Summary: Paul epitomizes the ideal scriptural mailman as it can be said, "Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night can keep this courageous courier from the swift completion of his appointed task."
Paul - The Ideal Mailman (Acts 28)
Mitchell Kendall engraved this famous saying on the New York City post office, taken from Herodutus about the diligence of the Persian mailmen during the heat of their battles with the Greeks in 500 B.C.
"Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail, nor dark of night shall keep the courageous courier from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
This statement describes the way God worked through the apostle Paul to go all the way to Rome in the completion of His task of testifying to the gospel of the grace of God to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Many of us spend more time worrying about whether the plane will be on time or if all of our accomodations will be to our liking, but not Paul. He shook off the trials, troubles and opposition and thanked God while taking courage for the opportunities of preaching the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ to a lost world.
1. God’s Preservations - (28:1-6)
a. God brought them safely through the storms so they landed at Malta. A tiny island measuring only 9 by 17 miles that today enjoys a Christian heritage left by the great apostle to the Gentiles
b. God used natives to show hospitality to Paul. God often uses the least likely people to extend His hand of blessings to us.
c. God preserved Paul by keeping him from being killed by a poisonous snake. The Lord is in the business of delivering us when we are doing His will. David wrote, "He heals all our diseases and redeems our life from the pit and crowns us with lovingkindness. Who satisfies our life with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagles." (Psa 103)
d. God preserved Paul’s reputation so that the people who formerly thought he was a murderer, now claim he was a god. Paul had to correct both wrong perceptions through His works, statements and preaching. Do not be upset if people perceive you or your messages incorrectly.
2. God’s Power (7-10)
a. God demonstrated His power to Publius, the governor of the island through Paul’s deliverance as well as through the healing of his father.
b. I have had dysentery and fever in Africa and I know how debilitating it can be. Without the hand of God it can be a deadly disease.
c. The Lord not only used Paul to heal the governor’s father but also everyone who came to be healed. Many people are suffering needlessly because they do not come to Jesus or asked to be cured. James wrote, "You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives so that you can spend it on your pleasures." (James 4:1-6)
d. The people on the island honored Paul and his cohort because they observed these were people who were blessed with special powers from above. When a person’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even His enemies be at peace with him. (Prov 16)
3. God’s Progress (11-16)
a. The Lord propels Paul ahead to Sicily, Rheggium and on to Rome in a circuitous route. Sometimes the pathways that God directs us in our not the ones we originally plan for.
b. God had special brethren for Paul to stay with for seven days. Do not hesitate to have relationships with the people that God brings into your life.
c. God used the people that met with Paul and his company to encourage him and to cause him to give thanks. Remember that the leaders are often people who need special encouragement, appreciation and motivation.
4. God’s Preaching Through Paul (17-29)
a. Paul gave great explanations, evidence and personal examples of the kinds of ways that the Lord worked through His trials and temptations.
b. Paul gave many references to the the OT of the ways that the preaching of the Messiah would be rejected, but that he should not be discouraged or dissuaded.
c. Paul preached the scriptures with clarity emphasizing the kingdom of God that detailed the rule, reign and pre-eminence of the King over the Jewish people. NO doubt the Jews understood this yet, many chose to not place saving faith in Christ as their Savior and Lord. We cannot be put off when people do not respond to our persuasive attempts.
5. God’s Providence (30,31)
a. Paul was allowed to continue to preach, teach and even write Ephesians, Colossians, Philipians, and PHilemon during his house arrest period of two years here.
b. Paul preached of Christ without hindrance even though the Romans thought they were in charge. Do not get down when you see circumstances working against you. Realize that Col 1:16-18 indicate that Christ holds all things together and He is above all authorities and power and forces. He is pre-eminent and will control all things for His greater purposes. He still works all things together for our good as long as we love the Lord and are called according to HIs purposes.