On August 10, 1628, after two years of work, the pride of the Swedish navy slid from its berth in Stockholm into the harbor. Dignitaries and royalty aboard the Vasa were impressed as the sails caught wind and billowed. Less than 400 feet from the shoreline, a strong gust of wind caught the ship causing it to roll over. Water rushed into the open gun ports, and the Vasa sank to the bottom of the harbor.
King Gustavus Adolphus was eager to show off the pride of Sweden and its growing military power. The Vasa was covered with intricately carved figurines, and a massive, ornate stern. The 5-deck ship, however, wasn’t fitted with ballast to keep it balanced in the water.
Sweden was so ashamed of its folly, that the ship wasn’t spoken of again. It remained at the bottom of the harbor until 1961. Today the Vasa sits in a museum in the Swedish capital.
The story of the Vasa is the story of you and me. God knows our every frailty and failure, despite the grand appearance we make to the world. We may impress others and even our self, but God knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust despite our pretensions (Psalm 103:14).
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the plunder with the proud (Proverbs 16:18, 19).