After studying seven commentaries, and Josephus’ writings, I discovered there isn’t a lot of information concerning the judiciary system during the time of the Kings of Israel. We just do not have a lot of information about courtly procedures of that time. Half the commentaries called the two women prostitutes and the other half mentioned the Hebrew word for harlot is also wanton and discussed how wanton also means "well-fed". Then two studies mentioned that David's reign was exceptionally godly with little or no patience with ungodly things such as sorcery and prostitution; pointing out, also that it would be highly unlikely that two prostitutes would be given the opportunity to enter the King's Court or come face to face with the King. This line of thought makes incredible sense. Add to that, the woman’s place was hardly in the throne room of the King when it was always the men who sat in the gate judging the doings of the villagers. Therefore, this is the thought process I used to write this story.
What, you may ask, was the Goodness in this story? I don't know that anyone can understand this without having first wanted and desired something with every fiber of their being, been given that desire for a little while and then the thing be taken away. That is only the first half of understanding the Goodness part. The other half is understanding and wanting what is best for another over and above what is best for self.
Consider the mother who had wanted a child for years and finally she is given one. A beautiful gift from God. Then her husband is taken away and then her child. This woman reflected God's love for us in that brief moment she begged Solomon to give the child to the other woman. Some call this selfless love. Jesus said that only One is Good. Only One exhibits selfless Love all the time and has this characteristic. We humans are given the chance to be Good, but how many times do we let self get in the way? Our desires overriding that which is good for another?
It was better the child lived. It was better for him and for her although the complicated part was the child would not be hers to raise but another's whose character was mean and unloving.
God gave up His only Son because it was better for us that He do so. In the course of events here, it really doesn't matter that God knew Jesus would rise again because the agony that He had to suffer before dying was such that only a person tortured could understand. Add to this the foreknowledge which adds much anxiety into the mix and we have a Sacrifice of such great love we cannot fathom the depth and breadth of it.
During the course of this study and writing I found out several things of which it is difficult to share.
Many of us have an academic knowledge of rejection, grief, pain and we sympathize with those enduring the events of loss that cause these feelings and have even felt them ourselves. But there is another dimension to these feelings which we need to understand.
I know what being rejected by someone I love feels like. My exhusband tossed me out of the house without a by your leave. Because the pain of that felt like my soul was split in two, I understand to a puny degree how Jesus felt when He cried, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I long to gather you like a hen gathers her chicks, but you would have none of it." That was rejection of love and tenderness and support like no human can offer, yet, in my heart, I can identify with Jesus' feelings and I will endeavor to never cause that feeling in another if I can possibly help it, most especially in my Lord God Almighty.
I know what grief over losing something treasured feels like. For me, grief is almost worse than rejection, although they are kin. Grief pierces the soul, digs a hole and leaves it gapping and bleeding. To be rejected and to lose something treasured is, for a little while, beyond bearing. It crushes the soul. It squeezes out everything else and leaves a pressed flat two dimensional world that has no color, no flavor.
Jesus was rejected by His very own people. Those He loved most, who were closest to him deserted Him in His darkest hour. And yet, He looked past the shame of the cross to the joy beyond. His joy certainly came in the morning. To be able to look beyond the rejection and beyond the grief to know that in a little while the searing pain will pass and in a little more than a while, we will see Jesus in all His glory riding on that white horse with the words emblazoned on His thigh, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" forever and forever and forever to reign with Him.
That, my siblings, is the joy beyond. We are only here for a little while. So, everytime God gives us the opportunity to "Be Good", let's remember that the sacrifice now brings greater and more perfect joy beyond. God never takes something without giving something greater and more perfect in its place. Ask Job, he knows.