Isaiah 24:15, Christopher Columbus Converts the Islands

Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.

//A little over a week ago, I was visiting the Hawaiian Islands, noticing all the Christian churches there, and today’s “island” topic came to mind. Today’s verse is one of many about islands quoted by Christopher Columbus in his attempt to convince kings to finance his voyage. He believed he could locate an eastern route to the Indian Isles, which he terms the “Islands of the Sea.” Masking his quest for gold as an attempt to convert Indian natives to God, he uncovered dozens of verses in the Bible about Islands, and God’s desire to be worshiped worldwide.

Of all the verses he uncovered, however, I imagine the ones he salivated over most came not from evangelistic prophecies but from the descriptions of untold wealth collected by King Solomon and shipped to Jerusalem from the “Islands” of Tarshish and Ophar.  A particularly exciting verse follows, again from Isaiah:

Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. –Isaiah 60:9

Columbus probably cared little about converting island people, if my understanding of him is on target. What Columbus really wanted was gold to finance a crusade that would crush the Muslims.

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