I Kings 3
From Solomon's Scrolls
I had dealt with several small issues already as king of Israel before the first big problem tumbled into my chamber.
Fortunately, my father David, was alive when I first sat on the throne. Technically he was the king, but I did the work. Not every king had the opportunity to train for the position like I did. Especially from such a great and respected king as my father.
He has gone on to rest with his fathers leaving me to reign by myself.
I worked hard to set a satisfactory daily routine to address all the issues and duties required of me. Being a king is not an easy job. I rarely had time to play or spar with my friends. Any one who thinks a king sits around and eats all day does not understand all the responsibilities we have.
I'm not complaining. In truth, God knew I would struggle and would need help. He asked me in a dream not too long ago what I wanted. The only thing I wanted was to do my job well. I needed to help the people, to be the best king for them during my reign. We are still a baby nation and need to grow together. Every decision I make needs to be right.
No disasters had happened during this short beginning time with me reigning alone, without my dad's help, until two women came to my chambers.
They came during the assigned time to have their argument settled. Two guards walked with the women to the place where they could stand before me. One carried a baby. They bowed and waited for me to speak.
"What do you wish to say?"
The first woman bowed again and said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. On the third day after my son was born, she delivered her baby. Only the two of us lived in the house at the time. No one else was with us.
During the night, this woman's son died because she rolled over on him. She got up from her bed, discovered what happened, picked up her dead son and put him next to me while I slept. She picked up my son and took him to her room.
The next morning I got up to feed my son. I saw that the baby was dead. I picked him up and looked at him closely in the morning light and saw that it was not the son I had borne."
The first woman stepped back. Before I had a chance to call on the second woman she lunged forward with her fist in the air. "No! The living baby is my son. The dead one is yours."
The first woman shook her head and leaned toward the second woman, "No! The dead one is yours. The living baby is mine."
On and on the two women argued. Aaaaa! I signaled the guards to restrain them. How could I possibly know who told the truth? I had no way of knowing.
And then an idea came to me. I raised my arm and shouted to the guards over the noise of the women, "Bring me a sword."
The two women silenced immediately. Their eyes went wide and they both took a step back. A guard brought me a sword. I held it up and out toward the guard, "Cut the living child in two and give one half to each woman."
Not even a second passed before the first woman fell forward weeping and pressing her hands together begging for mercy. "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" She looked at the baby in the guard's hands. Her shoulders slumped and she wept. Her hands clasped over her heart.
The second woman sneered and allowed a nasty grin to show. "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"
I signaled the guard with the sword to stop. I sat back on the throne and clearly saw the truth. God had given me the wisdom I had asked for. Truly the answer was clear at this time. I spoke with the soft voice my father frequently used with those he shared compassion. "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him . . . she is the mother."
After that day, the people of Israel looked and spoke to me in a different way. They learned that God had truly blessed me with a gift. The gift of wisdom to administer justice to his people.
photo courtesy of christianimagesource.com
1. A king's job is an _____________ job, according to Solomon.
2. Solomon asked God for the gift of ______________.
3. Two __________ and One ____________ came to Solomon to settle their argument.
4. The first __________ said ___________
5. The second ___________ said ____________
6. Solomon ordered the guard to bring him a _____________. He said he would _________
7. The first ______________ said _____________
8. The second ____________ said _______________
9. Because of the gift of ____________ that God gave Solomon he knew what to do.
10. Solomon decided _____________________