SWINDLE COLUMN: The Wisdom of a King

Published 9:00 am Thursday, June 27, 2024

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And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 1 Kings 3:25

Many years ago, King Solomon took the throne in the kingdom of Israel after his father, King David, had passed away.  He was a wise king, loved God, and relied on Him for insight.

One day, he was placed in a difficult position by two women.  Two mothers living in the same house had both recently given birth to sons.

During the night, one of the infants was smothered and died. The woman whose son had died switched her dead baby with the baby of the other woman as she slept. The other woman, seeking justice, took the matter before Solomon. She stated her case, “We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us. During the night this woman’s son died because she accidentally smothered him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son and he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne”.

Solomon could not tell from their words which woman was telling the truth. He prayed to God for wisdom.  How could he determine who the true mother was?  Almost instantly, God gave him the answer.

Calling for a sword, Solomon declared his judgment.  He ordered the baby be cut in half, with each woman to receive one half.

Why would Solomon give such an outrageous command? Did he really intend to cut a baby in half with a sword? No.  Solomon’s intention was to discover the truth. He did so by watching the responses of the two women and relying on the maternal instincts of the true mother.

Solomon discovered the identity of the mother.  The true mother begged him to give the living child to her adversary so that he could live.  The false mother was satisfied with the baby being cut in half.  Solomon said, “Give the living baby to the woman who begged to have the baby survive. Do not kill him; she is his mother.” He did so because her love was selfless, as opposed to the other woman’s selfish disregard for the baby’s actual well-being.

The effect that Solomon’s unorthodox method had an impact on the kingdom: “When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice” (1 Kings 3:28). Solomon’s wisdom had been given by God when Solomon humbly requested it. The account of Solomon’s handling of the case of the two women showed that he had indeed been granted wisdom from God.

The same principle applies today.  While I only practice criminal defense law, it often coincides with domestic law.  Over the years, I have seen the most horrific behavior of parents in divorces; particularly when children are involved.

Some parents choose to weaponize their children and use them as pawns to make the other parent suffer.  This happens when one parent, who has control, alienates the children from the other parent by lying to the children or somehow keeping the children away from the other parent, making false accusations to law enforcement, denying visitation, attempting to substitute the biological father for a live in lover, or “badmouthing” the other parent.

The General Assembly of Georgia should look at these issues and pass criminal laws to punish this behavior.

All studies show that children become healthier adults when they have two parents involved in their lives rather than one.  That is because God naturally designated this to be the true nature of His children.

Oftentimes, the fury of parents shakes the ground in court when custody or visitation is at issue.  There is never a winner under these circumstances.  But, there are those who lose; the children.  The children never forget the war between their mom and dad.  Oftentimes, the children repeat the same behavior when they become parents.  It is a vicious and generational cycle.

Many battles in life need to be fought with strategy, tactics, and precision.  This is not one of them.

The man or woman, who backs away, even when their “legal case” is solid, is not weak or cowardly.  It is strength that allows them to sacrifice. This person loves his or her children more than money, time, or even their own life.

This parent will not allow the children to be “cut in half.”  When the children grow older and become adults, they always identify the sacrifice that their parent made.

The man or woman, who puts their children first even while enduring intense suffering, has truly been given wisdom like King Solomon.