Last post was pretty long; this one, not so much.
In my reading through the Hebrew OT, I just arrived Wednesday at perhaps the most depressing verse in the Bible, and at the same time one of the scariest. That would be 1 Kings 11:1, which begins "Now King Solomon loved many foreign women...." Of course, that verse is just the opening note of the narrative of Solomon's dismal descent into spiritual wreck and ruin.
Yet we read the resounding clang of doom: "Now King Solomon loved many foreign women...." Oh no; he loved them. In fact, "clung to these in love" (v. 2b). But he was supposed to love Yahweh with all his heart, soul and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). He was supposed to cling to Yahweh (Deuteronomy 10:20). He knew that. And Yahweh said not to marry women from these nations (Deuteronomy 7:1-4). Solomon knew that, too. He knew all that (1 Kings 2:3; cf. Proverbs 4:3-4).
Another thing Solomon knew was
Cease to hear instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge
What a calamity. So wise, so blessed, so favored... such a fall. No Millennial Kingdom for Solomon. Even such a blessed, wise, godly man — still, the Cross loomed as an absolute necessity.
Now the punch-line.
Some time past, I wrote in my BW notes:
Here, it all goes south. This is SO DEPRESSING to read! But what a solemn and needed warning. Was any man ever so blessed as Solomon? God had visited and spoken to him; He had blessed Solomon in every way imaginable -- spiritually, psychologically, materially, socially, martially, politically, he was in the best shape a mortal could be. And what was the outcome? What was the result of meeting every one of Solomon's needs? Did it produce godliness, holiness, contentment? No. His heart was weaned away from God by loving idolatrous women. Listen up, my soul. You dream how great everything would be if only, if only, if only? Look at Solomon. Fear.Fear.
Postscript: possible companion-pieces here, here, and here.