What was King Solomon looking for when he gave such a bizarre and brutal order? Before him were two prostitutes seeking justice…both claiming this baby was theirs. On hearing his order, one agreed with it…while the other, filled with compassion for the child, said, “Please my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” That was the visceral reaction King Solomon was looking for…and he gave the baby to that mother. Our God has that same kind of deep compassion towards us. For He looks upon us as a father looks upon his children…with mercy, tenderness and pity.
Just because you have a desire and passion for something doesn’t mean you’re the one to accomplish it. David was one of Israel’s most famous kings, and the Lord had laid on his heart the desire to build a temple…a permanent place for the glory of the Lord to dwell. But God had different plans for him. I Chronicles 28:3 says, “But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for My Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’ ” David was a man of war, where his son Solomon, the successor to his throne, was a man of peace. Now David might have felt he needed to be the one to build the temple, but he didn’t argue with God. He then understood that his job was to do the preliminary planning…and before he died, David had procured and amassed many of the building materials needed so that his son Solomon could then start the project. For many of us, we’re God’s preliminary planners…we have God’s vision and the passion for the task at hand. But our job is that of prayer and intercession…for God has in mind someone else to fulfill the mission.
Solomon asked God for a discerning heart and the wisdom to distinguish between right and wrong and God was pleased. (I Kings 3:9-10) For Solomon wasn’t asking for the superficial or trivial, or things that had no eternal significance…he was asking for wisdom. I once worked with a Doctor who started calling me Prudence. When I asked why, he stated it was how I conducted myself dealing with patients and that he appreciated my common sense and prudent approach. When you ask God for wisdom, understanding, discretion, and His Will in your life… He happily will oblige. (James 1:5)
I once worked for a Doctor who gave me the nickname, Prudence…of which I was very happy with! For I’d much rather be known for my good judgment rather than careless and unwise decisions. All wisdom and abilities we have, find their source in God…and a reverent attitude towards Him is the start of all discernment and discretion…for all understanding resides in our hearts.
King Solomon had not followed the laws of God that commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with foreigners. Of his 700 wives and 300 concubines, numerous were foreign women who worshiped many gods. Instead of remaining fully committed and totally obedient…Solomon acquiesced and compromised his devotion to the Lord.
Wise King Solomon had quite a dilemma brought before him to judge…two prostitutes who lived together had just both given birth to baby boys…during the night one had smothered her infant while she slept, so she switched babies…but the mother of the live baby knew the difference, but couldn’t prove it. Now here they were in front of King Solomon arguing their case. The rather barbaric decree Solomon gave was intended to flush out the truth…It says that, “The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the King, ‘Please my Lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!’ ” Hearing such a merciful and sensitive outburst coming from this woman, King Solomon then knew who the true mother of the baby was.