Friday, October 09, 2009

What Was Solomon's Wisdom

The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. And to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28)

When Solomon became king, God told him to ask for whatever he wanted (1 Kings 3). Solomon requested a heart of understanding to discern justice, that he might rule God's people well. Solomon's name is now synonymous with wisdom, and we hear (1 Kings 4) how he knew all sorts of botany and zoology and art. And yet, it is the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom; it is faith in Christ-crucified which makes one wise (1 Cor 1).

So we hear the well-known story about the two women who came to Solomon, fighting over the one live baby, each claiming the baby to be her own and the dead baby to be the son of the other woman. Like most people, I had always thought that Solomon was smart, intelligent, a good thinker, to be able to figure out what to do to reveal which woman was the actual mother.

But Pastor pointed out something in chapel yesterday. It wasn't so much smarts that enabled Solomon to determine the identity of the true mother. It was his Faith. It was his knowledge of mercy. Why did the one woman relinquish her claim on the baby? Because true love will sacrifice of itself for the sake of the beloved. True love seeks the welfare of the other, even when it means suffering and loss for oneself. This is the love of God; this is the love seen in the cross, the love which gives us life. And when real love is seen amongst us humans, it looks like God's self-sacrificing love. Solomon's knowledge of mercy and his faith in mercy --not his smarts-- was what enabled the wise king to recognize the mother of the baby for who she really was.

No comments:

Post a Comment