A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, July 27, 2020
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Good morning! It’s July 27 and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News! So we are in 1 Kings 3:16-28 today, and this is in reference to King Solomon and his wisdom in making judgments. So here we go:
Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the two of us were in the house. 19 Then this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.” 22 But the other woman said, “No, the living son is mine, and the dead son is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead son is yours, and the living son is mine.” So they argued before the king.
23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; while the other says, ‘Not so! Your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” 24 So the king said, “Bring me a sword,” and they brought a sword before the king. 25 The king said, “Divide the living boy in two; then give half to the one, and half to the other.” 26 But the woman whose son was alive said to the king—because compassion for her son burned within her—“Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!” The other said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.” 27 Then the king responded: “Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.” 28 All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to execute justice.
Here ends the reading.
There are multiple great points to make in this passage and I will try to be succinct in talking about this, this morning.
The first point that I think is really important, is noticing that the mother upon waking, saw this dead baby next to her, thought it was her son who had died- I think of the enormity of her grief and sadness in that- and yet she did something that was very important and critical to the whole situation. She looked very closely at this baby. I think of, as a mother, if your baby had died, and that was your belief, how difficult that would be to do. To look closely at that, in the midst of your pain, in the midst of your sorrow- yet, by doing so, she was able to recognize, this was, actually, not her baby. This was the other woman’s baby. So by her willingness to carefully scrutinize and look closely at the situation, she learned the truth. That this other woman had been unfair, unjust, unkind in swapping the babies out, while she was unaware and sleeping. So I think about that, how courageous that was, to look at what was such a difficult situation.
Secondly, I think about what the king offered, in this original debate, sounds fair and sounds equitable. “We’ll just divide the baby in half, and give half to each”. But that’s his way of discerning who was the mother. Because he discerns her, by recognizing who was loving in the situation. It’s not about equality. It’s not about being “fair” per se, by giving each mother half of a dead baby. It’s about who is loving and that being the identifying marker, for the king, of who is the mother of this baby. So, one mother is all about “sure, do what’s fair, divide him, I don’t care”. She doesn’t care about the baby. The other mother is willing to sacrifice her own parental rights, terminate her own parental rights, to let her baby live with this other woman- whom I’m sure she doesn’t think highly of. However, she is willing to sacrifice for the love of her baby and for the life of her baby. I think about how that’s what God calls us to do. That’s what Jesus modeled, loving us so much that Jesus sacrificed his life so that we could live. As Christians, we’re called beyond being fair or equal, into being loving and sacrificial for those around us, who we are called to love. That may be even in sacrifices to us. This woman wasn’t going to die in the sacrifice of giving this other mother her son, but certainly it would have caused pain and heartache for her. But she was willing to do that for the life and love she had for him. I think about how that is a tremendous call for us. And actually, it reminds me personally, I’m in a Facebook group called “We are the Mothers He Summoned.” It’s in reference to the killing of George Floyd and how some of George’s last words were “mama…mama” and how he was calling out to his mother. So, the group is for people who resonate with being a mom or a mother to any, no matter what skin color, no matter what situation, to see us all as family, and to see us all as connected. How we all are mothers to each other, how we all are related. I think God sees us as very related to each other. And I commend that to you, if you’re interested in that.
Third, this idea of looking at what things do we potentially do, inadvertently maybe, or as we’re looking at being fair and equitable, even. What things do we do in the name of justice, that aren’t loving? Whether those are in racial justice issues, as I referenced, or whether that is due to your own personal relationships. In what ways might you be fair, and treating people equal, but not necessarily loving? Maybe that’s in relation to your kids, if you have multiple kids. Maybe that’s in your personal relationship with your spouse, or with your friends, or with your family, or work relationships. But, can you be in the uncomfortable space like this first mother, looking in the face of what she thought was her dead baby, can you look at things that are hard to look at and painful to look at- and see, are there ways, that you are causing the same effect? That you are causing destruction or pain to another, by not responding in loving ways, that tear down another, or destroy another, or impact another negatively. And, that’s hard to look at and I’m sure will bring discomfort. However, God calls us all to love. In abundance. So, I encourage you to look at that today. It’s a very interesting text which gives us a lot of food for thought.
I promise you that God is with you, as you look at whatever today, that God is raising to the surface for you. God will embrace you as you look at painful things. God will help show you ways to be more loving, as God calls you to be. Take care everybody. Bye-bye.