[Participants: Moderator, King, soldier, women #1 and woman # 2]
Moderator: The children of Israel were slaves in the land of Egypt for over 400 years. They cried to the Lord for deliverance, so the Lord delivered them and brought them to Canaan. God was supposed to be their King at all times, but the Israelites asked God for a king to rule over them like the nations around them. Though it was not in His perfect will, God gave them kings. Solomon, son of David was the 3rd king of Israel.
One day God appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him “Ask for whatever you want me to give you”[1st Kings 3:5] Solomon asked God for an understanding heart to judge the people. This pleased the Lord and He gave him not only understanding heart and wisdom, He also gave him riches and honor. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived.
Two pregnant women lived in a house. One of them gave birth to a baby boy and on the third day after that the other woman also gave birth to a baby boy. (woman # 2 is carrying a baby and sneaking out of the house)
Woman#1(W.1) Hey stop (to woman #2) where are you going with my baby?
Woman # 2 (W.2) Your baby? This is my baby.
W.1 No it is my baby. I know my child anywhere. If you know what is good for you, you’ll give him to me and I won’t press charges.
W.2 (laughing) Press charges? For what? For moving out of here? I don’t think it is a crime.
W.1 You know what I am talking about. You can move out of here but not before you hand my child over to me.
W.2 During the night you lay on your son and killed him and now you want my son? No way.
W.1 How do you even know that’s how the child died?
W.2 Um… I just know.
W.1 Come with me let us take this matter to King Solomon. He will know who the real mother is.
W.2 I know who the real mother is and I am not going anywhere with you.
W.1 Well then, I’ll go by myself to the king and tell him the whole story. If you don’t come with me he’ll send his soldiers after you. You know that you can’t hide from them.
W.2 (Reluctantly) Alright I’ll go with you.
Moderator: So the two women went to the king with the living child. Each mother told the same story: that they both lived together, that both had given birth to a child, that one child was dead in the morning and that the live child was hers. Each mother accused the other, that after having discovered that her child had died during the night, its mother had stolen the other mother's live baby and replaced it with the dead child. Thus, each mother claimed, on waking up in the morning, she had discovered a dead child on her side, which was not hers.
In a dispute such as this, where there is no evidence or witness, King Solomon's solution is fascinating. After some deliberation, King Solomon commanded to a soldier:
King: Bring me a sword
(Soldier bows, leaves and comes back with a sword)
King: Split this child into two. Give one half to this woman (pointing to woman #1) and the other half to this woman (pointing to woman #2)
W. 1 (Falling on her knees, crying) No my lord! Please don’t hurt my son. Give the baby to her. I will walk away and will never complain.
W 2 Go ahead. Cut him into two like his majesty commanded. (to the other woman) What happened? Don’t you want to press charges against me? You and your holier than Thou attitude.
King: (To W 2) Stop it. Now we know who the real mother is Don’t we?
(To the soldier) Take the child from her and give to his mother.
(To the mother) Take your son, go home and bring him up in the way of the Lord! May God bless you!
(To W 2) You are under arrest
(To the soldier) Lock her up and throw the key away.
Moderator: Solomon in his wisdom indeed avoided the destruction of the baby, and pronounced a true judgment, based on his profound knowledge of human nature. And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.
God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else. His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the Wisdom of Solomon.
Wisdom is only effective when it is put into action. It is clear that God’s gift of wisdom to Solomon did not mean that he couldn’t make mistakes. King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, ‘You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.’ Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord. Solomon handled great pressures in running the government but he could not handle the pressure from his wives. It is easy to minimize religious differences in order to encourage the development of a friendship, but seemingly small differences can have an enormous impact upon a relationship. God gave us standards to follow for all our relationships, including marriage. If we follow God’s will, we will not be lured away from our true focus. May God help us to follow His will in the days to come.