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Missionary Friendships?

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

-from 1 Kings 11

A series of observations:

God does not think Solomon wise enough to know not to marry foreign women. Despite Solomon’s great wisdom, God must tell him not to intermarry with pagan women.

God does not say, “Marry foreign women. Your knowledge of the truth will rub off on them. You will not become like them. Rather, they will become like you. Preach the gospel and if necessary, use words!”

God does not say, “I would not encourage the average Israelite to marry a pagan, but given your wisdom, Solomon, I think it is allowable for you to do so.”

God does not say, “I am more powerful than Ashtoreth and Molek. See if the followers of Molek don’t become interested in Me when they see the goodness of your life, Solomon.”

God does not say, “When you were a young man, Solomon, you were not ready to be friends with pagans, but now that you are mature you can go so far as marrying them. I am not worried about you. You can handle it.”

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