A few years ago, I had the pleasure of directing a high school production of “Guys & Dolls.” The story is about an itinerate gambler who makes anything into a bet. He has been challenged to approach Sergeant Sarah Brown, from the Save a Soul Mission to have dinner with him in Havana. In exchange, he will bring a dozen genuine sinners to the mission to be saved.
“Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat” was one of the entertaining numbers from the show. The pudgy gambler, Nicely-Nicely, contritely comes forth to make his testimony. I wonder if anyone really understood the meaning of the song.
I dreamed last night I got on the boat to Heaven and by some chance I had brought my dice along, And there I stood, and I hollered, “Someone fade me,” But the passengers they knew right from wrong. For the people all said, “Sit down, sit down you’re rockin’ the boat.” And the devil will drag you under by the sharp lapel of your checkered coat;
I sailed away on that little boat to Heaven and by some chance found a bottle in my fist, And there I stood, Nicely passin’ out the whiskey, But the passengers were bound to resist. For the people all said, “Beware!” You’re on a heavenly trip. Beware you’ll scuttle the ship; And the devil will drag you under By the fancy tie ’round your wicked throat.
And as I laughed at those passengers to Heaven A great big wave came and washed me overboard, And as I sank, and I hollered, “Someone save me,” That’s the moment I woke up, thank the Lord! And I said to myself, “Sit down you’re rocking the boat.” The devil will drag you under with a soul so heavy you’d never float,
Sit down you’re rockin’ Rockin’ the boat…
I took out many of the sit downs, so you could get message. How many times do we sin, repent and sin again? This little diddy, talks about keeping things on an even keel – not shaking things up – following the rules – or the devil is gonna get you. It’s a simple message, but there’s some truth in it.
We were born with sinful hearts, thanks to original sin. The lure of sin comes packaged in all sorts of irresistible ways. It’s appealing – if it weren’t we wouldn’t be tempted to fall into it.
Jesus gave His life on the cross to take away the sin of the world- another simple message. He died, our sin is gone, now what? Well, He also raised Himself from death – just as He will do for us when we die. I think that’s worthy of a halleluiah and then some.
Are we then free to continue living in sin? Of course not. Not only will we be rockin’ the boat to heaven, but we’ll be denying what God has done. With grateful hearts, we need to repent, be forgiven and go and sin no more.
It sure isn’t as easy as it sounds – for the devil will drag us down if we let him. Our defense must be strong and God is our armor.
Oh – and one more thing – our deeds will not get us to heaven. Only God can do that. He’s at the helm and will safely lead us to our final destination if we have faith in Him.