July 6th, 2023
But Paul told the army officer and the other soldiers, “If these men do not stay in the ship, you will lose all hope of survival.” – Acts 27:31 ERV
Several days of torrential rain, wind and waves had passed over the Alexandrian ship in which Paul and his fellow prisoners were trapped. No sun, no stars, just the waves and 276 men wondering if they would ever set foot on land again. What was intended to be a short sail to a nearby port on the island of Crete turned to a sailor’s worst nightmare somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea.
Paul had given the sailors a warning from the Lord. He warned that they would face great danger ahead if they left (v. 10), but man’s wisdom prevailed, and the ship set off. What seemed like a promising venture soon proved futile when a very strong wind called the Northeaster carried the ship off course. Once on the open sea, they were at the mercy of the storm.
The conditions were so bad that the men lost all hope of staying alive (v 20). They literally thought they would die at sea. In the midst of that crisis, God gave Paul a promise that Paul then shared with the entire crew, None of you will die, but the ship will be lost (v 22). This was a glimmer of hope in the dark. Sometimes, you may be surrounded by darkness and turmoil, but there is hope in God and the promises found in His Word.
On the 14th night, the sailors of the ship sensed they were approaching shore. They wanted to leave the ship, so they pretended they were throwing more anchors as they secretly lowered a lifeboat. But Paul saw their plot and said to them, If these men do not stay in the ship, you will lose all hope of survival.
Ignoring Paul’s words, these sailors took advantage of what they thought was a promising chance of escape! After all, it had been 14 days of waves and storms and I can’t judge them for wanting to take a chance at survival. But once again, God’s commands supersede the wisdom of man. Staying aboard the boat looked bleak while escaping on the lifeboat seemed like the best odds of survival, but we can’t solely base our decisions on our own thoughts and wisdom!
Hang onto the promises of God, even if it means staying in the ship. Even if it means walking by faith, and not by sight!
The story ends with all 276 men arriving safely on shore, just as God had promised.
Inspirational Image of the Day