AN AMAZING FACT: In 1692, the city of Port Royal on the island of Jamaica literally slid into the sea when it was struck by a massive earthquake. Many had predicted that Port Royal, a corrupt city of pirates and cutthroats, would one day suffer God’s judgment and be destroyed. The disaster, therefore, surprised no one, least of all the handful of religious men who were swept to their doom along with the wicked inhabitants. One such man was Lewis Galdy. He was born in France, but left in search of religious freedom and finally settled on the island of Jamaica.
On a hot and muggy morning in June, three earthquakes rocked the island, moving two mountains nearly a mile from their original positions. But Port Royal suffered the greatest damage. It was built onto an unstable jut of land. So the city actually slid into the ocean. In just a few minutes it lay 50 feet deep in water. About 2,000 people (one-third of the city) perished. Another 1,000 died from disease after the earthquake, and eventually the city was forever abandoned.
When the first violent shock came, Galdy was buried deep beneath the earth. Amazingly, he still remained conscious and understood what had happened. Like Jonah in the belly of the sea monster, he prayed for his soul and resigned himself to death. A few moments later, the ground shook a second time and exploded, throwing Galdy high through the air and out over the churning sea. Some say he shot like a cork out of a bottle. He landed unhurt in the water and swam until a boat picked him up. Galdy lived for 47 years after his miraculous escape. He died in 1739, and his tombstone tells the story of his amazing experience. No doubt he felt like he had been resurrected.
Did you know the Bible teaches there will be two resurrections? In speaking of the coming judgment, Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28, 29). Galdy believed judgment would come to the corrupt city of Port Royal. Jesus tells us judgment will come to the entire world.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
So they look up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.Jonah 1:15