Acts 27

Day 27, Acts 27.

This chapter begins with Paul and some other prisoners being handed over to a centurion of the Augustan cohort named Julius. It appears that Paul did not know this man when the trip began, but this would not be the case at the end of it.

The first part this chapter is a description of the major part of the trip to Rome. The places on the trip which were named include: Sidon, Cyprus, Cilicia, Pamphylia, Myra in Lycia, Cnidus, Crete, Salmone, Fair Havens, Lasea, Phoenix, Clauda, and the Adriatic Sea. There was such detail, that one had to have been there to know every turn and town and island they passed and stopped. This was not a story of someone who was not there, nor was it made up. It was real, history. This is an important detail for some to be able to trust what God wrote.

What had started out as a normal trip now became dangerous.

When considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, since even the fast was already over, Paul began to admonish them, 10 and said to them,  “Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 11 But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul.

Things became so dangerous that the sailors worried the ship would fall apart, so they ran supporting cables under the ship to strengthen it. They tried to slow themselves by letting out the sea anchor. They jettisoned the cargo, and on the third day they pitched the ship’s tackle overboard.

21 When they had gone a long time without food, then Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete and incurred this damage and loss.22 Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’25 Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on a certain island.”

So Paul encouraged them, because GOD had granted he would live as well as those who sailed with him – because he had to go before Caesar. On the fourteenth night, the sailors realized they were going to run aground, and made plans to take the ships boat and leave the soldiers and prisoners to die. Paul warned the centurion and soldiers that without the sailors, they would die, so they cut the boat loose.  Up till daybreak of the fourteenth day, Paul encouraged them all to take food for the first time in 2 weeks.

Until the day was about to dawn, Paul was encouraging them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have been constantly watching and going without eating, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore I encourage you to take some food, for this is for your preservation, for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.” 35 Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat. 36 All of themwere encouraged and they themselves also took food. 37 All of us in the ship were two hundred and seventy-six persons. 38 When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing out the wheat into the sea.

The ship ran aground on a reef, breaking up.

42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would swim away and escape; 43 but the centurion, wanting to bring Paul safely through, kept them from their intention, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44 and the restshould follow, some on planks, and others on various things from the ship. And so it happened that they all were brought safely to land.

It was Paul’s relationship with the Centurion that God used to save Paul’s life. This trip had started out with Paul not knowing him, and not trusting him, and ended with Paul being trusted by the Centurion, who wanted to bring Paul safely through. This saved his life.

How many of us would befriend our jailor? How many would live lives which convinced a jailor to save their life? Do you live God’s love in such a way that would convince others to save you? Do others even know of your love for God?

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