The Split Baby Decision

Wisdom counts on the power of love.

One day two prostitutes appeared in Solomon’s court, together with a single baby. Each woman claimed to be the baby’s mother, spinning a sad story that they had both given birth to a baby, but that one night, one of the babies had died. The woman whose infant had died (apparently of SIDS—this is one of the earliest examples in literature of the still mysterious illness) had taken the dead baby and switched it with the one still living. The next morning, the woman whose infant had been switched, was at first beside herself with grief, but then realized, upon examination, that it wasn’t even her baby. Now she demanded Solomon do something, but of course the other woman told the opposite tale. Solomon listened to them argue back and forth, and then came to a decision: “get me a sword and I’ll split the child; each woman can have half.”
One of the two women broke down in tears and begged Solomon to go ahead and give the baby to the other woman. In contrast, the other woman expressed agreement with Solomon’s suggestion.
Solomon immediately issued his ruling: “The weeping woman is the infant’s mother. Give the baby to her.”

Only a fool underestimates the power of love. In the Song of Songs, the author writes that:

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned. (Song of Songs 8:7)

If a madman put a gun to your head and told you to stop loving your daughter or he’d pull the trigger, would you be able to comply? Would you do it for a million dollars? Love cannot be turned off like water from a spigot. There is no way of undoing the gift of one’s heart to another.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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