As I have journeyed through Proverbs this month, I have been giving a lot of thought to wisdom and the sayings of Solomon. Recently, I have been reminded of the story of Solomon's wisdom, as it was given from God, and how he used it to administer judgment over the people. The story can be found in I Kings 3.
The Lord gave Solomon wisdom in more abundance than anyone before or since (other than Jesus of course). For those of us seeking to be wise, there is no better teacher. The Lord Himself is the giver of wisdom, but Solomon was His vessel here on earth.
Solomon was given wisdom so that he could rule the people wisely. As an example of that wisdom, I Kings 3 tells the story of how he judged between two women. These two women both had babies within a few days of one another. They also lived in the same house. During the night, one of the babies died and the mother of that child took the living baby as her own. In the light of day, when the other mother awoke, she realized that the dead child was not hers but had been switched in the night.
These two women could not settle their dispute so they were brought before the king. He listened to their story and then asked for a sword. He determined that he would divide the living child in two and they could share him. One mother said to go ahead and cut the child in half, but the other mother plead for his life and said to give him away to the other woman.
Solomon, in his wisdom, told his guards to give the child to the woman who was willing to give him up in order to save his life; she was really his mother.
I think this wisdom is more relevant on a daily basis than we realize. In so many situations, the person demanding justice at any cost is the one who is in the wrong. We get wrapped up in our own desires and the things that we love and would rather see something die than not have our own way. It's such a foolish view of things, but sadly, it's such a human view of things.
So, it has made me step back and look at my own life. I'm learning so much from the Proverbs, and it is having an immediate effect on my decisions. In what ways am I holding onto my own selfish desires to the point that I'd rather see no one have their way if I can't have mine? There have been times lately when I have wanted to defend myself when people have assumed things about me; but I've learned that doing so would be to no one's benefit. There is so much wisdom to be gained at the feet of Jesus and His servant, Solomon.
So, for today I say, don't kill the baby because you can't have your way. Be wise. Seek truth. Hold your tongue. Have compassion and tender-hearted mercy. Don't try to correct someone who doesn't love wisdom; it leads only to pain.
These are all valuable lessons and I'm excited about what the rest of Proverbs holds for me. I can't get enough!