Sep 8 — Acts 27

Acts 27 — Paul Sails for Rome, The Storm and Shipwreck

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One Reply to “Sep 8 — Acts 27”

  1. Acts 27 provides us with many details about the sea voyage and near disaster for Paul and the crew. When I first read this account, I had an image of a relatively small boat since “Paul and some other prisoners were handed over” (Acts 27:1) and the idea that they were to “sail for ports along the coast” (27:2). It just seemed like a quaint little ship. But verse 37 changed my perspective quite a bit: “Altogether there were 276 of us on board.” That’s not a small fishing boat! That’s a lot of people and a lot of responsibility for the captain.

    Paul tried to give them advice (not exactly what course he suggested), “but the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship” (27:11). Interesting. Perhaps people offer us advice that we ignore because there are others who appear wiser and more experienced, so we differ to their greater wisdom only to end up shipwrecked!

    “After a they had gone a long time without food” (27:21)…well, if you’ve ever been on a ship that’s being tossed about on the open water, I’m thinking you’re not too hungry. Anyway, Paul encourages and provides some prophetic direction, “keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost…Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar” (cf 27:22-24). They eventually listen to Paul and eat (some 14 days later).

    As predicted, the ship is lodged on a sandbar and must be abandoned. Typically, the prisoners would be killed rather than allowed to escape, “but the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life” (27:43), they swam or floated on boards until “everyone reached land safely” (27:44).

    This adventurous chapter provides rich details for those who can relate to the trials and difficulties that accompany stormy experiences at sea. I can remember a time in my teen years when we (5 or 6 of us) were on a boat when a storm arose out of nowhere. We made it back to port, but I still remember the huge swells of water that dwarfed our little boat. You simply don’t forget these trials. Life does the same thing, doesn’t it? We get tossed and turned and it seems like we will not reach our goals, but God’s plans are always better than our “expert” plans. Lord help me to navigate these waters with confidence you will lead us safely to whatever destination you have planned. More importantly, I pray we will boldly preach your Word along the way, always remembering you, even in these difficult times.

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