Titanic Captain Edward Smith


Leaders make choices that affect the course of the people who enable their plans.  The Captain of the Titanic wears the honors of the ship line that reflect his years of good service.  His choice to set speed records in dangerous waters may have been from pride or glory seeking.  But the passengers would never consider him to be evil or criminal as they came aboard or as they enjoyed the splendor of the great voyage.  The outcome must have been shocking to all as the situation became clear after some bumps in the night.  Will the leaders of our world measure up even this well when the world recognizes where we are today?

Proverbs 11:11-20

11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

The people of God are filled with his spirit, and influence many others to emulate their good behavior.  This nation is said to have had godly foundations and it has prospered from this.  For decades we have watched those foundations eroded by a slow slide away from God.  Now the lost world is asserting its values over those of God.  What God calls evil is now called good.  The bible predicts a great nation will fall after becoming the modern Babylon.  People are boarding this ship not knowing where they are going.

12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

The wealthy passengers of the Titanic had little esteem for the Irish passengers travelling in the dismal spaces of the lower decks.  Wealth and power are not signs of wisdom.  Today we hear the wealthy despise Mexicans and Moslems in the same way.  If you have the mind of Christ you can see everyone needing forgiveness equally.  You can open the door for anyone to be redeemed.

13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Matthew 18:15-17 outlines the correct path to keep our church in order.  All three steps include the person being encouraged to a biblical path, and never exclude that person.  An accusation without the target is out of order.  A tattle tale forces his audience to investigate instead of having the courage to ask the person in private.  The tale bearer takes other peoples time to do his job.  Usually the talebearer is telling lies or errors at best.  A faithful friend keeps the secret but encourages his friend (or enemy) to save himself form an error.  A friend will strengthen you by opening the door to safety.  In the Titanic movie some sought to jail Jack, while his friend sought to save him.  Even the sinner needs a friend.

14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Now a great ship in the ocean has a great experienced crew.  The Titanic had weather and ice warnings, and lookouts on the mast.  The ship’s builder, an engineer, was on board too.  Safety was available if the counselors are heeded.  That was not the case on the Titanic or two of our space shuttles.  Do the leaders of today listen to their counselors?  Is our nation passing into a safe harbor or powering ahead into an icy collision?

15 He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

Surety is co-signing for a loan.  This is when you sign a contract promising that you will pay your money to a lender if your friend fails to make the payments on his loan.  You will feel the pain.  Even if your friend pays off on time for years you will carry some concern about your decision.  You will be more diplomatic with that friend, possibly more than you want.  If you hate co-signing you have a safe life.  Actually you should hate credit in any form.  Lenders are no more your  friend than a bookie or a casino.

Our nation is built on printed paper money and the world may discover that to have no value.  We may be borrowing our way into national slavery.  Remember that a nation of borrowers voted these leaders into power, so the leaders too are borrowers.  Where is the industry that produces real products?  In China.  Keep a floatation device nearby.

16 A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

Gracious derives from grace.  As God has shown grace to we who have sinned, a person should show grace to others.  There was no angry retribution or personal insult in the gift of grace that Yeshua gave at the cross.  He could have called fire from heaven on a world of sinners and walked away from the cross.  So a woman who offers warmth, kindness, and diplomacy covers the weaknesses of her friends and enemies alike.  She will be honored by all.  Strong men retain riches when they find their strength in the grace of God also.  Violence does not preserve wealth, but real strength is not unlike the grace of God.  Strength is anchored in faith and reinforced by God’s own hand.  Strength comes from allies who appreciate grace.   A leader who tries to bully and insult his way to the top leaves a trail of wounded enemies who will wait for him in the dark.

17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

If Titanic passengers were trapped below decks behind locked gates, any sign of mercy could spare them from immediate panic.  Any officer who helped people to the boats would be among the men left behind, a self sacrifice.  Wouldn’t our savior value the same kind of sacrifice he himself had made?  This life is only the entrance exam to eternity.  But those who used locks and firearms to trap masses in the panic of a sinking death should expect a colder reception than the icy waters.  At this point an officer’s rank and authority would fall before a higher authority.

18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

On April 14, a nearby ship, the Californian, sent a message at 10:55 p.m.: “Ice report: We are stopped and surrounded by ice.” But the captain of the Titanic, Edward Smith, and First Officer William Murdoch did not heed these warnings, steaming ahead near full-speed.*

This is evidence of evil at work, and it still continues in modern ships with design flaws and human errors.  There is still deception working in our world and agencies tasked with protection need to be watched by other agencies.  Government is purchased by lobbyists and corporation.  There is room in the world for righteousness to give a good service.  Those who deliver souls from the icy depths will survive the fate of the wicked.

19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

When a crisis deepens human nature is stripped bare and both courage and cowardice are amplified.  After Titanic passengers realized that their unsinkable ship was a lie, then they saw the naked nature of the crew and fellow passengers.  There were amazing acts of courage and horrible acts of cruel desperation.  There will be crises in the future but you can trust God for deliverance when you follow righteousness.  Serving God leads to life beyond death but serving yourself leads to death beyond death.

20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.

Decisions have an impact on everyone around us.  Leaders will be held accountable by God during and after our life here.  We are accountable for electing our leaders, but they are handed the responsibility for what they do with that election.  We may prevent a lot of evil if we compare our leaders to the standards of the bible.  Listen to them now and consider the consequences of our actions and theirs.  Do not honor the selfishness and greed of men who are owned by a vile spirit.  Deny promotion, power and honor to those who are an offense to man and God.  Find the delight of God even if it seems that honor is a lost cause today.  This life is only the entrance exam to your real life.  Now is your chance to measure up as an upright man, the delight of God.