Day 56: Acts 27:1-26

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27 And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius. 2 And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3 The next day we put in at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for. 4 And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. 5 And when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7 We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. 8 Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea.

9 Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.

 

13 Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14 But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land. 15 And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we managed with difficulty to secure the ship’s boat. 17 After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and thus they were driven along. 18 Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. 19 And on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on some island.”

 

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • After preaching the Gospel in Jerusalem and Paul was arrested, Paul had a right as a Roman citizen to be put on trial before Caesar. The method of travelling by ship, in those days were functional, usually used by merchants and traders dealing with business. Paul was allowed to take Luke (the physician and author of Acts) and Aristarchus on a large ship that also boarded a captain, pilot and some 270 soldiers, sailers and prisoners—making it a total of 276 on board (v37).
  • v10-11: The ship’s crew consisted of experienced seamen that were familiar with navigating the seas in different weather conditions, yet Paul, as prisoner, warns them “I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also”. And as expected, the centurion did not listen to him but rather listened to who he thought knew best.
  • v18-20: Eventually the ship’s planned route was forced to go off course due to the storm and eventually the cargo had to be thrown overboard to lighten the load (v18),  then three days later in v19,  thrown overboard was the ship’s tackle (a mechanism with ropes and blocks that help for hoisting, lowering and shifting objects or materials). Eventually the author of Acts writes that they had not seen sun nor stars for many days and that the storm continued to rage on, they “finally gave up all hope of being saved.” Sometimes for us when storms rage on, we also give up all hope all too easily.
  • v21-26: When they had all given up hope and were prepared to die, Paul encouraged them by sharing a vision he had of an angel telling him that no one on board would die. He did, however warn of the ship being destroyed (v22). Paul was able to be calm through the storm as he had great confidence in God’s faithfulness, he believed the word of the Lord, delivered by the angel and he trusted God would fulfill His promise.

submitted by Ansy Wong

 

PRAYING IN FAITH

For Yourself

Pray that when you experience storms (or if you are currently in one), that you will not lose hope all too easily, but instead to be encouraged, not discouraged; and to perservere through the storm, having faith in God.

For your Five

Ask God to grant them hope when all hope seems lost.

For Our Church

Pray for our church to continue to trust in God that through storms and trials we would stand firm and have confidence in God’s faithfulness.

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