On April 16, 1942, in the midst of World War II, the SS Alcoa Guild, an unarmed and unescorted merchant ship, was ambushed by a German Sub U-123 approximately three hundred miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Fortunately the Nazi vessel was out of torpedoes, but the enemy still managed to assault the Alcoa Guild, shelling the supply ship with a barrage of fire from the deck gunneries. The ship master was killed and the Alcoa fatally damaged, eventually sinking to the bottom of the ocean. A junior engineer gathered the remaining crew, a few critical supplies, and manned the two functional life boats. Since the German seamen failed to pursue the small band of survivors, the junior engineer initiated a plan. Using a small compass as his only navigational tool, the young engineer directed those life boats to a well-traveled shipping lane, clinging to the hope that they would be spotted. After three long days of limited supplies and rough seas, the men were spotted by a plane and rescued. The precious compass that was instrumental in saving their lives was donated to the National Museum of American History, where it is homed today.
One of the most tragic stories in the Bible is that of Lot, the nephew of Abraham, that great patriarch of faith. It is the tale of a man who lost his moral compass and paid dearly as a result. Lot left his home in the Ur of the Chaldees and journeyed to the land of Canaan with his uncle. Once in that land of promise, Lot’s life was reduced to a series of bad choices. First, he chose to live in a wicked city because it appeared pleasurable to his eyes, he “lifted up his eyes, and beheld…that it was well watered every where.” then he “dwelt in Sodom,” putting down roots, choosing to expose his family on a permanent basis to a heathen lifestyle that would encompass them, and finally he “…sat in the gate of Sodom” meaning that he had accepted a high position in the governmental system of this ungodly city. When God’s patience with Sodom had come to an end and destruction was imminent, angels were sent to save Lot and his family before the judgment of God fell upon the inhabitants of Sodom.
Chapter nineteen of Genesis is perhaps one of the darkest recorded in Scripture, as we see this carnal man lose his influence, his morality, his family, his dignity, and his peace. He had “vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;” and now payday had arrived. When Lot attempted to save his family, “…he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” His wife “became a pillar of salt” because she looked back on the life she had grown to love, and his daughters would incestuously birth two nations that would become the epitome of idolatry and corruption. What a mess! So many lives destroyed because the light that dwelt in the midst of the lost chose to hide his testimony.
How’s your spiritual compass? Have you allowed the world to disrupt that compass, aiming you in the wrong direction, guiding you away from the things of God? Align that compass in the Word of God, allowing the Spirit of God to steer your vessel (and the lives of those under your influence) in a direction that is well-pleasing to your Father.
I Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Holy Spirit, keep my compass always pointing toward Christ, not the world. BONUS CHALLENGE: Read Genesis 19 slowly, gaining insight from Lot’s desperate decline.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-780-656bd65151d18' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=780&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-780-656bd65151d18' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-780-656bd65151d18' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>