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Henry Brinton, July 11 2021

Summer Study 16: Daily Wisdom

July 11

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Boast in the Lord

Where have you found your confidence to be misplaced?

The Titanic went down in the cold waters of the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912. Crossing from England to New York City, it hit an iceberg and took on water, overrunning the ship’s so-called watertight compartments. 

The cream of New York society was on board and many did not survive, including Isidor Straus, the co-owner of Macy’s, and John Jacob Astor IV, a wealthy real estate developer.

All told, 1,571 people went to their deaths that night. And almost all believed the hype that the ship was unsinkable. In fact, the Titanic’s captain had commented that the nature of shipbuilding in the early 20th century rendered sinking a near impossibility. “I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder,” he said. “I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.”

The great sin of the Titanic was its arrogance — the boast that it was unsinkable. What a Titanic lie.

Many put their confidence in the wrong place when they believed in the watertight compartments of the Titanic. They should have heeded the warning of the prophet Jeremiah, who said, “the learned should not boast of their knowledge, nor warriors boast of their might, nor the rich boast of their wealth” (Jeremiah 9:23). The Titanic’s captain should not have bragged about modern shipbuilding, nor should the ship’s rich passengers have put confidence in their wealth.

Instead, they should have responded to the invitation of God: “those who boast should boast in this: that they understand and know me. I am the Lord who acts with kindness, justice, and righteousness in the world, and I delight in these things” (verse 24). Our greatest security comes from understanding and knowing God, the one who acts with kindness, justice, and righteousness. When we are in a right relationship with God, we can face the future without fear.

So, where do you find your confidence to be misplaced today? Do you put too much faith in modern technology, and look to social media to make you happy? Do you believe that modern medicine will save you, even when you fail to care for your body? Do you focus entirely on making money, trusting that wealth can satisfy your desires?

Despite the availability of technology, medicine, and wealth, over 1500 people lost their lives on the Titanic. Their faith in these human achievements proved to be misplaced. But as the ship sank, a chamber group played the hymn “Nearer, my God, to thee,” according to various survivors. On that tragic night, putting confidence in the kindness of God was a truly saving choice. 

Thank you, Lord, for your kindness, justice, and righteousness. Help me to trust you always. Amen.

Written by

Henry Brinton


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