1 Kings 3:25-28 ESV And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” (26) Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.” (27) Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.” (28) And 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 do justice.
This account of course is given to us in Scripture to demonstrate that the Lord had indeed given King Solomon wisdom that could only come from the Spirit of God. Solomon, in this, is a picture of the Messiah who will one day judge the earth in perfect, unfailing, all-knowing wisdom.
As I read these verses, the whole child custody, family court business came to mind. Because actually what Solomon was dealing with was a child custody case, and to resolve it with perfect justice, he needed to find out which woman was lying – which was evil and which was righteous. By the Lord’s own wisdom, he was able to get to the bottom of it.
It is this kind of wisdom that is required to sort out custody cases today, particularly when one parent is an abuser. But that wisdom is typically absent in our courts. If a judge were truly wise as a serpent regarding evil, if he really understood the mentality and tactics of abusers, he would be able to render justice. But more than that is required.
A just judge must be someone who acknowledges that the wisdom of the Lord and divine justice goes much deeper than the letter of the law. Courts today normally see children as property owned. The children are to be divided up between father and mother, and that is called justice. It is not. God’s justice goes right to the heart of the thing. It looks to the real welfare of the children. It identifies the evildoer and the righteous parent, and discerns between the two. It protects the innocent and exposes the wicked. Occasionally, and far too rarely, this justice is decreed in court. But it is rare. It is not typical.
God’s justice, unlike man’s, is not cold and superficial. It goes to the motive. His two-edged sword cuts into the deepest recesses of the heart so that no one can hide from Him.
One day God’s court is going to be called into session. “All rise, the Awesome, Most Honorable Judge of all the Earth is presiding. Call the first case and watch as He renders perfect, pure justice.”
And 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 do justice.