Using the Gift
1 Kings 3:16-28
16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house.
18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house.
19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him.
20 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.
21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.”
22 But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” Thus they spoke before the king.
23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’ ”
24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king.
25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.”
26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.”
27 Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.”
28 And 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 do justice.
Solomon has asked for wisdom and God has granted that request. Now, the rest of chapter 3 and all of chapter 4 illustrate how that gifting begins to play out as he rules Israel. This story of two women and two babies has become the seminal illustration of the practical applications of that wisdom. While the verdict is harsh, it is also brilliant. In his new found wisdom, Solomon is able to play upon what he knows to be true; a mother will always, always protect her child even if that means giving him up to another. When Solomon’s edict is that the child be cut in two everyone who heard it must have been completely shocked because he has the power to carry out such an outlandish judgment. The mere shock was enough to reveal the true mother and thus the case is settled. This story of divine wisdom is so famous that even those who could not tell you this event is from the Bible would probably be able to recount the details of this story. Because of stories such as this, Solomon’s fame spreads throughout the region and beyond and countless kings and queens come to him during his reign for advice and counsel.
When God gives a gift, it is a gift indeed and it serves to edify all those who come in contact with said gift. As Christians, we too are a people of gifting. Every single Christian is granted gifts by the Holy Spirit and when they are used, everyone benefits! Do you know what your gifts are? Do you know when you are doing what God has built you to do for the advancement of His kingdom? Don’t say you have no gifts, for that is false. Chances are, if you are unable to identify your gift(s) you still use them, for you are naturally wired to do those things you have been gifted to do. It’s a good idea to know where you gifts lie, for then you can purposefully place yourself into situations where you can use those gifts to the glory of God for the edification of the church.