Fish Hoek Beach is a major tourist attraction near Cape Town in South Africa. Visitors from around the world can stroll the beaches, eat at seaside restaurants, and even take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean for a refreshing swim.
That is, unless there are Great Whites in the water.
It’s not uncommon for beach goers in this sunny paradise to see the ominous shark warning flags flying over the sands of Fish Hoek Beach. In fact, visits from Great White sharks – aka, mother nature’s “perfect predator” – are so common that the city has implemented a Shark Spotter program designed to warn patrons in the area.
On the morning of September 28, 2011 (during South Africa’s spring), at least three sharks were spotted by the helicopter-assisted life guards. The city’s employees followed standard operating procedures: they raised warning flags, sounded the warning siren, and closed the beach.
Most people took the hint. But, a British man ignored the warning system and went swimming in the deadly waters, anyway.
The 42-year-old, unnamed man made an easy target for a Great White still prowling the shallow waters. The shark struck in savage brutality and left the man flailing in bloody water. When he was finally dragged to shore, on-lookers reported that he had suffered the loss of his entire right leg, and his left leg was bitten off below the knee.
The man was quickly airlifted to a local hospital where he survived his life-threatening – and unnecessary – wounds.
This man’s stubbornness sounds like the people referred to in Psalm 81:
Hear, O my people, and I will warn you – if you would but listen to me, O Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god. I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! (Psalm 81:8-14)
Disobeying that warning from God is just as stupid as disobeying the warning about sharks in the water.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)