“...fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.” (1Tim. 1:18-19)

Over the weekend I read of a natural phenomena that took place on a beach on Stewart Island, a southern island of New Zealand. 

This all to familiar scene was where up to two hundred whales became stranded and died. It was also interesting to read: “Exactly why whales and dolphins strand is not fully known but factors can include sickness, navigational error, geographical features, a rapidly falling tide, being chased by a predator, or extreme weather. More than one factor may contribute to a stranding. [NZ Stuff Publication]

How sad to see such mass destruction of God’s creatures. And yet how interesting it is, exactly why these creatures do this is not really known. They beach and stand themselves where death is inevitable. 

I wish to point out a far more wretched real life scenario. This is one where Christians, those who have been born again, those who have spiritual “eyes to see and ears to hear” those who are “new creatures” in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17) And yet we enlightened creatures can become spiritually stranded like those who “suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.” (1 Tim. 1:19). 

The difference between stranded whales and shipwrecked believers is this.

Whales have many reasons for their dilemma. Stranded believers have only one reason. Sin. Sins of the flesh can often tempt us to ignore what we know is dangerous and sinful against God. It blinds us to the ‘foul ground’ where spiritual shipwreck is inevitable. I like how Paul David Tripp put this: “Sin plays havoc with our spiritual vision. Although we are able to see the sin of others with specificity and clarity, we tend to be blind to our own. And the most dangerous aspect of this already dangerous condition is that spiritually blind people tend to be blind to their blindness.”

We even think that certain sins will bring a sense of freedom. But how true it is that when we rebel against God, we don’t achieve freedom, we become slaves to our tyrant, our ‘beach’ that shipwrecks us.