This verse today is the start of one of my favourite Old Testament accounts. King Solomon had been asked by God to request anything he wanted. Most would have expected him to ask for power, riches or a multitude of other things. But we learn that Solomon asked for wisdom. God was pleased with this request and gave him the wisdom he was seeking and in turn many of the other things we would have requested. This account tells of Solomon using his wisdom given to him by God. As King, he would use his wisdom to deal with matters that the people had that could not be resolved on their own.
Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.
1 Kings 3:16
If you take the time to read the tale of these two women, it is the classic case of he said she said. It is also known as there are three versions of the story, her story, his story and the truth. Firstly, these two women were harlots, not the higher-class citizen, they lived a life in the sex trade. What type of King would deal with such woman? A wise one who wanted the people to know that his wisdom was from God and available to all.
To summarize their story the two women each had a child, we would assume these were children born of their job. Very shortly after they gave birth one accidentally killed her child in her sleep, but in her grief switched the child with the other mother. She was hoping the mother wouldn’t recognize that it wasn’t her own child. Any mother can tell you that this was a foolish act as what mother wouldn’t recognize their own child? As you can imagine this became an argument that must have been brought into the streets and eventually made its way to the king’s court as no other official was able to resolve whose child was whose. Remember this is back before DNA testing, they had no ID or hospital bracelets to help decide whose child was whose. Let’s throw another possibility in the mix, as these were sex workers it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that the father was the same man. So, the children could have looked very similar.
Here they are in front of the King, giving the same story they have probably told countless others in their quest to receive closure and judgement. One woman desperately wanted her child back, the other secretly hoping she could keep the child she had taken in her grief. How could any man make a judgement call that was wise? Solomon had the wisdom given to him by God, after hearing their cases he called for a sword. He would have the child divided in tow so that both women could be satisfied. In his wisdom, he knew the real mother could never let this happen and would submit to the other. Then and only then would he truly know who the real mother was.
Have you asked God for wisdom? He has promised that if we would ask for wisdom he would provide it. We all to often ask for riches power and many other things but forget that those who asked for wisdom and used it for His glory were often blessed in other ways because of it. Take some time today and pray for wisdom and opportunities to use it and watch God use you to reach other people.
Father, we pray for wisdom today. Use us to reach others with your love. Give us insights and words to let them know that they are loved by you and that they there is hope. Many are ready to give up and end the pain that is hurting inside, you can provide the relief they need. Let your love flow through us and let the mission of reaching others be our heart. Amen