“Some time later 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. 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.’
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.
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.
Then he said, ‘Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!’ 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!’
But the other woman said, ‘All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!’ 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!’ When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice.” 1 Kings 3:16-28 (NLT)
It seems that there are two constants in life. Life is always changing, and you have to continually make decisions. Some decisions can seem small, like deciding what to do on a Saturday afternoon. Yet, other decisions can change the course of your life. These decisions may include where to go to school, whom to marry, and whether or not you should take a job or move across the country. We also have to make decisions that solve problems. In all of these situations, we can struggle with finding the right answer. What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
One day, Solomon was faced with a decision that would change his relationship with those around him. Two women came to him over a unique issue. They were debating whose son was still living. As they presented their case, they started arguing in front of the most powerful person of their day. In one word, Solomon could have sentenced both of these women to death simply because of his position. Yet, Solomon the king was then in the role of the judge. Solomon, as the judge, had to decipher between the two stories. As each woman told her side of the story, he was trying to decipher the facts. In a moment, he had to be able to come to a decision. He reviewed the facts just to make sure that he had the story straight. Each woman would have half of the child. Initially, this decision is shocking, but something else was going on in Solomon’s mind that no else saw. In the deciding moment, Solomon knew that a mother who loved her child would not sacrifice the child’s life. Through this action, Solomon was able to see into the hearts of these women. He was able to find the true mother through her response. One might wonder how Solomon would have thought of this answer instantaneously. If we look at the previous verses in 1 Kings 3, we get to see a unique conversation that Solomon had with God, where Solomon asked for wisdom and a discerning heart. God agreed to grant him wisdom; God’s answer to Solomon’s request reached further than himself.
As we look at our lives, there will be situations that we face where we won’t know what to do. James 1:5 (NLT) says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” Wisdom comes to us before we need it, but it changes the dynamic of our lives when activated. We all need wisdom in our everyday lives, but to receive it, we must ask. God is able to give you insight beyond your education and experience. When we walk in wisdom, we are able to discern what others might overlook. As you face situations where you don’t know what to do, wisdom will guide you if you ask for it. Solomon’s wisdom displayed in this situation set him apart as king. There would be an exponential increase in his influence, and God can do the same for you. As we walk in wisdom, it not only impacts our lives but increases our influence.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.