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Miraculously saved at sea by ‘The Amen’

Credit: Aaron Dolan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Two high school seniors, Tyler Smith and Heather Brown, from Christ Church Academy in Jacksonville, Florida were walking along the beach with friends when Smith and Brown decided to walk into the ocean.

A few minutes later, they were caught up in a rip current that swiftly dragged them out into the Atlantic Ocean. In a matter of a few minutes, the two were nearly two miles out, being pummeled by rough seas and unable to break free from the current. Instead of fighting it, they decided to float in the water and were in the ocean for about two hours when their rescue came from a very unexpected source.

As this drama was unfolding, Eric Wagner from Delray, Florida was deciding whether or not to head out to sea for a trip to New Jersey. On his Facebook page, he was questioning the decision, because the seas were rough due to the 18 to 24 miles per hour winds.

But in the end he decided to make the trip. They were about two miles out, when he and other members of the crew thought they heard cries for help above the boat engines and whipping waves. Looking around, they finally saw Smith and Brown reaching up their hands screaming for help about 200 yards behind the boat.

It took the crew some time to find them because they kept losing sight of the two because of the large swells, but they were finally able to pull them from the water.

Smith explained they had gotten caught up in the riptide and no matter what they did they couldn’t break free from its grip. Smith said the two began to call out to God for help in desperation.

In an interview with Foxnews30, Smith said:

“I cried out, ‘if you really do have a plan for us, like, come on. Just bring something.'”

They broke out in tears, knowing God had hear their prayers, because the name of Wagner’s ship is “The Amen.”

In our culture today, “Amen” functions as a little more than a period telling God and the congregation that the prayer is officially over.

Yet in both the Old and New Testament, the word has much more significance meaning. The Hebrew word “aw-mane” appears over a 100 times in the Old Testament and means “to take care, to be faithful, reliable or established or believe someone or something.”

It was statement of faith, stating that you believe God at His word. Often when Moses was reading the law, the people would respond with “Amen.”

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.

Then all the people said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord. (1 Chronicles 16:36 NASV)

Basically they were saying “we believe.”

Isaiah takes it a step further and refers to Jehovah as the “God of the Amen” though it is not readily noticeable because most versions translate “aw-mane” differently:

so that he who blesses himself in the land
    shall bless himself by the God of truth,
and he who takes an oath in the land
    shall swear by the God of truth (aw-mane literally God of Amen);
because the former troubles are forgotten
    and are hidden from my eyes. (Isaiah 65:16 ESV)

Jehovah is “God of Amen,” one who can be believed because He is the God of truth.

Jesus continued this idea in the New Testament and used ‘amen’ (Greek ‘amane’) repeatedly through His teachings. However, you don’t notice it because it is most often translated “truly I say to you.” Truly being the Greek word ‘amane.’

Jesus used this word to emphasize His authority. Where Old Testament prophets would utter “thus says the Lord,” Jesus started His teaching with “Amen” meaning what followed is true and needs to be believed because it is coming from the “God of Amen.” While the prophets used “thus says the Lord” to speak for God, Jesus used “Amen” to speak as God.

And often Christ used it twice, to emphasize the importance of what followed as he did with Nicodemus when the Lord said:

“Truly, truly, (amane, amane) I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 ESV)

So let’s give “Amen” new life as we pray and use it as intended, a declaration of our faith in God. And in His own way, God was answering the prayer for these Jacksonville teens. Yes, God has a purpose for their lives.


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