The Skeleton Coast

This is the western coast of Namibia, which is located in Southwestern Africa. Ancient Tribal people who lived there had their own word for this coast, which translates to be “Land of Anger (made by God).”The Portuguese were the most notable European Colonial people to have influence over what is now Namibia, and they called the coast, “Gates to Hell.” Why?

Study charts of the area to see that the coastline recedes dramatically about 45 degrees as one sails from north to south. Portuguese trading ships would be compelled to move toward the coastline as they lined up to arrive at a seaport. Seaports are generally set in natural harbors or at the mouths of rivers. In the case of Namibia, Walvis Bay (a bit south of the Skeleton Coast) was the likely ship Captain’s destination, not only for Portuguese traders, but for English, German, Dutch, and others during the Colonial period (1500s – 1800s).

Then and today, that coastline is enshrouded by a persistent fog. Sailing ship navigation improved over time, but mostly required visual cues (the moon and stars or firelight on a coastline). If one could hear the surf break on the coast, that would be a cue that the ship is in danger of foundering there, and the wind tended to blow from the coast out to sea, yet that was also a challenge. The ships had to tack (zigzag) in order to make headway against an opposing wind. Finally, unknown to all of the captains and their experienced seamen, the strong Benguela Current hugs the coast as it moves from south to north.

This current would have compelled captains to put on more sail to make headway. As their ships got closer to the coast to make for the seaport, the “Bernoulli Effect” on fluid dynamics would pull a southbound ship east, into the Skeleton Coast, not directionally (the ship’s navigator would perceive a change of direction), but broadside, as the current moved fast on the starboard side of the ship and the barrier of the coast caused water that the ship was now in to move faster.

The captain, crew, and passengers of a ship that violently founders on a fog-shrouded coast might have time to utter a single plea. Most likely, Christians and non-Christians alike cried out, “God save me!” The same thing happens today to people about to experience a car crash, fire, or violent attack. A Christian knows God, prays to him daily, and perceives God’s grace in his or her life. A non-Christian may acknowledge God in his or her hour of need, but there are no scriptures in the Christian Bible that support the idea that a promise, a pact, or conditions to have a second chance at mortal life are of any interest to God.

Come out of the fog to find God now. He is here. Web search the Christian Bible online to find how it was man who left God. God never has left man. It is we who have gone out to corrupt the world that God made and entrusted mankind to manage. It is Satan, who is in the world with us, apart from God, ever tempting us all to affront God, who has cast him out. Read how God loves us so much that he sent his son to take our sins and to show us the way back to him. Read what happens to us when we die, and how God will not see our sin if he only sees Jesus, who has taken all sin upon himself. Find out what you can do to earn forgiveness in your life. The grave is the end of mortal life, except for those who gave their life to Jesus while they were mortal.

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