Some shipwrecks gain international notoriety. Two come to mind: the RMS Titanic and the Exxon Valdez. The first struck an iceberg 350 miles southeast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic and sank, taking the lives of 1,522 souls. The second ran aground in shallow waters off Alaska, covering the coastline and sea with thick crude oil. Both are studies in failure. Interestingly, one of the main terms the Bible uses to describe failure is shipwreck. Paul reminded Timothy that two men failed to maintain a good conscience and the faith; they had “suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith” (1 Timothy 1:19). The Christian life is the life of faith, but if we fail here, a shipwreck will occur…as it did to a whole generation of Hebrews. Compared to their failure, the Titanic and the Valdez were minor accidents.
Selections from Numbers 13 and 14
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