Titanic 2


The industrial revolution introduced the ability to produce huge factories and machines.  the Titanic was the largest moving machine of its day.  This was the unsinkable masterpiece of the modern age.  The designer himself was on board and science seems to have mastered the oceans.  Today a great nation anchors the economies of the world and seems more powerful than any force on Earth.  Yet at one time God chose a perfect nation and watched it sink into sin.  They were given to a military defeat at the hands of the Babylonians.  If God punished his own people, will he spare this imperfect new nation?

Proverbs 11:21-31

21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

This Titanic example uncovers a shortage of life boats, discrimination against the poor, and ignored warnings.  There were many hands joined in the chain of fault here.  In time some who survived came under investigation, but God judged even those who perished that night.  It would seem that the children of the righteous and their mothers did survive, and some children of the guilty as well.

22 As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

Victorian morals may have been legalistic, but they were inspired by scriptural principals.  Was the movie Titanic a bit more liberal than even God would have allowed?  Was Rose a fair woman without discretion?  The bible would have us avoid sex outside of marriage as fornication.  So contrary to the Hollywood new age morality, she wore physical beauty on the soul of a pig.  Perhaps the crimes of the real Titanic paled beside the sins of our modern world.

23 The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

People who want to do good may have no promise of profit or even survival.  But if they are righteous by God’s standard they will achieve their goal and the assurance of life even if they perish to do it.  There are those who chose to take an evil shortcut and they may extend this life, but the next life will also be extended into punishment.  In the next life the victims will see the truth about sinners and witness their demise.  On the Titanic all had time to discover the nature and fate of everyone around them.

24 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

The Titanic carried only 16 lifeboats as well as four “collapsibles,” which in total could only accommodate a third the Titanic’s total passengers had the ship been fully filled. As it was, it could have only accommodated half the passengers aboard. While this may seem unforgiveable by today’s standards, the Titanic actually carried more lifeboats than necessary under the law at the time.*

Other ships then and since carried enough lifeboats at a cost to the owners.  Preventing loss of life is better for business than the headlines about the Titanic though.  So here the investment in safety may seem wasted or scattered, but it brings prosperity.  A disregard for life saves a little but costs business and reputations as well.  Still we read of safety neglect in our modern world today.  Greed kills and it will harvest the wrath of God.

25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

It may be hard to see how generosity can help you when your world is coming to an end.  But this is when we remind you that God has a life beyond this one.  The name of Jesus is the key to living water that will give you life beyond this life.  The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom we learned earlier.  The crisis on the Titanic was not about defective design or damages, but about spiritual ignorance.  There is always hope.

26 He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

Now if withholding grain or food will bring cursing, what does it earn you to deny life itself to your paying passengers?  If hope is deferred it brings bitterness to the soul and these souls were expecting a new life in the new world, not in the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean.

27 He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

This story is pure good against evil.  You will have victory in being merciful, but you will need the mercy of God in Jesus to be empowered to give it.  There remain many who will try to claw their way to the top for survival, only to lose their life in the end.  The crisis of the Titanic was spiritual even as it is in the world today.  Do we understand where our world is now?  The bumps in the night are a message to the modern ship of state as well.

28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

Of the 2,224 people on board, 1,514 lost their lives, while 710 survived.  First-class passengers fared much better than those in third class. For example, only 3 percent of first-class women died, whereas 54 percent of third class women perished.

Some of the Titanic’s passengers were prominent people, including John Jacob Astor IV, one of the wealthiest men in the world at that time. So were Ida and Isidor Straus, who was the co-owner of Macy’s department store. And of course, there was “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, a socialite who became famous when she exhorted her lifeboat to return to look for survivors, and ultimately survived the ordeal herself.

Astor didn’t survive, as he didn’t take seriously the reports that the ship was sinking, and later wasn’t allowed onto a lifeboat due to a “women and children first” policy. (His pregnant wife did survive, however.) Ida Straus initially boarded a lifeboat but returned to her husband. “Where you go, I go,” she reportedly said. The couple would die together.*

Molly Brown has a place in history for showing mercy on the people who were left behind.  Ida Straus demonstrated love and perhaps trust in God by staying with her husband.  But no one was transformed into the presence of God by wealth or power.  There are spiritual treasures in righteousness.

29 He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

The danger was at first not believed by John Jacob Astor IV and it cost him his life.  When the ship finally went down by the bow there was no longer a question of their fate.  Those who drove the ship brought trouble to a house that was nearly as populated as my community here in Wyoming.  Imagine a whole city with its lights, streets, homes, and businesses breaking in half and diving beneath the icy sea.  By then the fools would welcome Molly Brown’s boat and help that could bring them back to life.  If this is hard, consider the prophesies of the judgment of this modern world that is yet to come.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Those who were wise enough to overcome their fear could live out what righteousness is supposed to be.  Who could offer life to others were those who had received that hope from God by the gift of Jesus.  Even the band that played hymns like “Nearer my God to Thee” might have awakened eternal life in a few souls in crisis.  To share the gospel to a sinking world is our way to wisdom.

31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

If there is an hour left then this life is still rewarding to the righteous.  God can make his rewards known to those who testify of his mercy and grace even in the fact of death.  When Stephen was about to die, God revealed himself in heaven to him:

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,   And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.  Acts 7:55-56

With such assurance how can we fear the icy cold of death with this great warm hope just beyond?  The alternative is to go on and never learn…and greed still rules:  THE WRECK OF THE EL FARO