1 Kings 3:16-28 (Part 3) – Are You Willing To Split The Baby Just to Win?

Posted: October 31, 2018 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 3:16-28 (Part 3 of 3)
Solomon Judges Wisely

At least in Western culture, even those who do have no knowledge of the Bible do know about the saying “to split the baby!” From the standpoint of the two opposing sides of a conflict, it can mean that one party is so intent on hurting another party that they are willing to “split the baby” where victory is the sole goal. In this scenario, one person is so intent on victory that it does not matter whether a solution is best for everyone but rather it is more important to inflict the highest amount of pain and suffering on the other party.

In today’s world, we often see this in divorce situations. You have probably seen it or experienced it yourself. One party sees the other as the cause for the divorce and that they have no contributing factors in it at all. In this situation, you often see one spouse try to destroy the other spouse through harassment, false accusations, large legal claims, using any children in the relationship as pawns in an ultimate power game. You often see this spouse also try to poison the minds of the young children of the relationship with spiteful and hateful information or even lies about the spouse that left. You so often see this spouse become so consumed with the destruction of the other spouse that they forget to live. The destruction of the other spouse becomes their sole purpose in life. The most famous bitter divorce that many of us have seen in the movies (which was based on a true story) was a movie called, The Betty Broderick Story: A Woman Scorned.

In this movie, Betty became so obsessed with the destruction of her spouse that she drove away her children, all of her friends, and anyone who remotely had anything nice to say about her ex-husband. She harassed him for years and years. Once she even drove her vehicle through the front of her ex-husband’s house. This was just evidence of an escalating pattern of hatred that consumed Betty. She lost focus on her own life and living it. She became obsessed to the point that destruction and whatever victory was for her over her husband was the only goal. Ultimately, she ended up murdering her husband and his new wife as they slept (after she broke into their house during the night). It was a sad, sad story with a drastic ending. Betty would rather have gone to prison for murder than release her hurt and pain and move on with life. It destroyed her. She split the baby solely to gain victory.

Have you ever experienced something like this? Are you this? That’s what I thought of this morning, when I read about the mother in this story that was willing to have the baby split into in this story. To her, the baby was not life, it was a possession. Let’s read this passage one last time before we move and look particularly at this mother who was willing to split the baby:
16 Some time later two prostitutes came to the king to have an argument settled. 17 “Please, my lord,” one of them began, “this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house. 18 Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house.

19 “But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it. 20 Then she got up in the night and took my son from beside me while I was asleep. She laid her dead child in my arms and took mine to sleep beside her. 21 And in the morning when I tried to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked more closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son at all.”

22 Then the other woman interrupted, “It certainly was your son, and the living child is mine.”

“No,” the first woman said, “the living child is mine, and the dead one is yours.” And so they argued back and forth before the king.

23 Then the king said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. 24 All right, bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought to the king.

25 Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!”

26 Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!”

But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!”

27 Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!”

28 When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice.

In this passage, we see the woman who was willing to split the baby as a person who was solely concerned with inflicting pain on the other mother in this case. The baby was of no consequence to her. The baby was simply a pawn in a power play. She was hurting and she wanted the other mother to hurt as much as she did. She wanted to win no matter the cost. Victory to her was to have her friend feel as bad as she did. Victory to her was to scorch the earth so there was no winner. Hurt people are the ones that most often hurt people.

In our illustration, Betty Broderick was willing to split the baby. She was so intent on destroying her ex-husband that she basically lost her mind. She became so focused on whatever her definition of winning was that she did not ultimately care about her kids, her friends, her own talents to contribute to the world, and ultimately her freedom. Even in prison, at the end of the movie, she still did not see that she had done anything wrong (murder). She was defiant and arrogant as if she was the victim and the heroine of the story. She had won. But at what cost? She had split the baby and gained nothing.

Are you so intent on destroying someone else that it has become an obsession? Release it. You have value outside of the person that you are trying to destroy. Release it to the Lord. Give your pain to Him. Ask Him to help you get on with life. He has so much more in store for you. When you become obsessed with the destruction of another person, you have made them your god. You are placing someone other than God on the throne of your life. Even if you hate them with every ounce of your body, you have made them and the hate your god. It is a false god when it is other than the one true God. There is no satisfying other gods. We think if we can just win this battle everything will be better. Then, that battle becomes another and another and another. Let it go. Let God heal your heart. Let God teach you about becoming like the true mother in this case. She was willing to let her baby go so that it might live and thrive. You’ve got to let your hate go so that you can live and thrive.

Seek counseling. Find a church with a divorce care group. Let God heal you. Don’t let hate have the ultimate victory where you are a slave to the idol of hate. Are you tired of it all? Let it go! Give it to God. He loves you and sees you as being of great value in and of yourself. He wants you to live and thrive. Quit splitting the baby and let God heal you and change you into the wonderful child of God that you can be!

Amen and Amen.

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