“Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. ” (1 Kings 3:26 KJV)
The most wretched of tragedy. Not only the loss of someone so innocent, but to have to defend charges such as this in front of the king and his court. In one respect we see a woman so deranged and consumed with grief that a moment of madness seems to have taken hold. On the other we question how such an act would have even made it to the king’s attention without being settled in a much lower court. There is yet another sinister possibility that I only suggest because it hits very near certain challenges that are not that far off base in today’s society. Was the death of the first child really an accident? There are so many questions that surround this story that only one very dark possibility seems plausible to me. The birth of child in all it’s wonder brings many changes. Often very big changes. Sometimes even very unmanageable changes. It is the very dark opinion of some in our society that such change, if it is not properly planned or reasonably manageable, should be eliminated. It is irrationally reasoned away in terms of a solution to a problem, and then layered with the rights of one who is all to often guilty over the rights of the innocent. A similar situation may have existed here. The child would not have had a father to provide for it. The child would have brought “business” (see verse 16 – harlotry) to a screeching halt. The child would have required time and care that would have otherwise been spent with the next customer.
If this was not bad enough, had one of the women optioned to keep her child, the other would be alone. Alone at the bottom of society in a business where no companion would likely remain past the next dawn. Sure, a complete and uncertain life style change may have been in order for the new mother, but the thought and desperation of continuing in this “business” without the one remaining companion may have been unthinkable. Of all that could have been said before the king in his court, I think what was said was most reflective of this sheer desperation. It most reflected the hateful hand of hell trying to grasp the ankle of one who had determined to leave in an attempt to detain. I think that the king’s manner of arriving at his judgment was not only effective in highlighting who was the real mother, but it also spoke directly to the real mother in a unique way. It gave her that one encoded moment where only her, the king, and God understood that she had a special choice. Do I let the king eliminate my “problem” for me and walk away with spot clean hands and the sympathy of everyone at court, or do I surrender all that I consider of value in the whole world and choose the life that is going to be granted me and my son as difficult and different as it may suddenly turn out to be?
“ He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. ” (John 12:25 KJV)