Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
After the passing of King David, his son, Solomon, became king. Shortly after, Solomon entered into the land of Gibeon, where he had a dream. In it, the Lord appeared to him and asked what he would request of Him. The desire of Solomon’s heart was for wisdom to judge righteously. This pleased the Lord since he chose to seek wisdom rather than for a long life. Because of this, the Lord granted Solomon a heart for wisdom to judge righteously like no other man. Additionally, the Lord gave him the things that he did not ask for, including honor and riches, as well as longevity as long as he upheld the Lord’s statutes (1Kings 3:1-15).
The Splendor of Solomon
Solomon was a willing vessel for the Lord and he answered the call for judging righteously. After being granted the Lord’s wisdom, Solomon was challenged by two mothers, which was the first occasion in which we have been given a glimpse at the depths of the wisdom he received.
So here’s what happened. There were two women, who were harlots that appeared before Solomon. Both of these women had a baby, but the one had lain on her baby and ended up smothering him so that he died. In response to her loss, she waited until the other woman and her handmaiden were asleep, then she swapped the living baby with the one that had died. While standing before Solomon, both women claimed that the living baby was theirs.
In response to the two women, Solomon asked that the baby be cut in half and that the baby be split between the two mothers. The rightful mother cried out to spare the baby and give it to the other woman so that her son might live, while the other accepted the judgment that the baby be split. Of course this revealed the true mother who was willing to give up her son so that he might live on. Solomon’s true and final judgment was to give the baby to the woman who wanted her son to be spared. Not only did the woman receive her son back, but it affirmed Solomon’s wisdom to all of Israel, so that the people knew God’s wisdom resided in him, and they feared Solomon because of it (1 Kings 3:16-28).
The Rightful Mother
The mother of the living son was willing to sacrifice her motherhood so that her son could live on. It was her motherly love that revealed her as the true mother. I can only imagine how terrifying this whole experience was for her. I mean, she had done nothing wrong and she was facing not only the loss of her son, but the death of him as well if Solomon’s original judgment was upheld. In a lot of ways, this is how sin can hold us in bondage. If it stands, there is death. However, it can also be reconciled and there is life in this.
The Wrongful Mother
With this mother, we see how sin can manifest. I doubt she intentionally had rolled over on to her sleeping baby, and her son’s death had to have shaken her inside. But rather than accept her loss, she plotted. She waited for the true mother and her handmaiden to be asleep, and then swapped the babies. There was no regard for the true mother. Not only was she having her son stolen, but there was a dead baby in his place. Additionally, what about a burial for her son? A just person would’ve wept, mourned, and buried their child rather than discard him. By time she is standing before Solomon, sin has taken her so far down that she is even willing to have the living child split so that she can appear justified before King Solomon. Layer upon layer of evil, but this is how sin can take hold of any of us if we are not careful.
In this, Solomon’s judgment was God’s judgment. God knew who the true mother was in this situation and He revealed to Solomon how to bring out who was who so that the baby boy could not only be spared but with his rightful mother. There were really two other possibilities that could’ve come of this. The baby could’ve been split if his original judgment stood, or the wrongful mother could’ve possessed the child if the true mother’s plea was settled on.
We can take this even deeper and see how this righteous judgment was able to bear fruit. Not only were the mother and her son reunited, but Solomon’s righteous judgment also revealed that God was with him to all of Israel. I can imagine that this gave many a sudden scare, especially those who practiced evil.
There are a lot of things we can learn from this short account of Solomon and the two woman who stood before him over the living child. First, seeking God in all things is important. We need to bring God into our life and keep Him there, so that He is actively guiding us, without us being resistant. This will lead to optimal results. Second, we need to be guided by righteous love. The mother’s love for her son shined a light and revealed her as the true mother. Finally, we need to resist sin. Don’t let it manifest and continually lead you down a long sin path. The wrongful mother went from losing one son to being willing to lose a second life, rather than seeking the Lord and applying her heart to her own son that was lost. Thank you for reading and God bless.
Proverbs 8:15-17 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
What was revealed to you in this story of Solomon’s wisdom and judgment? Please share!