Acts 27 (whole chapter) `Stay in God's Safehavens' Paul was a prisoner, not for evil but because of Christ. He had fearlessly proclaimed the Gospel before Festus and Agrippa. It was now the ordained time for him to do the same in Rome. This chapter gives wonderful details of this eventful trip and we can only touch upon some points. Paul must have shown his trustworthiness to the Roman officer in charge of him, Julius. "Treating Paul kindly, he allowed him to go to his friends so they could provide him with what he needed" (vs 14). He didn't have to fear that Paul would abscond. The world needs Christians who are trustworthy and dependable. When their ship (which was of considerable size having 276 on board) found shelter in `Safe Havens' near the town of Lasea (study some Bible maps of Paul's journey's to get an idea of the geography of that day), Paul advised them, "Men, I can see the voyage is going to end in disaster and great loss not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives." But the centurion, the ship owner and the democratic vote was against Paul's opinion. Remember, that Paul had substantial knowledge about seafaring. However, it was not this knowledge that he depended on but the Lord Himself. The majority decision seemed right because there was wonderful weather, in the beginning. But soon they found themselves in great difficulty with an adverse wind. God is able to show people through hurricane-force circumstances that they should remain anchored in His will and not their own will. Paul and his team had to suffer with the pagans and their wrong decision. Never think that God's children are exempt from suffering. Things went from bad to worse and we feel their terror as we read that they: "were violently battered by the storm, they began throwing the cargo overboard, and on the third day they threw the ship's gear overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and a violent storm continued to batter us, we finally abandoned all hope of being saved." They lost all their appetite for food and for two weeks they ate nothing. Then Paul said "Men, you should have listened to me and not put out to sea from Crete, thus avoiding this damage and loss. And now I advise you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship will be lost." Paul was life to them and God showed all of them mercy. With Paul's rebuke were instructions as to what to do next. They could only be saved by being completely obedient to God's Word spoken through Paul. Though they suffered great loss, and the ship's owner probably had no insurance cover, they were all safe so long as they followed God's instructions. We need real men like Paul who are a source of life and salvation to their households and all around them. This chapter also teaches us the crucial importance of obeying God and not man. Even if a decision seems right in your eyes remember that in doing the will of the Lord you have a `safehaven'.
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