The Queen of Sheba story is a lovely little cameo account placed between the Dedication of the Temple episode and the beginning of the woeful tale of Israel’s subsequent downfall. There can only ever be speculation as to why it was included in the Bible, in the sense of why the Holy Spirit inspired its inclusion. Was it to emphasise the wisdom and greatness of Solomon; or maybe to underline him as a type of the one day coming Christ/Messiah; to be forever king on the throne of both Israel and the whole world?
The best answers, however, are often offered by the Bible itself. Jesus was typified by Solomon in many ways, but he also used the Queen of Sheba as an object example of faith in contrast to the ‘unforgivable’ sin of the Pharisees, who, in rejecting the Messiah ship of Jesus, rejected also the Torah and teachings of Moses because they ‘spoke of him’. The whole story can be found around Luke 11:31, if you are interested.
His attitude to the Queen of Sheba suggests that through her visit to Solomon, which was probably intended as largely diplomatic, she came to have faith. Well if anyone knows, Jesus does. A similar anomaly appears in the book of Revelation when the very ‘bad’ king Manasseh is mentioned as head of one of the tribes mentioned in that text. Scripture makes clear that although Manasseh sinned grievously towards the Lord, and his actions had subsequent consequences for generations to come, at the end of his life he repented and was forgiven.
The upshot is: one day I hope to meet both King Manasseh and the Queen of Sheba!
The main point though is that -there is always hope. I have literally been praying for the salvation of close family members for decades now. One of the last things we find in the book of Revelation, which could mostly be seen as the book of God’s ultimate retribution, is the possibility of repentance and the forgiveness of sins. We must never cease to pray.
I have been present at what I believe was a death-bed conversion. The person dying was extremely agitated. With the permission of his loved ones, I simply whispered into his ear an offer of the gospel. His agitation instantly disappeared. He died within a couple of minutes. There were ten witnesses in the room that saw this happen. Praise the Lord!
Do you have a system for praying for people God lays on your heart? So that we can persevere in our prayers for salvation for people each of us needs to find the best way of doing this.