27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28 So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms. A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms. 29 And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship’s boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it go.
33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,[c] for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.) 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
39 Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. 40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. 41 But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- All 276 people were still trapped on the boat for 14 days experiencing a bad storm (like that of a typhoon or hurricane). And in v29, they pray for daylight for fear of the boat crashing against the rocks, risking their safety.
- v30-32: Despite God appointing that by the very end they would all be saved—the sailors still feared for the worst and attempted to escape themselves, by pretending to let down the anchors when they wanted to abandon the ship on the lifeboats. As human beings, we have a tendency to be selfish and want to seek our own safety first, regardless of it being a duty to help or serve others first. Paul explains “unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” Paul says this because God had promised to save everyone, and so for the sailors wanting to save themselves first and not trust in God’s providence of help, abandoning ship would not be helpful, also for practical reasons as the sailors were skilled on how to work the ship. For the sailors to leave the ship, Paul states the obvious fact that the soldiers cannot be saved, they would all die. So under Paul’s request the soldiers cut the ropes of the lifeboats letting it fall away.
- v33-38: Paul encourages all the people to eat as they had all “been in constant suspense and [had] gone without food” He reminds them “You need it to survive” as the group were probably lacking in energy and strength. He continues “Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head” to remind them yet again that God is going to protect them, they will all be saved, not one will die (v34). As a result, all were encouraged and ate (v36). With strength regained and having been reminded of God’s providence, it seemed like there was more hope for their predicament.
- v42-43: Things started to seem better, they were drawing close to land, but they had to swim to shore after their ship was broken (v41), they all swam. The soldiers were planning to kill those prisoners to prevent them escaping, however, it was good that the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life—as he saw that Paul was not only an innocent man, but an extraordinary one that was in close communication with God.
submitted by Ansy Wong
PRAYING IN FAITH
Pray that God would reveal in your heart any selfish desires you have that may not glorify God. Instead, ask God to help you to have a humble attitude that follows and listens Him first.
For your Five
Ask God to use you and give you an opportunity so you can encourage your five just like Paul encouraged those on the ship.
For Our Church
Continue to 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.