FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.
1When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, they proceeded to deliver Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan cohort named Julius.9When considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous. Paul began to admonish them, 10and said to them, "Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives." 11But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul. 12Because the harbor was not suitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to put out to sea from there, if somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. 13When a moderate south wind came up, supposing that they had attained their purpose, they weighed anchor and began sailing along Crete, close inshore.
NOTE Paul shared with the "powers that be" that he believed they should not try to sail this late in the winter, because of the certain storms. BUT they didn't listen to his wisdom and set sail for Rome, hoping to make it to one more port and spend the winter there.
Well, the worst happened. They went into a massive storm, verse 20: 20Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned. 21When they had gone a long time without food, then Paul stood up in their midst and said, "Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete and incurred this damage and loss. 22"Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23"For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.' 25"Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. 26"But we must run aground on a certain island."
27But when the fourteenth night came, as we were being driven about in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors began to surmise that they were approaching some land. 28They took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and a little farther on they took another sounding and found it to be fifteen fathoms. 29Fearing that we might run aground somewhere on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern and wished for daybreak. 30But as the sailors were trying to escape from the ship and had let down the ship's boat into the sea, on the pretense of intending to lay out anchors from the bow, 31Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, "Unless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved." 32Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship's boat and let it fall away. 33Until the day was about to dawn, Paul was encouraging them all to take some food, saying, "Today is the fourteenth day that you have been constantly watching and going without eating, having taken nothing. 34"Therefore I encourage you to take some food, for this is for your preservation, for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish."
35Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat. 36All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food. 37All of us in the ship were two hundred and seventy-six persons. 38When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing out the wheat into the sea. 39When day came, they could not recognize the land; but they did observe a bay with a beach, and they resolved to drive the ship onto it if they could. 40And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while at the same time they were loosening the ropes of the rudders; and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they were heading for the beach. 41But striking a reef where two seas met, they ran the vessel aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern began to be broken up by the force of the waves. 42The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would swim away and escape; 43but the centurion, wanting to bring Paul safely through, kept them from their intention, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44and the rest should follow, some on planks, and others on various things from the ship. And so it happened that they all were brought safely to land.
NOTE what's happening here. The best wisdom would have been for them not to make the trip at this time, but they did. Now, Paul is stuck on the ship in the midst of the life-threatening storm. So, what can we learn from this scene? Three observations come up for me: 1. Even when we are caught up in bad or difficult situations, whether we caused them or they are caused by something else, God will still work in the midst of our troubles.
2. God seems to always have "His agent" hanging out in the midst of troubles.
3. If you are walking with Jesus, your life and its circumstances are not all about you. God has you where you are for a purpose and usually it is for the benefit of others who cannot help themselves.
This is just another version of DIVINE APPOINTMENTS. GOD SETS THEM UP-YOU SHOW UP!