Summary: Motherhood & wisdom go hand-in-hand. Mothers aren’t perfect, and this message presents two imperfect mothers, and the wisdom of Solomon.

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“A Mother’s Split Decision”

1 Kings 3:16-28

INTRODUCTION: Today is Mother’s Day! Our text today has to do with MOTHERS … and WISDOM. The 2 need to go hand-in-hand … “Amen” mothers?

God appears to King Solomon in a dream – 1 Kings 3:5. God gives Solomon a BLANK CHECK. Solomon asks for wisdom, because he sees his need for wisdom as King – 3:9.

God granted Solomon his request. AND … because he could have asked for riches, long life, or victory over his enemies … God gave him those things as well – 3:13.

NOW … Solomon’s need for Divine wisdom is soon put to the test. 3:16-23 – What do we see about MOTHERHOOD in these verses?


These 2 mothers were harlots, prostitutes – 3:16. My favorite Mother’s Day sermons aren’t the ones on the “Perfect Mother”. When you preach on the “Perfect Mother”, mothers leave discouraged, because you can’t possibly be the “Perfect Mother”. HOWEVER, when I preach on Jezebel, or these 2 harlots, mothers leave the service thinking, “I’m a pretty good mother after all!”.

Nobody’s perfect … Nobody’s the perfect mother … Nobody HAD a perfect mother … Nobody IS the perfect mother. She’s never been born … never invented … never existed. As close as you’re going to get, is Mrs. Cleaver (Beaver’s Mom), or Mrs. Anderson (“Father Knows Best”).

Mother’s Day can be a difficult time. For some, it brings back some memories of a wonderful Mother who is dearly missed, because she has died and is now in Heaven. For others, it reminds them of their Mother, who may have been, or may still be, a difficult Mother. There are some Mothers that you can never please. They are miserable, and make everybody around them miserable. They can be hateful and hurtful … which can make Mother’s Day a difficult time.

Mother’s aren’t perfect. Maybe that will take some of the pressure off some of you mother’s here this morning who don’t meet your own expectations of motherhood. You’re not EXPECTED to be perfect … you WILL make mistakes. My Mother wasn’t perfect, but God chose her for me, and I thank God for that.

In our story, we find 1 Mother who was cruel, selfish and heartless. During the night, she had laid on her newborn child, and it died. She took her dead child, and replaced it with her room-mate’s living child … hoping she wouldn‘t notice. This was a thoughtless, cruel, selfish thing to do.

Mothers aren’t perfect … but some are closer to it than others!


When she examined her child, she immediately knew it wasn’t hers. This was a NEW-BORN child. Can I speak as a man? They all look alike to me! I can’t even look at my own children’s baby pictures, and tell which is which. Mother’s aren’t like that … they know their children … even at birth.

You can’t fool a mother! Fathers are gullible, easily fooled, and sometimes stupid (I speak from experience!). BUT … you can’t fool a mother … at least I couldn’t fool mine! They know when you’re LYING … trying to HIDE something from them … when you’re SICK … when you’re AFRAID … WORRIED.

Mothers KNOW these things. They have a 6th sense … eyes in the back of their head … a special gift from God. This woman’s child was only a few days old …but she knew her child. There’s a special bond between a mother and her children.


She rose up early to nurse her child … before daylight. As it got lighter, she got a good look at the child, and realized it wasn’t hers.

Most of the time, we don’t realize the sacrifices that Mother’s make. Do you know why? Because … they never tell you! If you find out at all, it’s usually years later. My mother sacrificed to put me through 4 years of college. (The next 4 years were my responsibility!) She worked overtime … Saturdays .. to pay for my college. I never knew it … never thought about it. She never mentioned it until 30 years later.

Why didn’t she hold this over me? “Look at what all I’ve done for you!” Because … that’s just what my mother did for me … she SACRIFICED.

Let’s read on in this story to see how Solomon deals with the situation. We will see some more “Motherly Sacrifice” – 3:23-27

The REAL mother of the baby was willing to SACRIFICE her motherhood for the life of her child. Solomon, in all his wisdom, knew this … AND … determined the mother of the child from the Mother’s SACRIFICIAL LOVE.

A good Mother will sacrifice for her children.

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