Summary: Five things when ignored can cause a ship wreck
On April 10, 1912 the. Titanic left her harbor in Southampton, England. This was the maiden voyage for the 882 foot long ocean liner that had been billed as unsinkable. She carried with her 2,228 passengers and crew. Most of the passengers had paid thousands of dollars to sail on that great luxury liner. Four days into the voyage, on April 14, 1912 severe ice warnings were received for the area through which the Titanic was sailing. These warnings were ignored, and the Titanic maintained her course for New York harbor. At 11:40 PM the Titanic struck an iceberg on the starboard side of her bow. She began to take on water at an alarming rate and within three hours the Titanic and 1,523 of her passengers were at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Only 705 of the original 2,228 persons survived that great shipwreck.
Since 1912, people have tried to figure out what happened to bring about the demise of a ship call unsinkable. Most people would agree that the tragedy was a mixture of many things including negligence, apathy, greed, pride, and incompetence. In other words, the tragedy could have been avoided had all the proper steps been taken by the captain and crew of the Titanic. But, since those steps were no taken, a tragic loss of life occurred on the cold night in the North Atlantic.
Of course, the Titanic is just one of many famous shipwrecks.
In our text we find another shipwreck.
Paul later applied his experience to being shipwrecked to how people can suffer a shipwreck in their lives. See 1 Timothy 1:19.
The account of this shipwreck was not put in the Bible to merely entertain us, but it contains several important lessons. This shipwreck could have been avoided. The shipwreck was the result of several bad decisions!
You are headed for a shipwreck when…
I Decisions are FORGED in haste (7-8).
Progress had been slow. Delays cost money in the shipping industry. This ship owner wanted to get to his destination as quickly as possible.
With a favorable wind, the distance between Myra and Cindus should have been covered in day. The question now was, should they put into Cnidus and wait for better weather, or should they sail on. They sailed on because the captain of the ship wanted to make all speed to Rome with his cargo, and the centurion was anxious to deliver his prisoners without costly delays.
Now when you get impatient, you get impulsive.
Proverbs 14:29—“…he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
Proverbs 19:2 “…he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.”
Haste makes waste. The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.
Haste leads to shipwreck. Haste leads to trouble and regrets.
Haste leads to shipwreck. Haste brings trouble and regrets. Haste leads to many a false step.
Haste is the road to error. Abraham and Sarah are the classic example of haste. Abraham and Sarah got impatient with God’s promise, and their haste has cost their descendents greatly to this day!
II. Decisions are FORMULATED upon human wisdom instead of Godly wisdom (9-12).
Delay after delay forced a critical decision upon the ship’s officers and the Roman centurion. Should they continue or not?
Paul admonishes them it would be dangerous to sail at this time. Paul had experience in being shipwrecked (2 Cor. 11:25).
Julius the centurion looked at Paul, the missionary, a prisoner and underestimated him. He looked at the ship’s captain, and he saw a successful businessman, the owner of the large ship, a seasoned sailor, and he overestimated him. It should be no surprise that Paul’s warning was rejected by the centurion. After all, who is going to listen to a prisoner instead of the master and the owner of the ship about when to sail and when not to sail. He would naturally think master and owner of the ship best able to judge. The centurion decided that the professional should know whether or not it is safe to proceed. The voice of the humble believer in touch with God is ignored.
The centurion sided with the man who had the most hours at the helm sailing instead of siding with the man who had the most hours communion with God on his knees. Surely the people connected with the ship are more competent in making decisions about sailing than a lowly prisoner. He chose human reasoning instead of divine wisdom.
A. Is the scientist is more accurate than the Scripture?
B. Is the psychologist’s counsel is more valuable than the preacher’s counsel?
One woman’s commented to a preacher friend of mine when getting marital counseling: “We already know what the Bible says. What we need is professional help.”
III. Decisions are FOCUSED on comfort or convenience (12a)
The Fair Havens presented some problems for a ship if it wanted to stay there over the winter. The harbor apparently was not protected as well as sailors like a harbor to be, and it did not provide as much in the line of supplies and entertainment to winter in as sailors would like.