Summary: Paul faces the storm on his way to Rome.
a. This week, as I studied the passage, I though about just how independent of weather and conditions that we have become as a society, as opposed to how much more observant we were, and dependent on weather before the invention of cars and freeways.
b. Today, even if there is bad weather, unless it is severe, you can still get where you are going, whether by car, bus, train, plane, boat, whatever. I drove to work on Tuesday in a heavy downpour that would have halted travel years ago.
c. Today, when we can get on a plane in Houston, and travel to Los Angeles or to New York in a matter of hours, it is hard to imagine a day in which travelling similar distances took months. People traveled out of necessity, not out of a desire to see some place new.
d. This week, we will see as Paul boards a ship there in Caesarea, and makes sail for Rome. This will be a long, painful, arduous, perilous journey, marked by trials and tribulations. This would not be a “Love Boat” cruise for Paul, by any stretch of the imagination.
e. Storms are most often representative of tribulation in the Bible. The Great Flood in Genesis was brought about, in part, by an intense storm that lasted forty days and nights.
f. The Bible tells us in Matthew chapter 5; verse 45, that God makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
g. Many people ask why bad things happen to good people. Or, they wonder why good things happen to bad people. In this verse, we find out answer, and that is that it has everything to do with God, and not very much to do with us.
h. Bad things happen to us, and everybody else, because we live in a fallen world. Good things happen to us, and everybody else, because we serve a good God, and He is gracious.
a. Last week, if you recall, Paul had appealed to Caesar, in his legal wrangling with the Jews. The Jews had accused him of several crimes, but had no proof to back them up.
b. The governor, Festus had to try and find something to charge Paul with. As the charges the Jews had did not stick and it was usually required to have some formal charges sent along with a man who had appealed to Caesar.
c. So, to this end, Festus and King Agrippa have a hearing in order to ascertain what charges to send Paul with. The hearing winds up as a persuasive defense of the Christian faith, in which Agrippa even says that he was almost convinced by Paul to believe.
d. The hearing ends with no formal charges against Paul, but still he had appealed to Caesar. Festus told Paul, “To Caesar you shall go!”, and he isn’t going to let us down.
e. We have a rather lengthy chapter to cover today, forty four verses in all. So, in the interests of finishing up in a reasonable amount of time, let’s get into our study today.
i. Turn with me if you would to Acts chapter 27. I have broken our passage down into seven parts – Setting Sail, Slow Progress, A Sinking Feeling, A Stormy Ride, The Servant’s Assurance, Sustenance Taken, and last Safety in Sight, as we will wrap up all of Acts chapter 27 today, in our continuing journey through the Book of Acts.
ii. We’ve provided a place to take notes in your bulletin, if you choose to do so, and we encourage you to, so that you can go back and study the passage at a later time.
iii. We’re going to spend a lot of time on the water today. This passage is one of the best accounts that we have today of ancient sailing, no matter what kind of literature, sacred or secular.
iv. Acts chapter 27, verse 1 -
b. Setting Sail (Acts 27:1 – 3)
i. 1 And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. 2 So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.
ii. So, Paul is there in Caesarea, and all is made ready for the journey to Rome. Paul’s transfer orders were together. The ship was located, the fare was paid, the ship was loaded with supplies, and finally, the day came that Paul and some other prisoners were given into the care of a man named Julius.