The wisdom to cut a child in half

The book of Ecclesiastes must be one of the most interesting books in the Bible.  It is essentially a reflection by a man blessed by God with a higher degree of wisdom than anyone else in his time or after.  This is what 1 Kings 4:29-34 has to say about king Solomon, “29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, 30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.”

Did God just randomly bless this man with a larger measure of wisdom than anyone else?  No!  Solomon was approached by God in a dream and was asked what He could give him. This was his reply, “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (1 Kings 3:9).  Solomon was so concerned with being a just and fair ruler that he unselfishly asked for wisdom in order to accomplish that.  God was so pleased with Solomon’s request for wisdom and not wealth or victories over his enemies that He decided to give him more than he asked for.  God had this to say to him in response to his humble request, “…I give you a wise and discerning mind so that none like you has been before and none like you shall arise after you…I will also what you have not asked, both riches and honor…” (1 Kings 3:10-13).

If you want an example of the use of the gift of superior wisdom, you need look no further than the verses of 1 Kings 3:16-27 – the story of the two prostitutes who fought over a child.  The one prostitute made the following claim in v. 19-20“…And this woman’s son died in the night because she lay on him.  And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast.” Solomon told them he would have the infant cut in two pieces so that each mother could have half.  One was OK with that, but the other was willing to give up the child in order to spare his life.  Solomon then decreed the infant be returned to the true mother – the one who would rather give her son up than see him come to harm.

Jam. 1:5 tells us that we too can ask for wisdom, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”  James was referring to the wisdom to overcome trials, but we can ask for wisdom in other areas of our lives as well.  He also assures us that we will receive it if we ask in faith.  Too often, we look to books and self-grangerizing “gurus” for answers instead of asking God for that gift.  Prov. 2:1-8 has this to say, “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.”  We may not be a Solomon, but we will have the measure of wisdom we need – if we ask for it in faith.

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