Summary: We cannot help but shout of joy, amen? We cannot help but worship Him with gladness, amen? We cannot help but come before Him with joyful songs because we are His! Because Jesus … our dear, precious Savior … bought us with His blood.
One of my favorite novels is Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe.” Well … we call Defoe’s book “Robinson Crusoe,” but the actual title of the books is … “The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who Lived Eight and Twenty Years, All Alone in an Un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, Near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having Been Cast on Shore by Shipwreck, Wherein All the Men Perished but Himself. With an Account how he was at last as Strangely Deliver’d by Pyrates. Written by Himself.” You’ve almost got the whole story in the title, don’t you?
You know, it’s sad how we’ve taken great novels like “Robinson Crusoe,” “Gulliver’s Travels,” “Moby Dick,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” or “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and relegated them to children’s stories. We’ve done the same with stories like Noah and Samson and Goliath in the Bible, haven’t we? But they are not children’s stories and neither is Daniel Defoe’s story about Robinson Crusoe. It is actually a serious Christian treatise on the goodness of God.
Robinson Crusoe starts out as a rebellious young man who, through a series of misfortunes, ends up as the lone survivor of a shipwreck on a deserted island. Among the items that he salvages from the ship’s floating debris is one lone book. Ever play the “If you’re stuck on a deserted island and you could only have one book, what book would it be” game? Well, that’s the situation that Defoe sets up. Robinson is marooned on a desolate island and the only thing he has to read is one book. Care to guess what book that would be? If you guessed “the Bible,” you’d be right.
Here’s something you may not have noticed or thought about if you’ve ever read Defoe’s novel. There is no church on the island. There are no priests on the island. All Robinson Crusoe has is the Bible and, in Defoe’s opinion, the Bible is enough … the Bible is all you need … the Bible alone can change a person’s life. Do you agree with Defoe?
Of course, Robinson reads the Bible and, as he does, he learns about God’s goodness … how God provides forgiveness for our sins and gives us an endless supply of grace. Again, think about it. Think about where Robinson Crusoe is. He’s stuck on a deserted island. There are no markets, no craftsmen, no farms, no shops, no other people to provide for him … only God. As time goes on … as Crusoe continues to read and study God’s Word, he begins to realize that God has indeed been providing for him … food … shelter … even the Bible, the only book to survive the ship wreck and wash up on shore. See, I told you this was a pretty cool book, amen?
Over and over and over … hour after hour … page after page, Robinson Crusoe reads about God’s goodness, God’s desire to take care of His children … and over and over and over again, God provides evidence of his love and support of Robin Crusoe by taking care of him … even on a deserted island … and Crusoe’s faith in God continues to grow and he goes from cursing his misfortune to faithfully trusting Christ as his Protector and Provider.
Once Robinson Crusoe establishes himself on the island and has food and shelter that he can count on, one of the main things that he lacks and begins to yearn for is human companionship. And guess what? God even provides him with that. One day Robinson finds a set of footprints on the beach and the discovery terrifies him. Having read and heard about the fierce, cannibalistic practices of some of the tribes on the nearby islands, Robinson lives in constant fear. He writes in his diary: “All that former confidence in God which was founded upon such wonderful experiences as I had had of [God’s] goodness now vanished … as if He who had fed me by miracles hitherto could not preserve, by His power, the provision which He made for me by His goodness.” In other words, all that “former confidence in God” that Crusoe had that was founded on the many, many ways that God had provided for him disappeared like smoke in the wind when he was faced with this new danger. Has that ever happened to you?
Robinson eventually comes face-to-face with the man who made the footprints … and rescues him from a couple of cannibals who are about to kill him and eat him. Why did he name the man “Friday”? Well … for one reason … because he rescued “Friday” on “Friday.” The real question, however, is: Who rescued whom? Sure, Robinson Crusoe rescued Friday but God sent Friday to rescue Crusoe from his loneliness and the two men were able to work together to get rid of the two cannibals … whom Friday wanted to eat … and in the end, Robinson shares the Gospel with Friday and leads him to Christ. The two become inseparable friends and together they both come to know and trust in the good God who provided for all of their needs … even on a deserted island.