And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore – 1 Kings 4:29
King Solomon had the opportunity to use the wisdom which God had blessed him with when two harlots came to him and stood before him. The first woman told the king that the other woman and she lived in the same house and that she gave birth while the other woman was in the house. Three days after she gave birth the second woman gave birth as well.
They were the only ones in the house. The second woman’s son died in the night because she lay on him. In the middle of the night while the first woman was sleeping, the second woman switched the babies. When the first woman woke up to nurse her baby, he was dead. Then, she examined him in the morning and realized that he wasn’t her baby.
The second woman denied the first woman’s story, saying, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.”
The first woman declared, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” And thus they spoke before the king.
To settle the dispute, the king said, “Bring me a sword.” When a sword was brought before him, he ordered, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.”
Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, as she yearned with compassion for her son, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.”
But the other woman said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.”
So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.” The true mother would not allow her child to be destroyed. She would rather give him to the other woman.
And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was with him to administer justice.
It had to take Godly wisdom to be able to rule in such a difficult case. Solomon’s command to divide the child had the desired effect–the real mother of the child was revealed. It takes Godly wisdom for us to be able to discern good from evil and right from wrong. We need to determine the difference between what may seem good for us but may not be what is best.