From the book of first Kings Chapter three, verse sixteen we read: “Then came there two women that were harlots, unto the king and stood before him. And the one woman said, O my Lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear’.
And the other woman said, ‘Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son.’ And this said, ‘No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son.’ Thus they spake before the king.
Then said the king, “The one saith, this is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other said Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. And the king said, ‘Bring me a sword.’ And they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, ‘Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.’
Then spake the woman whose was the living child 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.’ But the other said, ‘Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.’
Then the king answered and said, ‘Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.’
This is the story of the two harlots and the great judgment which king Solomon delivered. The story is of great importance for two reasons. The first reason is that it shows the tremendous wisdom with which God had endowed Solomon (I Kings 3:5-13).
In I Kings (3:16) we read, “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.
The second reason is even of greater importance in that it is an historical parable with a gospel message in it.
God doesn’t just use words or just relate story for the sake of doing so. The stories or events related in the Bible, the holy scriptures of God, have something to tell us about the gospel message. This story of the two harlots sheds some light on the character of Satan, Jesus and the church of Christ as we shall see very soon.
Let me first explain the parable. The woman whose son died is a picture or representation of Satan. The son that died is a picture or representation of those who are unsaved or followers of Satan. The woman whose son lived is a picture or representation of those who believed and those who will come to believe (the believers) in Christ Jesus. King Solomon, the judge is a picture or representation of Jesus Christ Himself. With this in mind, let’s look at the parable more closely.
The two women were harlots. An harlot is a person that sells herself/himself for a price. The price can be money, power, favor, etc. Satan is an harlot in that he sold himself for power to rule the world. Because of his tremendous desire for power he rebelled against God and claimed mankind and all of God’s work for himself. (Ezek. 28:1-5; 11-19) (Isaiah 14:12-15). The second woman, the Church or the body of believers is an harlot too in that the church does not strictly adhere to the word of God.
The church is known for compromising the teachings of God for its own profits. The words of God said that the church of Christ is not part of this world, yet the church has never abstained from the politics of this world. The Bible says you should not commit adultery and that it is adultery when you divorce your wife and marry another, yet the church has continued to marry people who commit this sin of adultery. There are numerous examples of the church’s harlotry. The believers continuously rebel against God by sinning and disobeying God’s commandments. Any act of sin is a sell out and therefore harlotry against God.
The king in the story is non other than Jesus Christ, Himself, the king of both the Jews and Gentiles. He is God’s appointed judge of the world. He judged Sodom and Gomorrah and found them guilty; he judged the great city of Nineveh and found her repented; he judged the nation of Isreal and found her unworthy of God’s salvation; and he will come and judge the world on the Last Day – that great Day of judgement of the Lord.
From the parable we learnt that the two harlots, the dead child, and the living child were brought to the seat of judgement of king Solomon. This scenario is a picture of the judgement Day of God (The white Throne and Bema) when Jesus Christ will come in all his glory to judge the world.
Satan will be found guilty for rebelling against God and will be sent to Hell. So will be the dead child that is all those wicked people of the physical and spiritual worlds who have followed Satan and have never come to believe in Jesus Christ as their savior. The woman whose son lives, that is, the Church or the body of True believers and the child that lives which is a picture of true believers will also be found guilty. However, they will be saved from God’s wrath because all their sins have been put on Jesus their Christ.
The scriptures say the following:
I Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree”
Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins”.
Isaiah 53:5,6 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.”
Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
John 3:16, 17, 18 “….. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.”
The punishment for sin is death, (Rom. 6:23) that is eternal damnation in Hell. Jesus have died for all those who will believe in him. Through his death all believers have been saved and become worthy of being citizens of the kingdom of God.
Through the parable we also found out the character of Satan who was once the angel Lucifer. He knows that the dead child was his, yet he lied that the living child belonged to him. From this we realize that he was not an honest person at all. He was a liar, a deceiver, and a deceitful person. The Bible described him as a murderer because he had cause to destroy all those who followed him, a liar and a father of the lie. (Jn 8:44-45).
We also learned that he had no love of anyone in his heart by the fact that he asked the king to divide in two both the living and the dead child. Satan is already in the pit and he is trying to drag everybody else into it too. He is a wicked person and you should not trust in him.
The fact that there was confusion as to who owns the dead or living child is also of significance. Satan knew his child so does the other person (the church or body of true believers). Anyone who has not believed in Christ no matter how good or kind they are will not be saved. Any so called Christian who had not completely put their trust in Jesus will not be saved. This is what the argument is about. Satan is claiming these people as his. God will give them up to him because they have neither been hot nor cold for Christ. These people have tried to eat their cakes and still have them.
The sword is a picture of the judgement with which Christ will judge the world and the wisdom of Solomon is a picture of Christ’s glory with which he will come on the Last Day
Matthew (24:30) says, ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’
This is the explanation of the story of the two harlots. I hope you have learnt a thing or two.
To God the only wise, be glory. Amen.