devotional 75 words
Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us. 19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 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. 21 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.”
22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”
24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
26 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!”
27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
I Kings 3:26-27
This week we are looking at third party intervention in conflict as we focus on mediation. Sometimes conflicts become so entrenched that we need a wise individual to intervene; and sometimes that third party intervener must find creative unusual approaches to unblock the impasse. In the account of the two women who both claimed the same baby as their own, wise King Solomon showed keen insight into human motivation and conflict resolution.
First: was Solomon acting as a mediator or an arbitrator in the conflict? What is the reason for your choice?
Second: What do you think about the “intervention”? Why was it the perfect way to speak to the goals of both women and at the same time identify, without a shadow of a doubt, the true mother?
The story reminds us, as conflict interveners, of the need to seek wisdom from the Holy Spirit and at times, look for dramatic or creative approaches to break impasses in a conflict situation.
- As you reflect on this week's devotional topic, discuss how this might relate to you and your own spiritual journey.