The adventure continues
God’s provision in Paul’s appeal
God’s provision in Paul’s appeal
We have much ground to cover, or sea to cover tonight so this intro will be short.
Previously Paul appealed to Caesar (Act25:11)
Paul stood before the king (Act25:13-26:32)
Tonight Paul’s journey continues (Act27:1-44)
So in trying to get though this tonight, here is what the plan is.
Paul the voyager (Act27:1-8)
Paul the counselor (Act27:9-20)
Paul the encourager (Act27:21-44)
Paul the voyager
Paul the voyager
Paul the prisoner who is found not guilty and would have been set free except he appealed to Caesar (Act26:32), so now the journey continues.
God protected Paul in Jerusalem
God delivered Paul to Caesarea
God now journeys with Paul toward Rome.
1 When 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. 2 And embarking in an Adramyttian ship, which was about to sail to the regions along the coast of Asia, we put out to sea accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica.
3 The next day we put in at Sidon; and Julius treated Paul with consideration and allowed him to go to his friends and receive care. 4 From there we put out to sea and sailed under the shelter of Cyprus because the winds were contrary.
5 When we had sailed through the sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy, and he put us aboard it.
7 When we had sailed slowly for a good many days, and with difficulty had arrived off Cnidus, since the wind did not permit us to go farther, we sailed under the shelter of Crete, off Salmone; 8 and with difficulty sailing past it we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea.
For the first time since (Act21), Luke now inserts himself back into the story, along with Aristarchus (Act19). So we know they are travelling with him, maybe as his physician and his personal attendant. The reason I say this is there is no record of them being arrested. Though Paul does call Aristarchus a “fellow prisoner” in (Co4:10) most believe this is a voluntary prisoner.
So now we will grab a few items as we go tonight.
Question: Paul was handed over (delivered) to a Centurion by name of (v.1)?
His name was Julius of the Augustan cohort.
They are put aboard a coastal ship to travel along the coast of Asia. He is setting sail from a seaport on the western coast of Turkey
Question: Where did they stop (v.3)?
They were put in at Sidon, and Julius treated Paul kindly allowing hin to go to his friends for care.
Sidon is a seaport of Phoenicia about 22 mi north of Tyre.
From Sidon they arrived at Myra in Lycia (v.5)
This part of the journey they stayed very close to shore under the cover of Cypress, then Cilicia and Pamphylia (this is SE Turkey)
Question: in Myra they are transferred to another ship, set sail a many days and stopped in what city (v.6-8)?
After much difficulty the came to a place called Fair Havens , near the city of Lasea. (v.8)
(Transition) All of this had already taken them off course from what they planned and this was not the worse of it yet. This now sets us up for the next part of our journey and the advise of Paul the counselor.
Paul the counselor
Paul the counselor
There had already been struggles getting thus far, and more troubles, struggles, storms to come. Paul offers up some advise about the journey now.
9 When considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, since even the fast was already over, Paul began to admonish them, 10 and 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.”
11 But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was being said by Paul. 12 Because 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.
13 When a moderate south wind came up, supposing that they had attained their purpose, they weighed anchor and began sailing along Crete, close inshore. 14 But before very long there rushed down from the land a violent wind, called Euraquilo;
15 and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along. 16 Running under the shelter of a small island called Clauda, we were scarcely able to get the ship’s boat under control.
17 After they had hoisted it up, they used supporting cables in undergirding the ship; and fearing that they might run aground on the shallows of Syrtis, they let down the sea anchor and in this way let themselves be driven along. 18 The next day as we were being violently storm-tossed, they began to jettison the cargo;
19 and on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 Since 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.
There is an interesting term found in (v.9) it is called the fast and from there Paul starts to do what?
Paul after the fast was over starts to admonish them.
I said interesting term, and when you think of fast more than likely it is not eating. Well this fast refers to the Day of Atonement which fell in September/October and all sailors knew it was dangerous to travel from Mid-September to Mid-October and impossible from Mid-November to February.
Paul’s admonishment comes with hindsight of the 3 other shipwrecks he had been a part of (see 2Cor11:25) So he certainly had some history.
The admonishment was not heeded and they, all of them, would suffer the consequences of it.
After a moderate start (v.13) it is not long and what happens (v.14)?
A violent wind called Euraquillo came upon them
in some versions it is a called a tempestuous wind, which is where we get the English word typhoon, or a Northeaster, and it took them 23 mi south to island called Clauda (v.16)
Question: what happens in (v.18) and what does the crew do at this point?
They were violently storm tossed, they started to jettison the cargo.
