Divine Providence from Robinson Crusoe’s Perspective

In Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, appropriately entitled after its primary character, young Robinson is a middle-class male in search of a profession. Though pushed by his family to study Law, Robinson desires oceanic experience, yearning to escape to a life at sea. Against the will of his daddy, his subsequent rebellion and decision to board a merchant vessel even more damages his already delicate and undeveloped view of God, which withers totally as he joins company with godless sailors. Crusoe’s evaluation of Providence’s sunshine is foggy at best, and he seems to label God’s justice as unforgiving, instead of merciful and flexible. This fledgling faith is nurtured as life experience unfolds, particularly throughout his island experience. Robinson Crusoe journeys in his attitude toward Divine Providence from a disobedience versus what he perceives as a disinterested authority early on, to an initial repentance and conversion through the vision-dream, and lastly, to an active and fully grown faith in a caring God, Who safeguards and guides all things, by the end of his remain on the island.

As Crusoe’s adventures started to unfurl, his outlook on God stayed sheepish, and he maintained a certain hesitation to accept the all-wise strategy which God held for each and each of his flock. Crusoe’s infant devotion is exposed as, on his maiden trip, the ship almost creators, and he hopes to God for the first time from a place of distress. As his first passage involves a near-death experience, he concludes that it should be his divine Dad’s will that he obey his earthly dad’s will. Nonetheless, the ocean beckons, and his view of God as a chastising power stops working to establish for numerous years. Crusoe’s harmful life is filled with threat, and benefit and retribution travel together. Simply as things appear to be going completely, Robinson finds himself the sole survivor of a shipwreck, and, beaten by the waves, he is cleaned ashore an exotic island. Regardless of his preliminary thankfulness for his redemption, solitude overwhelms him and he is filled with thanklessness at his bad luck. During this time Crusoe views himself as the author of his own sufferings, believing his misadventures to be the product of his past misbehaviors, and would frequently sit and weep as he contemplated “why Providence needs to hence totally destroy its animals and render them so definitely unpleasant.” Just as Crusoe was shipwrecked physically, it seems he was also shipwrecked spiritually, searching for a trustworthy island whilst struggling for survival in waves of doubt.

Various events lead the shipwrecked swashbuckler to take on a new attitude towards Providence, and he begins to value his deliverance onto the island. In a dream he understands his need for repentance, and he wakes in tears as he recognizes his thanklessness. Robinson recognizes the “stupidity of soul” (p. 81) with which he has actually been living, and his prayers turn from ungracious to thankful. His thoughts of self-pity are now followed by ideas of self-rebuke, and the Bible starts to affect him exceptionally. Shameful of his previous ways, Crusoe launches into energetic reading of the New Testimony. Signed up with by a brand-new buddy, Friday, Crusoe is lastly once again in the business of his own kind, and he redevelops his understanding of people as he observes Friday’s humble bondage.

The arrival of mutineers and their ousted captain to the island further challenge Crusoe and, as he works with the captain to recover the ship, his eyes are totally opened to the completeness of God’s prepare for him. Thinking himself to be playing a significant part in work of Providence, Robinson handles a grace and governance which reflect the maturity of the faith he has come to comprehend. His willingness to come to the help of others is quick and thoughtful as he understands the desire of God to come to his own aid and for the very first time he genuinely puts the Will of Providence at the center of his life.

Crusoe’s method to God develops throughout his life as he mutinies against the desires of his liked ones, is given repentance by what he considers as a Divine intervention, and mellows into a dynamic and developed faith in a caring God who safeguards and takes care of all things. The marooned mariner who showed up to the island is now a pleased instrument in the work of Providence, and appreciatively indebted to the Rescuer he has familiarized. The faith which began with fear now rests in exultation, and continues to remain as the centerpiece in the thoughts and decisions of the liberated castaway. Robinson Crusoe follows an apparently perpetual design of sinning, neglecting God’s forewarnings, hardening his heart to God, repenting as an outcome of God’s favor and forgiveness, and undergoing a soul-wrenching conversion.

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