How To Spot A MotherThen the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order. “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.” The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” Then the king gave his ruling, “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”1 Kings 3:24-27
For context, read 1 Kings 3:16-28
There is a viral video going around involving a female mountain lion and a hiker. The hiker apparently got too close to her cubs and she was not happy about it. She was hissing and threatening him as he backed away. When the man threw a rock and she ran off. It was easy to identify this mountain lion as the mother of those cubs. She was fierce and willing to sacrifice herself to protect her babies.
King Solomon also knew that a surefire way to identify a mother is to threaten her child. In this scenario, there were two prostitutes who lived in the same brothel. Both had babies about the same age. Sadly, one of the women rolled over on her baby in the night and killed him. So, she switched her baby with the other woman’s baby. When the other mother woke up, she found a dead baby at her breast. But it was not her baby!
The women came and stood before the wise King Solomon and argued their case. Both women insisted that the baby was hers. How was Solomon supposed to determine who the mother was in this case? It was one woman’s word against the other. There were no witnesses who could testify whether or not they saw her switch the babies. There were no DNA tests that could be done. There were no newborn photos that King Solomon could use as a reference. He simply had to use his best judgement.
What does he do? He commands that a sword be brought to him and orders that they cut the living child in two. But the mother of the living baby screams for them to stop and begs King Solomon to give her baby to the other woman. She would rather the baby be given to someone else than be killed. She wanted him to be safe and protected at all costs. Even if that meant losing the right and privilege of being his mother. She was willing to face that pain and heartache just for him to be alive and well.
But the other woman made it even easier for Solomon to identify who should keep the living child. In verse 26
, she said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” The fact that she was willing to let them cut the baby in two was a testimony against her. It was obviously not her child. Even if it was, she made it clear that she was an unfit mother.
King Solomon made his ruling. He commanded that they do not kill the child but give him back to the first woman. He correctly identified her as the living baby’s mother because of her love and great desire to protect him.
The WORD about women in this story is that a mother’s love is fierce, protective, and self-sacrificing. The cliche says “A mother’s love is like no other”. But that’s not true. A mother’s love is a picture of the love that God has for us. However, God is the perfect parent and mothers are only human. As fierce, protective, and sacrificial as a mother’s love is, it does not rival the love God has for us. We are God’s children. When we were faced with certain death because of our sins, He sent His Son, Jesus to save us. God would not allow His children to be threatened without providing a way for us to be saved.
If you ever wonder how much God loves you, consider how much you love your own children or how much your own mother loved you. God loves you infinitely more than that. And if you have a flawed or broken relationship with your children or your mother, be encouraged. God’s love is perfect even when ours is not.ReflectDoes the love you have for your own children or the love your mother had for you remind you of God’s love? Why or why not? PrayFather, thank You for Your fierce, protective, and sacrificial love. Thank You for mothers and the way that they display Your love to their children. Amen.