Then on the next day they started to get rid of tackle (v.19)
Question what was lost, or appeared loss in (v.20)?
All hope of being saved was gradually abandoned.
(Transition) So Paul gave advise, they did not heed the advise, So hope was gradually abandon, but Paul continues with admonishment but laces it with a promise too as he is an encourager and assurer too.
Paul the encourager
Paul the encourager
Paul started as a willing prisoner who had appealed to Caesar and now we get to see Paul as he steps in as captain to take charge of the situation and to encourage them along the way too. But not without more storms.
21 When 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, 24 saying, ‘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.”
This is too long of a section to do in one, so first we see here is:
Paul admonishes the men (v.21)
If only the Captain, the helmsman and the Centurian had listened maybe they would not be in this mess.
Sometimes we can get ourselves in storms because we do not listen to sage advise, or we do not see if advise given is godly advise. For godly advise does not always equate to logical advise, but advise that takes a measure of faith in action to happen.
Weirsbe said “A crisis does not make a person, a crisis shows what a person is made of, and it tends to bring true leadership toe the fore.”
Consider Paul’s ministry in our passage: our first one is in what we just read.
Paul shares God’s word with them (vv.22-26)
Paul encourages the men (v.22)
Ah, men, there will be no loss of life
Paul assures the men (v.23-24)
An angel of the Lord appeared to me and assured me I must stand before Caesar so that means you are going with me. So stay of good courage.
Paul challenges the men (v.25-26)
OK Men, stay of good courage, but know this, we must run aground a certain island.
Paul now comes to a place of warning them (vv.27-32)
27 But 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. 28 They 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.
29 Fearing that we might run aground somewhere on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern and wished for daybreak. 30 But 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,
31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it fall away.
‘So, after all the times, the storms they are about 500 mi off course and are located in Adriatic sea. The men felt there were near land about midnight and stated to take measurements (called soundings) to see how close they were
In this section Paul warns them (v.31) having reminded them of God’s promise through the vision that they would make it (v.24), but if they took things into their own hands it was not just for their peril but for others too.
Question: What did the sailors do (v.32)?
They cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it fall away.
In an emergency you take emergency measures and that is what ended up happening here.
(Transition) Paul the encourager, who brings forth God’s word, God’s warnings now going to bring
God’s example before them (vv.33-38)
33 Until 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.”
35 Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat. 36 All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food.
38 When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship by throwing out the wheat into the sea.
What a difference a godly example can be. A person of faith. Instead of vainly wishing for a change (v.29) or trying to secretly escape the storms of life (v.30) Paul prepared for the day.
What was Paul’s encouragement (v.33)?
He encourages them to take some food and eat, this after 14 days of not eating
What is the Paul’s promise (v.34)?
That not a hair from the head of any of them would perish.
Paul took bread gave thanks in front of all and began to eat, 276 people saw, 276 people ate, 276 people had eaten enough that they then took the provisions (wheat) and threw if off the ship to lighten the load (vv.35-38)
So don’t think that praying in public is of no substance, it is!
(Transition) finally we get to our last section, then will try to wrap this up.
Paul rescued them (vv.39-44)
39 When 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. 40 And 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.
41 But 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. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would swim away and escape;
43 but 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, 44 and 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.
Well, time to die or swim. The pilot tried to save the boat but to no avail, so it was into the sea they all must go.
Question what was the soldiers plan with the prisoners (v.42)?
To kill the prisoners so none would escape
Because Paul was there, god used an unlikely source again to preserve the promise that no lives would be lost. It was the Centurion who wanted to bring Paul safely through and because of that, all the rest were able to follow to safety.
(Insert storms of life picture here)
So, hard to believe through the storms, the tempestuous storms all were safe, so let’s grab some application and call it a night.
Many storms come from disobedience to God’s will (i.e. Jonah) - in our case today it was not Paul at fault, but the Centurion who commanded the ship, and Paul suffered because of it. So, our disobedience can and oftentimes impacts others too.
Storms have a way of revealing character, in our storm some sailors selfishly tried to escape the storm. Paul trusted God to deliver on the promise and deliver him through the storm knowing his deliverance would be the deliverance of many.
Even the worst of storms cannot hide the face of God or hinder the purpose of God. Paul had a promise from God and believed it. God promised Paul would make it to Rome, and in that promise it saved the many.
Finally storms can be a mode of serving others and bearing witness of Jesus Christ. Paul through faith, Paul through prayer set an example of all that were with him and many lives were impacted by it!
Don’t run from the storms of this life, learn from them and grow through them as you set an example to others how to weather the storms of this life.