Mar 21 2013
“Cut the baby in two and give half to each woman!” Do you remember the story? Two prostitutes presented their cases to King Solomon. They lived together and both had babies. But a baby died in the night. One woman claimed she awoke to find the dead baby next to her but it wasn’t hers. She said the other woman had taken her baby and replaced it with the dead one. But the other woman said this was a lie, that the living baby was hers. After listening to both King Solomon asked for a sword. He told his men to cut the living baby in two and to give half to each woman. The false mother was comfortable, but the real mother said, “Please my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” So, the real mother was revealed and King Solomon gave her the child (1 Kings 3: 16-28).
Here is a 2013 parallel: Two Kenyan presidential candidates appeared before God. ♦ One claimed that when the election took place the other had cheated and so he, who lost, was the true president; the country was his. The one who had won said that this was untrue, that he had won fairly and was the true president; Kenya was his. God called for a map of Kenya. Then he told his servants to tear it in two and to give half to each candidate, and they did. Then God said, “Now you be president of this half and you be president of that half.” One candidate said “Fine, at least I am a president!” But the other candidate shouted “No! Don’t split Kenya! It will be the end of the nation! Give Kenya to my opponent!” Then God gave this ruling, “The one who was willing to sacrifice his position for the nation is the true president, give Kenya to him.”
My point can apply to all nations and all presidents. Many things come together to make a good president, but the most important thing is his heart. He must be someone who is willing to lay down his personal ambition for the life and health of the country. This is a true president.
Now imagine if both women had been allowed to bring their friends with them as they stood before the King. No doubt their friends would have supported them saying, “Oh she may be a prostitute, but she would never lie, if she says the baby is hers, it is!” Friends are biased; they have a personal investment in the relationship, and so they have a tendency give support even when they have no evidence. Many of us who support a presidential candidate in Kenya have been like that. We are confident our candidate is the real winner. One group is confident that the vote count was corrupt, and the other is confident that it wasn’t. But none of us really knows; we were not there doing the counting, just like there was no one but the two women in the room when the baby died.
So we have a dilemma, we are supporters of one of the woman but we may be supporting the wrong one, and who of us will admit it? Who of us have the character to say, “My friend is not the mother. Or I was wrong; my candidate should not be president.” If we want genuine leaders, we must first be genuine supporters. A supporter today could be a leader tomorrow!
Now if you are a follower of Jesus I have good news for you. You may be a friend of one woman, but you are an even bigger friend of the King. In fact you are one of his children. And as a child of the King you make sure you represent the King before you support a friend. You see, Christians are children of God, and they are to follow God before they follow any presidential candidate. Our identity is not in a national candidate for Kenya, it is in the President of the universe! King Solomon was a foreshadow of Jesus, the King of kings. When people get into heated political debates we must stand beyond the turmoil and look at it with God’s eyes.
Scripture tells us that when King Solomon gave this ruling over the women people were amazed; they saw that God had given him ‘wisdom to administer justice’ (28). Does Kenya need wisdom to administer justice? Do we need the hearts of our candidates revealed? I think so.
The Bible says there are two kinds of wisdom; the world’s wisdom and heaven’s wisdom. James 3:13-18 says the world’s wisdom is driven by ‘bitter envy and selfish ambition’ which causes ‘disorder and evil practice.’ But heaven’s wisdom is ‘pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.’ Please take note; it’s impartial! This means we do not side with our tribe or our friends, we side with God! Partiality in voting indicates that a nation is not truly Christian. Our words may be Christian but our actions are not! Can we all say ouch! And if siding with God reveals that our candidate is corrupt, we must accept it and say it. If God’s children twist the truth there is no salt and light left for the nation!
Now note that James also says heaven’s wisdom is peace-loving. God’s kingdom isn’t about justice or peace; it’s about justice and peace! Jesus is the King of Righteousness and Peace (Hebrews 7:1-2). We don’t have to choose between them. So let’s not shout for one or the other, let’s insist on both. Kenya needs both!
Have you ever seen a big storm at sea? Waves can look like moving mountains, boats are tossed like toys, ships are swamped, sailors go overboard; it can be frightening. But go just a few feet below the water and all is calm. Fish swim about unbothered by the turmoil above. Where there is depth there is peace! That’s the way it is with children of God. When there is turmoil they go deep, they sink their hearts into God’s presence, and they are unmoved. If you represent the King of the universe, don’t be knocked about by the wind and waves of the Kenyan elections; don’t be caught up in the rumours and name calling. Be impartial and peace-loving; your unbelieving friends need it.
Other Illustrations used: Our Bowling Ball is Biased
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