“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom” (I Kings 3:10a, NLT). He was about to have huge opportunity to put it to use.
“Two prostitutes came to the king to have an argument settled. ‘Please, my lord,’ one of them began, ‘this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house. Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house” (I Kings 3:16-18).
“But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it. Then she got up in the night and took my son from beside me while I was asleep. She laid her dead child in my arms and took mine to sleep beside her. And in the morning when I tried to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked more closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son at all” (I Kings 3:19-21).
“Then the other woman interrupted, ‘It certainly was your son, and the living child is mine.’ ‘No,’ the first woman said, ‘the living child is mine, and the dead one is yours.’ And so they argued back and forth before the king” (I Kings 3:22).
Two women had babies three days apart. One of the babies tragically died. One woman claimed the other woman switched babies so that the mother whose child had actually died ended up with the live baby. How was Solomon to determine who was telling the truth?
“Then the king said, ‘Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. All right, bring me a sword.’ So a sword was brought to the king” (I Kings 3:23-24).
“Then he said, ‘Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!’” (I Kings 3:25).
No way was Solomon planning on executing an innocent baby. What he was doing was using a terrifying ruse to bring out the truth.
“Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, ‘Oh no, my lord! Give her the child – please do not kill him!’” (I Kings 3:26a).
A mother’s love “cried out.” Rather than have harm come to her child, the real mother was willing to let the other woman keep him. She was willing to endure the pain of losing him if it meant that her child would be allowed to live.
“But the other woman said, ‘All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!’” (I Kings 3:26b).
Talk about a serious case of postpartum depression! Having lost her own child, she preferred seeing the living baby killed rather than losing him to his real mother.
“Then the king said, ‘Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!’” (I Kings 3:27).
Would anyone else have ever come up with a plan that would have so quickly revealed the living baby’s real mother? God had truly given Solomon what he had asked for.
Speaking of wisdom, did you know that you’re smarter than a proverbial whip? How do I know this? Because “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself” (I Corinthians 1:30a). If you’ve got Jesus, you’ve got “wisdom itself.” Apply it.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates