One of the great films is “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton. If you’re never seen it, I recommend it to you heartily. Today’s devotional tells “the rest of the story” not seen in the movie. Read it and rejoice in the power of the Gospel. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Romans 1:16 (ESV)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
“You may be familiar with the famous book, Mutiny on the Bounty, and its infamous captain, William Bligh. In 1787 at age 33, Captain Bligh was given command of the HMS Bounty, a three-year-old merchant ship. The Bounty set sail on December 23, 1787. In April, 1789 the famous mutiny took place, led by Bligh’s one-time friend, Fletcher Christian. The following is an extract taken from Bligh’s logbook entry for April 28 (original spelling and capitalization): ‘Just before Sunrise Mr. Christian and the Master at Arms…came into my cabin while I was fast asleep, and seizing me tyed my hands with a Cord & threatened instant death if I made the least noise….’
“Bligh and 18 other crew members loyal to him were set adrift on April 28 in an open boat. In most cases such an act would have led to certain death for the men abroad, but Bligh was a magnificent seaman and landed in Timor, Java, without any loss of life on June 14. The journey of 3,618 nautical miles took them 47 days. Captain Bligh returned to England to report the crime. Many of the guilty sailors were found and hanged. Several, however, could not be found.
“Twenty years passed, and the whole incident was forgotten until a sailing ship discovered a quaint settlement on a remote island (Pitcairn Island). When the crew landed, they could hardly believe what they found — an utter utopia. There was no disease, no crime, no drunkenness, nothing but grace and harmony. When the crew learned the reason for the modest behavior among the islanders, they were amazed. Nine of the Bounty’s sailors had fled to this island with a number of Tahitian men and women after the mutiny. The sailors quarreled with each other over what to do with the Tahitians. As a result the Tahitians revolted, and within a few years, all but one of the sailors, Alexander Smith, had died. In desperation, Smith (alias John Adams) had rummaged through all of the other men’s belongings, looking for more whiskey. In his search, he found a Bible. He read it, believed it, and became a Christian. He introduced the entire population of the island to Christ, and they, with him, believed and obeyed the Word of God, transforming their society.
“I am reminded of the words of America’s second president, John Adams, when he said, ‘Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God… What a utopia, what a paradise would this region be.’” [Bill Bright in Pulpit Helps, (February 2003), p. 6]