A compass is a remarkable tool.
Explorers make decisions that affect their life by what they see when they hold it in their hand and they go where no one has gone before. It gives them focus and a sense of direction. The further you travel east and west you have to understand that a compass points to Magnetic North, and not True North.
There is a difference. Since our planet tilts 23.5 degrees away from the center of the top of the planet that is in line with the orbit of Earth. It’s called the Axial tilt,, or Obliquity. (Source) Essentially, the magnetic center line does not point directly up, nor down.
So, as the compass is a magnetic tool, it points to the true magnetic North – if you are north of the equator.
W & LE Gurley has been making measuring equipment since the mid-1800’s. This pictured compass, though fragile and missing various components, still has characteristics that are common to all magnetic compasses. It survived many days and years in the field of its designated use. It’s more modern now than back in the days when surveyors depended upon rudimentary measuring tools to mark boundaries based on lines that can not be seen in the earth.
Compass readings are affected by the presence of iron and steel objects.
“A rusty nail placed near a faithful compass, will sway it from the truth, and wreck the argosy.” ~Walter Scott
The magnetic compass has been used for navigation for hundreds of years. At one time, it was the only reliable means of direction-finding. Today sophisticated equipment is available that is more accurate in locating direction and bearings.
However, such equipment has not made the compass obsolete. It is still a very practical tool. Even airplanes and ships equipped with more sophisticated equipment often carry compasses as backups.
If we were to draw spiritual lessons from the compass I would begin by having you see that God’s Word is the compass in our lives. From it we derive our direction, seeing behind and before us, aiming us to a destination that we are striving to reach, and it helps to mark how determined we are in arriving by our dedication to the task. Additionally, we scan sway the power of the compass by putting other items near it so that we bend the directive power of the compass to say what we want it to say…
Think about all the versions and variety of churches and doctrines that exist. They all come about from that single book we know as the Bible. Drill down through every layer of person that believes something about God, and you will reach back to a family or church bible that pointed the way to God.
“Sink the Bible to the bottom of the sea, and man’s obligation to God would be unchanged. He would have the same path to tread, only his lamp and his guide would be gone; he would have the same voyage to make, only his compass and chart would be overboard.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
Many trust in man’s studies to define the source of life. The problem with science is that it is a constantly changing set of parameters, still many believe in it over any other explanation of life. I’ve seen the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and those that study the source of scripture can unequivocally state that these oldest known fragments are the foundation that our modern scriptures come from. For Thousands of Years the Word of God has survived mankind.
Choose the compass that sets the pathway of your life… As for me, my compass is the Word of God…
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I believe in that trusty Word of God will keep me pointed in the correct direction…