And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice. – 1 Kings 3:28
1 Kings 3:16-28
16 Two prostitutes came to the king to have an argument settled.
17 “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.”
18 “Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house.”
19 “But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it.”
20 “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.”
21 “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.”
22 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.
23 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.”
24 “All right, bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought to the king.
25 Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!”
26 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!”
27 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!”
28 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.
Traditional negotiations take the positional bargaining approach. Each side tries to gain an advantage over the other. The needs and the desires of the other side are disregarded. This approach obviously meets resistance from the opposing side, which is trying to do the same thing. If and when all parties find common ground and agree, the negotiation ends.
Older negotiation styles are Win-Lose, Lose-Win, and Lose-Lose. A newer approach is a Win-Win. In a Win-Win approach each party sees the other as a partner rather than an adversary.
Solomon possessed supernatural wisdom and discernment from the Father. He had no difficulty seeing through the words spoken by the two women. The circumstances reveal that one of the women was obviously lying. But which one? It was one woman’s word against the other.
Solomon bypassed the women’s words and instead targeted their hearts. He wisely recognized that the threat of death to the child would reveal the child’s real mother. By suggesting that they “divide the baby” between them, Solomon discovered the true mother as she revealed her heart. He gave her baby to her.
The true mother’s heart “yearned” for the child’s welfare. The Hebrew word translated yearned is kamar, that is, deeply stirred. The expression refers to a deep emotional experience (deeply moved, filled with compassion). It might be literally translated, “her compassion was made hot [or, agitated] or “she burned with compassion.”
1 Kings 3:26 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!”
The emphatic, powerful nuance of the Hebrew, is not captured with the simple phrase “not kill him.” Far better options are “Certainly do not kill him!” “Whatever you do, do not kill it,” or “on no account let them kill him!”
REFLECT & PRAY
If the Father spoke to you and told you that you could ask Him for anything, what would it be?
Father more than anything I want to have the heart of Solomon, and seek Your wisdom that I might make excellent, sagacious decisions.
How did Solomon become so wise, and why?
At the beginning of his reign the Father came to Solomon. The Father initiated a conversation with an extraordinary invitation, “Ask what you would like me to give you.” There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the Scriptures. Imagine, anything and everything were on the table.
There was only one thing that Solomon desired above all else, the wisdom and knowledge of God. Solomon’s request was not derived from selfish ambition but rather from his need and desire to wisely govern the Father’s people. Solomon was noble and good in heart and sought only supernatural wisdom and knowledge that he might best serve the people of God.
1 Kings 3:5-12
5 The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish me to give you.”
7 “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go Out or come in.
8 “Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted.
9 “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
10 It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice,
12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.
Solomon’s wisdom provided a Win-Win outcome for the true mother and her baby, not so much for the fraudulent mother.
The Father wants us to ask Him to meet all of our needs and delights in revealing to us His desires and His ways of doing things. He delights in answering our prayers We can be confident that whenever we ask the Father for something, He hears and responds to us, giving us precisely what we need—which may not be what we think we need or want (Stanley).
The supernatural wisdom of the Father is available to each child of the King. But like Solomon, our focus needs to be off of ourselves. Rather, we should seek to use wisdom to assist and benefit others.
James 1:5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.