ODJ: no easy answers

July 22, 2015 

READ: 1 Kings 3:16-28 

Give [the child] to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother! (v.27).

A couple in America found themselves in a no-win situation. During an intense drought, they faced a $500 fine if they watered their lawn more than twice a week. So in time it turned brown. Local officials noticed and informed them that—in spite of the drought—they were required to keep their grass “looking healthy and green” or face (you guessed it) a $500 fine.

King Solomon also faced a difficult decision. A pair of prostitutes fighting over a child approached him. They each had recently given birth to a baby boy. According to the plaintiff, the other woman’s baby had died, and that woman had switched her dead son with the plaintiff’s live infant.

When Solomon proposed bisecting the child and giving half to each woman (1 Kings 3:25), the plaintiff pleaded for the baby’s life even if she had to give him up. The other woman, however, consented to the king’s plan. Then Solomon said, “Give [the child] to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his real mother” (v.27).

Clearly, Solomon’s good sense came from God (1 Kings 3:10-12), and as he reasoned through the situation . . .

• He made justice his goal (v.28). He didn’t allow personal preferences or interests to cloud his judgement.

• He looked beyond emotion. Solomon restated the facts to create some common ground (v.23).

• He used what was true outside of the situation to show what was true inside of the situation at hand. He knew that a good mother would do anything to protect her child’s life.

Even when there are no easy answers to our problems, God can provide what we need to make good decisions (James 1:5). May He help us to love justice, respect the facts and focus on truth as we strive to honour Him.

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day-plan: Mark 8:22–9:1

Read Colossians 2:1-3 to see where the “treasures of wisdom” are hidden. Look up Proverbs 11:2 to see the relationship between humility and wisdom. 
When you face a problem, where do you turn first: friends, family, God, the internet? How can you apply God’s wisdom to a difficult decision today?