by James Merritt

This content is part of a series.

Defending God (3 of 3)
Series: On The Ropes
James Merritt
Habakkuk 3


1. It is a man that I have never heard of before until I came across his name preparing this final message in Habakkuk. You would know him very well if you were a devote Anglican or if you knew very much about South Africa. He was the founder of the South African Mission Society. An Englishman, he felt the call of God to go to an unreached tribe in one of the most remote parts of the world to preach the Gospel in the middle of the 19th Century.

2. Alan Gardiner set sail in 1851 with five other missionaries. Unfortunately, they shipwrecked on an island off the tip of South Africa with no way of ever leaving the island. One by one they began to starve to death. Alan Gardiner was the last one left alive. When they finally found the bodies of these missionaries they found his journal lying by his side. Every day as he grew weaker he would write in his journal of the faithfulness of God in his life.

3. The last words he wrote before he died were these. First, he quoted Psalm 34:10
''The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.'' (Psalm 34:10, NIV)

Keep in mind he wrote this knowing that starvation would be his death. Then, he penned these words: ''I am overwhelmed by the sense of the goodness of God.''

4. Can you imagine giving your life for the sake of an unreached tribe hearing the Gospel and then not only dying of starvation, but dying without ever getting to share the Gospel with even one person? Then, can you imagine in the last moments of your life, of all the things you could be thinking about like, ''Why me?'' ''Why this?'' ''Did God make a mistake?'' ''How could God let this happen?'' ''All of this for nothing?'' To say instead, ''I am overwhelmed at the sense of the goodness of God.''

5. I am not going to stand up here and tell you if that had been me what I would have been writing in my journal. Candidly, I would h ...

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