It’s estimated that there are 3 million shipwrecks in the ocean.
The average person can name a couple of the famous ones — the Titanic, Bismark, or the Edmund Fitzgerald — but there are many, many more that have sunk from sight and public memory.
Less than 1% of these wrecks have ever been explored. The world's oceans are enormous, reaching an average depth of more than 12,000 feet, and only 19% of the ocean floor has been charted in detail.
So what becomes of most shipwrecks? Some of them are looted for profit; a few are preserved for their historical value. Some are turned into underwater museums. But most become reefs — forgotten playgrounds for fish and marine life.
The estimated value of treasure on all sunken ships:
Age of the oldest intact shipwreck discovered in the Black Sea:
The greatest number of shipwrecks found over a 22-day period:
Estimated number of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes:
(a) Found in the Fourni archipelago in 2015.
The apostle Paul was famously shipwrecked more than once. He also used the term to describe an even more disastrous fate for people…
“… war the good warfare; holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust from them [have] made shipwreck concerning the faith…” ~ 1 Timothy 1:18b, 19
Conscience is the navigation chart that preserves our individual lives and society as a whole. In today’s world, conscience is being increasingly overwritten by moral relativism or ignored altogether.
The prophet Isaiah spoke in vivid terms in describing what happens to a society when people rebel against their God-given conscience…
“I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them.
People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor.
The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored.
…their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence.
The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves."
~ Isaiah 3:4,5,9
We live in a culture that is moving precariously close to Isaiah’s description. As a nation, America is in greater danger of shipwreck than ever before.
As Christ's Church, we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. It's our job to do what we can, with God's help, to keep our culture off the rocks.
May God help us to,
“… war the good warfare; holding faith and a good conscience!”