I Kings 3:16-28

Ok, I have to admit that this story in I Kings 3 just does not work for me.  I know it is designed to function as an example of Solomon’s new wisdom, and I do believe that it does, but it seems as though it does not really work. What are my problems with the story?

  • First, since when do common prostitutes get to come and have their squabbles judged personally by the king of the land?  I can’t really see it happening.  But, I believe God’s word and so there must have been some odd circumstance or happenstance that led to Solomon being confronted with this problem.
  • Second, Solomon threatens to cut the child in half to figure out who the real mother is.  Now I get it that the real mom would want the baby to survive no matter what.  But would not the other prostitute also want this same thing?  I mean, what good would it do to be given half a child, now dead?  I just can’t see this happening like it is described here.  But, I believe God’s word and so there must have been something going on here that I don’t know about.  Solomon must have seen something, in his great wisdom, that lead him to believe that this move would cause the true mother to emerge and stand out over against the other one.

In the end the story spreads concerning Solomon’s great abilities and understanding, and everyone recognizes and realizes that God’s hand was on Solomon and He really is God’s choice to the next King of Israel.

This story also is a great example of how we should approach the scriptures in areas where it just does not seem to make sense to us.  When this happens we must always give scripture the benefit of the doubt and let God be God.  We must realize that there is probably more going on here than we are aware of, and we must never allow the truth of God’s word to be formed and limited by our own, simple understanding so many years later.   Not all of the Solomon story makes sense to me, but I believe that if I had been there on that day, it would have made perfect sense to me and I am happy to accept that.  God’s word is always true and it is with joy that we submit ourselves to it!

Pastor Bob