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KS Kapālama Kahu Manu Naeʻole KSK’96 shares the moʻolelo from the Old Testament, the Ships of Tarshish, and asks us to reflect on the gifts and functions Ke Akua has given us that need reformation power.

Weekly devotional: Reforming ships and stories

Nov. 4, 2022

Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.

Heluhelu Baibala
E ʻaoa ʻoukou, e nā moku o Taresisa, No ka mea, ua hoʻohiolo ʻia kou pā kaua.
– ʻIsaia 23:14

He ʻoiaʻiʻo nō, e kakali ko nā ʻāina iaʻu, A ʻo nā moku o Taresisa nā mea mua, E lawe mai i kāu mau keiki kāne, mai kahi mamao aku, I ko lākou kālā, a me ko lākou gula pū me lākou, No ka inoa ʻo Iēhova, ʻo kou Akua, A no ka Mea Hemolele o kā ʻIseraʻela, No ka mea, ua hoʻonani mai ʻo ia iā ʻoe.
– ʻIsaia 60:9

Wail, you ships of Tarshish; your fortress is destroyed.
– Isaiah 23:14

Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the Ships of Tarshish, bringing your children from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.
– Isaiah 60:9

He manaʻo o ke kahu
I have always enjoyed the art of storytelling. I know because Mrs. George found a separate area for my nap time in kindergarten because I would not stop telling stories. Mrs. George had created a system to help me better understand when and when not to tell stories. I still tell stories today, but through the procedure of consequences from Mrs. George, God was taking what was good, telling stories, and making it better. God was reforming me.

The Old Testament unfolds the story of the ships of Tarshish in small parts. King Solomon sent a fleet of ships of Tarshish out, and when the vessels returned, precious metals, spices, and livestock filled the ships (1 Kings 10:22). The ships served a good purpose of carrying goods to the people of Israel during the time of Solomon. They lost focus of purpose at some point, as seen when Jonah boards a ship of Tarshish in his attempt to flee from God (Jonah 1:3). Isaiah notes the cries of the ship as God brings a system of consequences to them (Isaiah 23:14). God was reforming the ships

The ships of Tarshish are commissioned back into use, and they return to their intended function. They return with a clearer understanding of purpose and gift. The vessels lead the people into the new city, and they carry children and precious metals to bring honor to God. The stories I told in kindergarten, much to the chagrin of Mrs. George, were with the intent of just being funny. Today, I continue to tell stories from the pulpit, and now I do it to honor God. What gift and function has God given you that needs God’s reformation power? May the God of peace be with you all as you continue to seek and find ways to reform your gifts to honor God.

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