Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
1 Kings 3:16-28 (NRSV)
Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. The one woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the two of us were in the house. Then this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.” But the other woman said, “No, the living son is mine, and the dead son is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead son is yours, and the living son is mine.” So they argued before the king.
Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; while the other says, ‘Not so! Your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” So the king said, “Bring me a sword,” and they brought a sword before the king. The king said, “Divide the living boy in two; then give half to the one, and half to the other.” But the woman whose son was alive said to the king—because compassion for her son burned within her—“Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!” The other said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.” Then the king responded: “Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.” 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 execute justice.
The story of the two women and the baby brought before King Solomon is familiar to many people. As I read this scripture today, however, some things I did not recall about the story came through. The women were prostitutes. They were alone in the house when the first baby died. Each woman wanted to have a child, whether the child was hers or not. There were so many things on which Solomon could have focused that day, but instead, he chose to respond specifically to their request to settle the argument. In wisdom, which we know he had sought from God, Solomon simply asked for a sword to divide the child. Solomon knew that a loving mother would sacrifice her relationship with the child to allow the baby to live rather than see the baby destroyed.
To what do we cling too tightly? What do we value “owning” too much? What can we release to the care of God, trusting in the wisdom and justice of God?
Lord, we relinquish those people for whom we care and those matters dearest to us to you today, knowing that we can trust the wisdom only you can supply to take care of us and them. Amen.
Go with God.