brilliant and well-versed diplomat, well-educated, socially adept and impressive. Her greatest asset was a heart that desired wisdom and an insatiable hunger for knowledge, “a restless longing after the True, the Good, the Beautiful, the Eternal.”

The Queen of Sheba desired attributes that capture the essence of the Almighty. She would put King Solomon’s reputation to the test, “the first reigning queen on record who pitted her wits and wealth against those of a king.”Wisdom is “an ornament of grace to the soul” that money cannot buy and skill cannot earn, costing time and effort. The Queen of Sheba had  “a willingness to seek and sacrifice, to give whatever it takes to find answers to life’s questions.” She would test the king with hard “questions of very great difficulty”, “riddles” and cryptic “enigmas” which had definite answers. “A celebrated entertainment of the eastern princes” was to analyze the veiled meanings and allegorical language of riddles and enigmas. Did the Queen of Sheba know of King Solomon’s mastery in riddles and his superior skills? She was a talented opponent, armed with questions that “cloaked a deeper philosophical, practical, or theological truth” allowing her to display “her cunning and statecraft.” King Solomon claimed his wisdom from the God of Israel. The Queen of Sheba was determined to test Solomon and his God, in a bold and daring move, completely in character for such a brilliant Queen.

Miriam Jacob

Reviewer, WaterBrook and Multnomah,

an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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