On August 10, 1628, King Gustav Adolf was away on business when the Vasa set sail. The 69 meter-long warship was built to be a key asset for the Swedish Navy during its war with Poland. At the time of its commissioning the ship was ornately decorated and armed with the largest concentration of artillery in the world. Henrik Hybertsson supervised her construction but unfortunately was handicapped by size and gun requirements King Adolf demanded. Unable to dissuade the king from rushing its production, the ship was precariously top heavy combined with insufficient ballast on its lowest deck. Unfortunately, Captain Söfring Hansson ordered its launch. The large craft sailed for less than a nautical mile before tipping and sinking. Historians believe 30-50 people drowned.
Because of the water condition and temperature the Vasa remained amazingly well preserved 105 feet below the surface. Three hundred and thirty-three years from its sinking, the Swedes were able to raise and treat it such that today it sits in a museum in Stockholm; the only warship of its era to ever be restored. The Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia with over 1,000,000 annual observers.
Ezekiel 13:10-12—Since they have led My people astray saying: Peace, when there is no peace, for when someone builds a wall they plaster it with whitewash, therefore, tell those who plaster it that it will fall. Torrential rain will come, and I will send hailstones plunging down, and a windstorm will be released. Now when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked: Where is the coat of whitewash that you put on it?
God was exceedingly displeased with Israel’s leaders in the time of the prophet Ezekiel because they proclaimed peace and portrayed strength when they were in truth weak. Like the Vasa, they were doomed for destruction. But before we judge as incompetent those who design top-heavy ships or who cover weak walls with bright paint, we ought to consider our own vessels.
Too many of us build our lives according to our own design or the impatient and unrealistic demands of others. We work hard to be successful. By appearance others may even consider us models to be emulated. But if our ballast is off, when adverse winds rise our imbalance will show. Our ballast is our spiritual foundation. Unless we are anchored in Christ, walk in obedience to God’s Word, and listen to the Holy Spirit our equilibrium suffers. Never interpret appearance as a determinate of strength. Just because the Vasa was powerfully equipped and could float did not mean she was right.
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa; information also taken from Museum handouts.