Most have us know the story of King Solomon and the baby he ‘wanted’ to cut in half…..yes? If you don’t…in summary, two women were fighting for the same baby each claiming the baby was hers…and King Solomon suggested the baby be cut in half so they could each take a bit of him…this way, he managed to solve the case. You can read the story in 1Kings 3:16-28
The sermon at church last Sunday sort of had something similar. Not entirely the same by the way…probably not the same at all, but it got me thinking about King Solomon and the baby story right after.
This preacher told a story that he was told by his grandparents who had been told by their grandparents…so the story came from faaaaaarrrrrr. Back in the day, when the men in the village had more than one wife (which is still the case today for some; but that is not the focus of this post)…..sometimes, the man would come home to play judge. His wives would come to him and report each other for whatever had gone wrong during the day and it was the man’s responsibility to solve the feud.
This particular man somehow managed to solve the ‘wars’ in his home effectively each time and the wives always stayed happy; like each of them had won somehow.
It turned out, by the time the man got home, it was dark….and in the villages in thooooooseeee years there was no power; so once the sun went down, it was bed time. But this man was rich enough to afford a wick lamp. He’d put it in front of him and then have the wives sit at his sides, far from each other but close enough so he was able to touch either of them.
They then took turns in giving their side of the story and each time he listened but didn’t give his opinion. When they were done, he would then blow out the candle…..this was his ‘judgement’ time.
Knowing that the women were on his sides, he then stretched both his hands and tapped each of their shoulders and told them the other was to blame. It’s dark. They couldn’t see and had no clue that he was tapping both their shoulders. This way, they both thought they had won the case….and they lived happily the next day, each walking head high just like a real winner does. If only they knew.
This got me thinking about many things though…..one, this was one wise man! Two, how far back is this that these women didn’t, through gloating about it the next day, discover that their shoulders had both been tapped? At this point I started doubting the truthfulness of the story. 😀
But most importantly, it got me thinking about how there is a certain amount of wisdom that only God can give; and that’s the kind we ought to ask for from him each time we’re faced with decision making. The kind that is well thought out, not biased or selfish and will yield long term benefits.