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No. 158
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

Have you read the story or seen a film about the Mutiny on the Bounty?
The Bounty was a sailing ship, right back in the 1700s. Fletcher Christian was a head crew member on that ship, the captain’s mate. The captain was a very stern and cruel man called Captain Bligh. A lot of the crew got fed up with being beaten and abused by Bligh, so they rebelled, and there was mutiny! That means taking over the ship from the captain. The leader of the mutiny was Fletcher Christian. The captain and others who stood with him were cast adrift in a small boat, and the Bounty carried the mutineers away - away far out into the South Pacific ocean. They were running from England’s law, because they would have been hung for mutiny if they were caught.

The mutineers finally, after many adventures, landed and settled on an island called Pitcairn. The closest land to Pitcairn is Tahiti. There were Tahitian men and women with the 15 men from the Bounty, and they all intended to settle on Pitcairn and live in peace. Well, lambs of God, you may be wondering what this all has to do with your devotions. But the story of Pitcairn Island is a really thrilling story, because of what GOD did there. The settlers were alright for a short time, then fighting broke out because the white men made the black Tahitian men slaves, and they also wouldn’t share the black women as wives fairly with the Tahitians. It is a long story, but finally there were only four white men left out of the 15 who had come to the island. They had been murdered, eleven of them in three years! Then the ten Tahitian women got mixed up with the fighting, and helped the white men. Finally all the Tahitian men were shot, and three of the remaining white men were killed also. Among those killed was Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutineers. Then only one white man was left, with nine black women who were now so worked up that they were murderers too! What an awful place it was! People had gone mad!  John Adams was the name of the one white man left.

But, there had been a lot of babies born. There were 26 poor dear kids on the island! John Adams was so terribly concerned for the children, some would have been his own. But everyone was evil, wicked, killers and knew nothing about God. John Adams had been taught to read by an educated officer from the Bounty, a few short weeks before the officer had been murdered. The Bounty had a Bible, and the mutineers had brought it ashore before they had sunk the ship (they did that so that no ships could see the Bounty’s sails and know they were there). John Adams was frightened that the women would kill him, and he was so afraid for the children. Then an angel from God came to him, and told him to repent, and get the Bible and read it! John did this, and was born again, he was saved by trusting in Jesus as Saviour. He then got going and preached the Gospel to all the others, he told them to repent of their sins. And he started a Christian church there on that awful island. All the children became Christians, and after eighteen years  when the English law finally caught up with Adams, the island was filled with wonderful Christian teenagers who loved the Lord and lived good Godly lives!
John Adams had done such a marvellous job with the island people, that the men on the big man-o’-war ships who had come to take him back to be hanged, left him there to care for them. The law had come to get Adams to hang him, but he was pardoned. The story of the thrilling thing God had done there on Pitcairn was told all over the world.

Can you see how important it is for children to be taught in the ways of the Lord? How important it is for them to learn about God’s Word from their parents? If John Adams hadn’t been saved and there was no Bible, why that island would have been filled with savages and killers. Perhaps no one would have survived at all. There are the great, great, great grandchildren of those people on Pitcairn Island right now! They still honour the Lord too! We have seen them on television singing hymns in church!
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise)  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  And, ye fathers, provoke [upset]  not your children to wrath [anger] : but bring them up in the nurture [the care] and admonition [advice and discipline] of the Lord. “ (Ephesians 6:1-4).

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