In this age of video conferencing and smartphones, it may seem that we do not have to meet in person to discuss important issues. Even world leaders have chosen to have many virtual meetings because of the immediacy, ease, and the concern for the transmission of COVID and other infectious diseases. While it is true that many important meetings occur virtually, we may learn that people eschew the convenience of a virtual meeting or phone call, opting for an in-person meeting. Even in this day of technological advances, nothing can absolutely substitute for doing it in person. In fact, if one chooses not to, it sends a very powerful message that the issue may not be that important or one may be trying to avoid the issue and potential confrontation.
Several years ago, I had the unfortunate experience of a long-time dermatology client ending our professional relationship of nearly 20 years. Like every business, costs have skyrocketed and he decided it was cheaper to hire a dermatopathologist as part of their staff rather than outsource the services to someone like myself. While it was understandable, I wished that he informed me with a phone call or an in-person meeting rather than by an email. It was awkward since he already hired the dermatopathologist and made the decision. He was embarrassed and wanted to do this impersonally with an email, rather than with a face to face meeting.
There were no cell phones or video conferencing when the Bible was written. Nonetheless, the principle of meeting and seeing someone in person was very real. The Queen of Sheba heard stories of the magnificence of King Solomon’s kingdom. She traveled hundreds of miles to meet King Solomon in person and see the splendor of his temple and the riches of the Kingdom of Israel in person. She was not disappointed.
She exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements and wisdom is true! I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told.
1 Kings 10:6-7 (NLT)
The Queen of Sheba knew that it was important to see for herself if all the things she heard about King Solomon and God were true.
How happy your people must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom! Praise the LORD your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”
1 Kings 10:8-9 (NLT)
For an important meeting or decision, I always prefer doing it in person. Our Lord Jesus Christ cited the example of the Queen of Sheba and praised her that she took the extra effort to see for herself the splendor and majesty of God. However, he chastised the Jewish leaders who failed to recognize the great works that Jesus had performed, proving that He is the Messiah. Their Lord and Savior was standing within their midst but they made no effort to verify His claims and dismissed His teachings and miracles which they heard and witnessed. As Jesus sternly warned the Jewish leaders:
The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.
Matthew 12:42 (NLT)
The most important question everyone must answer for themselves is what is their eternal destiny? Are we simply animals that have evolved from a single cell organism with no soul? When we die, does everything cease to exist? Or is there something more, something greater than the wisdom of Solomon, something greater than a meaningless existence? God has given us the answer. If we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will have salvation and eternal life. It must be a personal decision. No one else can make this decision. We must do it in person.
Will you accept the challenge?
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.