5-Minute Bible Studies
CREATIVITY – A Five-Minute Study
Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Contributed by Trudy Pettibone
Bible Teacher, Cincinnati, Ohio
February 12, 2002
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE – KING SOLOMON’S WISE RULING 1 Kings 3
1 Kings 3: Solomon was the third king of Israel (965-926 BC), and the last king of the united kingdom of Israel and Judah. David, Solomon’s father, had chosen Solomon, among all his sons, to succeed him. Solomon loved God and God appeared to him in a dream, asking what Solomon wished for God to do for him (vs. 5). What an opportunity! If God invited you to ask whatever you wanted and it would be yours, what would your response be?
Solomon seems to have thought out his response. He probably inherited great wealth from his father David, so that would not be his first choice. He was king, and his father had left him the largest empire that Judah or Israel would ever know, so he did not need to ask for power. One might wonder what else there was to ask for, but Solomon was very creative. Solomon asked God to “give thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, to discern between good and evil” (vs. 9). Well, God was so pleased with Solomon’s request that he not only gave him the requested wisdom, but the riches and honor he had not requested.
Wisdom often yields creativity. Creativity would be a real asset in dealing with 700 wives and 300 concubines. Solomon creatively dealt with Hiram, king of Tyre, the country that supplied the materials for the temple that was to be built (1 Kings 5). Perhaps the most explicit use of Solomon’s creativity was in the first example we are given of his use of the wisdom that God gave him. The story is found in Chapter 3, verses 16-28.
Two women came to Solomon, carrying a baby. Both women had given birth to children within three days of each other. During a recent night, one of the women rolled over onto her child, suffocating it. This woman reportedly replaces the living baby at the other woman’s breast with her dead baby, and takes the living child as her own. Both women now come before Solomon claiming to be the mother of the living baby.
1 Kings 3:23,24 Here are the principles and facts King Solomon has to consider to arrive at a solution: Since the women are harlots, it is possible the credibility of neither is especially strong; one of these women is the mother of the living child; the mother of the dead child does not seem seriously affected by the child’s death (no mention of tears or other signs of mourning); the mother of the living child loves her child; the mother of the dead child has no love for the living child; love or the lack of love will affect the way these women act.
Take one minute. Think about this situation. If you are not familiar with the story, try to determine how Solomon would respond. If you know the story, think about some alternative solutions.
1 Kings 3:25-27 The king has made his decision. The king has considered all the principles involved, and has apparently discerned attitudes from the women’s demeanor. Remember, he was given great wisdom from God. The child is to be cut in two, with half given to each of the women. How harsh the king’s order seems. The mother of the dead child thinks his creative decision is acceptable. This response of the second woman is in line with her previous activity and attitude. The response of the mother of the living child is quite different. Solomon knows that love will prevail, and that the true mother will give her child to the other woman in order to save its life. Solomon’s creativity led all of the people to recognize the wisdom that God had given him.
CREATIVITY IN OUR LIVES –
Some practical evidences of creativity we can see in our lives today are seen in the following “I will” statements:
I will use my talents for good.
I will see things from more than one perspective.
I will use principles to solve problems.
I will learn all I can.
I will look for new ways to be a person of character.
Divide into pairs and discuss:
- What are some areas of everyday life in which we are pressured by society to not adhere to biblical principles in solving problems? (Possible answers: complete tax returns honestly, resolve marital differences without divorce, fulfill financial and other commitments, not divulge confidences)
- What things hinder people from using their talents for good? (Possible answers: selfishness, laziness, insecurity, lack of ideas, etc.)
CREATIVITY IN MY LIFE THIS WEEK—
Spend a few minutes in personal reflection:
- Ask God to show you two new situations in which you can use your talents for good this week, and give you creative ideas in how to do them.
- Ask a trusted friend to help you implement the creative ideas and/or hold you accountable.
This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.