The Judgment Which The King Had Judged
“And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged, and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment” (1 Kings 3:28)
The story was a sordid one in its beginning, but it gave to King Solomon the opportunity of displaying the wisdom of God in a judgment that the Holy Ghost has preserved in the Holy Scriptures for our learning. It is the more striking and interesting because it is the only definite instance of Solomon’s wisdom from the throne of judgment that has been preserved for us.
Two women claimed a living child; which of them had the right to it was the question to be decided. It was clear that it did not belong to both of them. One of them loved it with a mother’s true love, the other had no love for it at all, but coveted it because she could not bear to see true love in possession of its object. “Bring a sword and divide the living child,” said the king, and for the moment that child was under the sentence of death; the sword ready to smite hung over it. How could it be saved from the execution of the sentence? True love found the way of salvation for it, but it was the way of sacrifice; that was the only way. “Then spoke the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it.” She was prepared to sacrifice herself for the life and the good of her child. “Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it; she is the mother thereof.”
The king’s judgment was this—SELF-SACRIFICING LOVE HAS THE UNALIENABLE RIGHT TO THE POSSESSION AND ENJOYMENT OF ITS LOVED OBJECT. And all the power of his throne lay behind his judgment to give effect to it. It was the law of God’s universe that was declared in Solomon’s judgment, and there is none greater than it.
Our minds at once revert to Calvary, and we think of the self-sacrificing love that there expressed itself. The sentence of death had been passed upon us and the enemy of God claimed us as his; not that he cared for us at all. “Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it,” said the woman whose the child was not—let it perish. Satan would have greatly exulted if we had been buried for ever in the depth of hell, for then God and Christ would have for ever lost us; but the Good Shepherd gave His life for the sheep. “The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me.” “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.”
The love of Christ could not be restrained when we, the objects of that love, were in danger; it went to the utmost limit; it would and did sacrifice itself that we might live. And what is the result of this? There can be only one. All the power of the throne of the Omnipotent God is exercised in order to secure for that self-sacrificing love the eternal possession of the loved object. So we read, “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, ALLELUIA; FOR THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him, FOR THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB IS COME AND HIS WIFE HATH MADE HERSELF READY” (Rev. 19:6-7). And “as a bride adorned for her husband” she shall be for ever. The great enemy who has so long withstood this greatest of all Divine laws, that love must possess the loved object, and who has sought continually to rob God and Christ of the right to the men that love gives them, will be cast into the lake of fire and the whole universe will acquiesce in the eternal justice that gives to Christ His Church, His bride, the object of His love, and to God His sons, whom He loves with a Father’s love.
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor? or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom. 11:33-36).
The whole universe is to be brought into harmony with this great law, and then shall God be all and in all; but it should be a question of great moment to us who know the love of Christ as to how far our lives have been brought into the recognition of it now. Do we admit the absolute rights of the love of Christ? A divided child is a dead child, a divided heart is a dead heart; and is so far obnoxious to the Lord. Is it not this that He refers to when He says, “I would thou wert cold or hot”? True love can brook no rival; it must possess its object; nothing can compensate at. We may give our time, money, talents, it shall all be utterly contemned. Love cries for response, for the wholehearted and undivided response of the heart of the loved one.
“Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
We all admit the justice of it; nothing could be clearer. May we be so continually under the constraining power of this self-sacrificing love of Jesus as to yield ourselves to Him and keep our hearts wholly for Him.
“Thine, Jesus, Thine,
For ever to recline,
On love eternal fixed and sure.
Yes, I am Thine for evermore.
Lord Jesus, Thine.”