Summary: There are many lessons God would like us to remember from the sinking of the Titanic, that are relevant to us today.
By Rob Pue
This last April marked the 89th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. For generations the tragic story has captivated the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life. People of all ages - even the very young - are enthralled with the story. And after all this time, interest in Titanic has only grown more strong, fueled by the discovery of the wreck by explorer Bob Ballard in 1985, and culminating in the motion picture by James Cameron which set new records for box-office sales and earned a multitude of Academy Awards.
There have been a great many myths and legends put forth as the cause of the disaster ever since that fateful night in 1912. Tales range from sabotage, to the evil curse of a mummy said to be on board.
The loss of the Titanic left a shaken world in disbelief and made people stop and think. People are still thinking. I believe that God wants us to remember the object lessons the Titanic story provides. The lessons are still relevant to us today, and perhaps that’s why He made it possible for the wreck to be located in 1985 - to again remind us that these lessons are for us in our time.
The most obvious lesson is the sinfulness of human pride and arrogance...clearly present in almost every aspect of the story.
Titanic took nearly 12,000 men more than two years to construct. Built in Belfast, Ireland for the White Star Line, Titanic’s owners were in stiff competition with the rival Cunard Line.
People wanted luxury, and to say that’s what they found in Titanic would be an understatement. Not only was Titanic the largest man-made moving object in the world, it was also the most luxurious ship the world had ever known. It was a floating palace loaded with fine amenities; a five-star hotel on the sea. Never before had anyone seen anything like it.
She was truly impressive, but Titanic’s owners failed to remember Psalm 127:1: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”
Man has always endeavored to reach higher, to achieve things greater than ever before. Great achievements in themselves are not bad, but too often, they are done for the wrong reasons, specifically, to glorify man, rather than God.
Throughout the Bible are accounts of proud men who refused to humble themselves and acknowledge God, who built monuments to themselves and their achievements, who trusted in their own abilities, possessions and self-efforts, rather than relying on God’s provision. All inevitably came to a tragic end. You’d think we humans would “get it” by now, but we don’t.
We read in 1 Peter 5:5, “...God gives special blessings to those who are humble, but sets Himself against those who are proud.” (Living Bible).
The Titanic was a symbol of everything man could achieve and she was truly beautiful. But the society of the day forgot God, reveled in their own abilities, and even taunted God’s awesome power, taking His name in vain and boasting “God Himself could not sink this ship!”
With all the latest innovations in ship-building technology, including 15 watertight doors, it was widely believed and accepted that this ship really was unsinkable.
As we all know, God Himself could sink the Titanic, but no big storm or major “act of God” was needed. Once again, the arrogance of man was adequate to facilitate his undoing.
Passengers enjoyed a tranquil crossing on their way to New York and, in fact, crew members remarked they had never seen the Atlantic more calm.
Those aboard the Titanic booked passage in either first class, second class or third class (steerage) accommodations. First class passengers enjoyed the most luxurious surroundings, rivaling the most posh hotels in the world. First class suites even included their own private promenade decks, sitting rooms and lavatories.
It was said that the second class accommodations on Titanic were better than first class on all other ships of that time, and even steerage passengers had it better than ever.
Titanic was brand new, shiny and strong. This was her maiden voyage and expectations were high for such a beautiful - and unsinkable - ship.
On Sunday, April 14, 1912, Titanic was making excellent speed and most of the passengers spent the day indoors because the weather had turned suddenly cold. Captain E.J. Smith held church services that morning, which would have been traditionally followed by a lifeboat drill for passengers and crew, but on this day, there was no drill...after all, the ship was unsinkable.
As for the lifeboats, Titanic’s owners were so convinced that the ship could never sink, that they only included lifeboats for less than half those on board, to make for a better looking, less crowded boat deck.