Summary: This passage talks about divine assurance to the people who travelled with Paul. God planned to take Paul into Rome for preaching the Gospel as a witness to Nero. So it was not the counsel of Festus that Paul should go to Rome but God.

Acts 27: 1-44 Paul Sails for Rome

This passage talks about divine assurance to the people who travelled with Paul. God planned to take Paul into Rome for preaching the Gospel as a witness to Nero. So it was not the counsel of Festus that Paul should go to Rome but God. Paul had tried before Felix (Acts 24:1-2), then by Festus (Acts 25:1-4), and by King Agrippa (Acts 25:13-15, 22-23), now he sails to Rome for trial before the Caesar (Acts 26:32).

Acts 27:01-12 Sailing with human experience.

They set their bat for sailing from Caesarea to Italy. Julius, the Centurion; Aristarchus, A Macedonian from Thessalonica and Dr Luke accompanied Paul. They boarded in a ship called Adramyttium from Caesarea, then shifted to Alexandrian Ship at Myra in Lycia, which had a shipwreck. So he boarded the third Vessel of the Alexandrian Ship from Malta to Rome (Acts 28:12). Paul had travelled by three ships from Caesarea to Rome. The typical grain freighter of that period was 140 feet long and 36 feet wide. It was a large ship. The boat travelled from west to the Port called Fair Havens on the south side of the Crete. It was carrying 276 prisoners to Rome. There was a righteous man who has tried for the sake of the Gospel. He has treated the Criminals. The wind did not allow them to sail through, they had to sail with difficulty, and they had hardly to make the lifeboat secure (Acts 27:3, 7, 16). Much time of their sailing has been lost, in vain because of the opposite wind (Acts 27:9).

Paul spoke to the Centurion, the Captain and the sailors not to venture into the sea for a voyage. He warned them that their journey went disastrous and would bring considerable loss to boats and cargo and their own lives. Paul was able to see the danger and warned. But he was forced to travel as Prisoner. He could tell them, yet he had had to go because of compulsion (Acts 27:9-10). Acts 27:11-12 express that the Centurion listened to the experienced Pilot or Captain, Owner of the Ship rather than the Servant of God. They decided to take off; due to the lack of facilities and luxury of Life at Port Myra (Acts 27:5).

Acts 27:13-21 Storm in Life

They had a gentle Wind to start with, so they thought everything was for them. They were going to achieve what they desired. But in a short while, they had caught in a Hurricane named “northeaster”. (Acts 27:15). The journey to Rome was a stormy and threatening voyage. They had driven along, took a violent battering from the storm. They threw many things to tackle overboard. Neither Son nor Moon nor Stars could see for many days (Acts. 27:18-20) and without food for many days (Acts 27:21). They had troubles after troubles to the sailors, prisoners and all those who were on board.

Our past experiences, our past victories give us the confidence that we can sail through. But in reality, every time sailing needs proper guidance and metrological advice. Centurion believed the words of the people around him, and he had counted them greater than Paul. Sometimes our friends, relatives, colleagues give us ideas, counsel to move ahead against the Will of God. They force us to go from Light, and the bitterness makes us leave the soothing and take a hard life.

Acts 27:22-24 Shipwreck in Life

The dangerous season for sailing began about September 14 and lasted until November 11 because of the rainy season. After Paul’s exhortation, they had good food and prepared themselves for the shipwreck, and 270 of them had to swim for their lives. However, the Sailors sensed or miscalculated that they were approaching the Land by taking the soundings of water as 220 ft., and as 90 ft., then they dropped four Anchors for safe embarking. Paul told them that the boat would be destroyed (Acts 27:22). Again the sailors never believed the words of Paul, in turn, the Words of Christ. They continued their disbelief and trusted their experiences.

Unfortunately, their boat struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck bat and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf (Acts 27: 40-41). They had caught in a strong wind and had struck them and made their lives more miserable. All their hopes had gone in a moment, and all their plans had shattered their experiences failed. Their skills had been futile. Their arrogance was brought down and humbled. Any establishment against God’s Will never will prosper.

Though Paul was present on board, he had to go through the Problems with all others. We may raise a question, and God could have stopped the storm because Paul was present. But the wisdom of God and the intellect of God was to allow the storm to pass through them. It has proved the power of God, the power of the Word of God, and the Power of God’s children. The sunrays are common to saints and sinners, and rain for just and unjust. Lord said to Paul, 'I will spare the lives of the 276 because of you' (Acts 27:33-38). Eat, take courage and move on.

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