Ethiopia in the Bible
The word Ethiopia is mentioned in the King James Bible forty-five times (ex. Genesis 2:13; Numbers 12:1; 2 Kings 19:9; 2 Chronicles 12:3; 2 Chronicles 14:9… etc.). Most of the time, it refers to all the land south of Egypt. Ethiopia was a great country at that time, like Egypt. The Bible records that it often made war against the Israelites.
The story that refers to the greatness of Ethiopia is found in 1 Kings 10: 1-13. In this passage, we read about Sheba’s visit, who is believed to have been the Queen of Ethiopia, to King Solomon of Israel:
“10 Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. 2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.
3 So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her.…6 Then she said to the king: “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom…Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”
10 Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, spices in great quantity, and precious stones. There never again came such abundance of spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon… 13 Now King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired… So she turned and went to her own country…” (1 Kings 10, 1-13).
Faithfulness Leads to Greatness
Making mention of a country in the Bible doesn’t ensure that the country will always be a great nation. For example, Egypt was one of the mightiest countries of Bible times, and now, it is a poor country. Babylon, which is now in the province of Iraq, was extremely rich and powerful empire, yet now, the Babylonians have become extinct.
On a national level, greatness of a country depends on its choices. For there are decisions that lead to greatness and prosperity and others that lead to failure and destruction. If we read chapter 28 in the book of Deuteronomy, we will see clearly that faithfulness to God leads a nation to success and unfaithfulness leads to ruin.
On a personal level, the Bible gives us the good news that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Christianity subordinates the role of race and nationality to the principle of the brotherhood of all men (Acts 17:26). In Christ’s kingdom, all are covered with the same garment of Christ’s righteousness, which they receive by faith in Jesus Christ.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). The Christian needs a constant awareness of the fact that he is a citizen of heaven. Yet attachment to one’s country leads him to be loyal to it. Wherever he may be living, he will conduct himself in a way that will honor the good name of his country. Keeping in mind the kind of life we expect to live in heaven, serves to guide us in our life on earth. The purity, humility, gentleness, and love we anticipate experiencing in the life to come may be demonstrated here below. Our actions should disclose that we are citizens of heaven.
In His service,
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