William Stout / General
Acting Out Acts – Part 27
Acts 27:1–5 NKJV
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.
3 And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care.
4 When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
5 And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.
- Paul finally begins his voyage to Rome
- Luke give an excellent detailed description of the voyage by sea
- Verse 3, Paul was allowed to go and visit his friends. Although he was a prisoner, he was being treated well, more like a house arrest.
- It was very kind of Julius to allow Paul this freedom. It attests to the high level of trust he had obtained, and to the kindness of the centurion
Acts 27:6–10 NKJV
6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.
7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone.
8 Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.
9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them,
10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”
- As they continued the voyage it was getting later in the year, closer to winter
- They switched to an Alexandrian ship, probably hauling corn from Egypt, to make the rest of the voyage.
- Luke mentions that it had taken “man days” to reach Cnidus, which should have taken less time as it was only about 130 miles
- By the time they reached The Fair Havens it was becoming dangerous to sail – because wintry conditions were starting
- At this point, Paul begins to admonish them – warning them that they were risking the ship and their very lives
- Have you ever ignored a warning?
- We have been warned at some point of potential consequences for our decisions
- Sometimes people don’t believe the warnings are valid
- Many time people acknowledge the danger of the warnings but believe that they will somehow be able to overcome the dangers
- like when we choose to drive in excess of the speed limits
- believing that we will avoid both an accident and a ticket.
- Of course, we slow when we see the trooper, but by then it is often too late.
- Sometimes people ignore warnings because they don’t have respect for the person giving the warning
- Not that they don’t respect them as a person, but they don’t regard their qualification to give a warning
- Here Paul was not a ship Captain
- Often we ignore warnings from people concerning Spiritual things because we don’t regard their authority or position in life
- Many people ignore warnings to their own destruction
- Sometimes the results are swift to see, but many of the consequences of life do not come until many years later
- in fact, what we become is a far greater risk than what we get in life.
Acts 27:11–13 KJV 1900
11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.
13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
- Evidently Paul had gained enough respect of the Centurion and the Captain to be included in the conversation
- But in the end, the Centurion was inclined to follow the advice of the Captain of the ship
- No doubt he gave more weight to his experience as a Captain and his training
- How well we would do to remember that God has more knowledge than anyone
- He also was moved because the harbor was not suitable to winter in- it would not have been pleasant or convenient
- How often people make decisions based on what is comfortable – we like to be comfortable
- everyone wants to please God, but we don’t want to go out of our comfort zone
- We don’t want to compromise, but we do want to fit in, to be included, to prosper
- Sometimes God will lead us into harbors that do not seem suitable.
- the bible says that He lead the people of Israel through the wilderness first, to try them
- The majority also advised to sail –
- democracy is wonderful in many areas, but not all
- When Jesus comes, he will not be running for election
- When you know the will of God, in any situation, do not be foolish by putting it to a vote
- remember the prophet in 1 Kings 13
- It is easy to use the comfort of “majority” to avoid the weight of responsibility to lead – But God has established people to lead, under Him
The South Wind Blew Softly
- Oh how softly that South wind can blow!
- Finally, Although the Centurion respected Paul, he had the advice of the Captain, and the majority, to sail
- And now the wind is blowing softly, giving all appearance of safety
- Many times in prophecy, wind is used symbolically of Spiritual forces
- How fitting an illustration we have here – those “south winds” blowing softly
- the enemy loves to entice you to “go south” to gently lure you in – thinking all is well
- Even though so many a ship has wrecked in these winter seas, it won’t happen to you
- Even though so many a life has been wrecked in these seas of sin, the enticing spirit blows so gently when leading us into the sin
- Beware when those winds are blowing softly and all the majority is voting against that one lone voice from God
- Remember Ahab who was lured into battle by 400 false prophets – winds blowing gently – saying what he wanted to hear – but not Micaiah
- We always like to hear what we want to hear
Acts 27:14–20 NKJV
14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon.
15 So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive.
16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty.
17 When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven.
18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship.
19 On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands.
20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
- Not long after — and so it goes with life
- So soon as we leave behind the safety God had provided, giving heed to those soft south winds, then comes the tempest
- They were caught in this Euroclydon –
- Luke again gives great detail hear of their journey and the adventure they underwent
- For many days their ship was tossed, and they had to throw off the tacking, could not see the sun or stars, no way to get their bearings
- until finally all hope was lost.
- Ever been in a storm of life?
- I have been in a couple –
- When its hard to see which way to go, and all the resources and help seems gone
- When you can’t get your bearings to even know which way to turn
- They were in a real mess
Acts 27:21–25 NKJV
21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.
22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,
24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
- Finally, Paul says “you should have listened to me” . . . “and not incurred this disaster and loss”
- It is usually considered rude to tell people “I told you so”
- But sometimes, people need to be reminded that they were told
- Maybe you’ve been shipwrecked in your life
- maybe you are in such a storm right now.
- So many times, when we find ourselves in these storms, we are not innocent victims as Paul was, but so often, we are more like the Centurion here –
- So often we only get into these wrecks after ignoring good and Godly advice from people God puts in our lives, and instead of following the voice of the crowd, and being seduced by those gentle winds of sin
- Usually, It is our fault.
- That is clearly what Paul is reminding the Centurion of here
- It could be your fault!!!
You Should Have Listened
- In fact, let me address those “Centurions” among you who may be here or watching this online
- those of you who have found yourself shipwrecked, or in a tempest of a storm, and like him, had the choice to set the course
- You may be listening right now, and like them, you have given up all hope of being saved,
- You can look back at dreams and goals that like their tackling were long ago thrown overboard, and no hope remains –
- And there were people who loved you who tried to persuade you not to go
- But you didn’t listen – instead of driving on
- So many of us are like that.
- And now, you are shipwrecked, or on a definite course to be so
- and not only that, but all your passengers are lost with you – there were over 200 souls on that ship
- Or, maybe you are one of those passengers listening today. Someone who has been caught on this ship with someone else driving – a husband, a wife, a parent, or such.
- Take Heart!!! God loves you and hears your cry. You are hearing this message for a reason today.
- Now, grab hold of His hand, take heed to His Voice, repent of your own course!
- And there will be no loss of life among you! God will restore you, and help you!
- God will bless you and teach you!
- They had to lose the ship, and you may have to drop a few things you don’t need —
- But God will so much more bless you – If you will hear His voice today
- Therefore take heart, it will be just as it was told me!!!!!