(Acts 27; Acts 28:1-31)
Good morning SAINTS of the Living Lord Jesus Christ on this day that the Lord has given; Sunday, 10 March, 2019. Everyday we have an opportunity to dig into God’s word and discover truths of the bible; when we find such things (Treasures), we thank God for the revelation(s), Amen!
We are in the 27th and 28th Chapters of Acts and Paul is about to embark upon a voyage to Rome, in order to defend himself against the claim of the Jews that he is preaching against the Levitical Order and Old Testament way of life.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A GUIDE THAT WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH VALLEYS (LOWS OF LIFE) AND UP TO MOUNTAIN TOPS (VICTORIES/HIGH POINTS IN LIFE)
The voyage begins in Italy and proceeds to Sidon and Julius (Locations where Paul would receive encouragement and provisions from friends); after which Cyprus (Another location) “Because the winds were against us” (Acts 27:4); how often does God compare the Holy Spirit to a wind? (Acts 2:2 / John 3:8). The next stop on Paul’s journey was Myra in Lycia followed by Italy, which Paul and his fellow prisoners arrived at via ship.
The Christian life is one that will seem to stand still, at times, related to our progress and at other times it will seem that we are off track altogether before arriving at our place of victory in due season (Acts 27:7-8). We can delay our arrival and blessings because of a failure to be obedient (Acts 27:9-11).
THIS LIFE IS TOUGH BUT IF WE DON’T DO IT GOD’S WAY; IT WILL BE TOUGHER (Lol) (ACTS 27:12-21)
The harbor that the Apostle Paul and company were currently in, was not ideal for staying at during the upcoming winter, however Paul warned that if they did not stay, they would face harsher times ahead. The crew went ahead and moved against Paul’s admonitions (Which were Holy Spirit inspired) and soon thereafter found themselves in a state of peril that had everyone sure that they would not survive – (Acts 27:12-20); how many times have WE left a difficult situation against God’s will and found OURselves in an even more contentious predicament SAINTS?
ALTHOUGH WE CHOOSE TO GO OUR OWN WAY; GOD IS WITH HIS SAINTS AND WILL CHASTISE AND CORRECT TO ENSURE THAT WE REGAIN OUR DIRECTION ON THIS JOURNEY OF LIFE TOWARDS HEAVEN’S GATES AND HIS ETERNAL PRESENCE (ACTS 27:21-26)
After not eating a while related to the storm being endured and the apparent sea sickness, Paul communicates they should have listened to him when he stated they should not have sailed from Crete; however they should be of great courage because an Angel appeared and conveyed not one of them would lose their lives but only the ship (Can be interpreted as OUR own plans outside of God’s will) would be destroyed as Paul prepared to stand trial before Caesar and GIVEHISWITNESS related to what God had done and was currently doing in his life and in the lives of his people (Both Jews and Gentiles). (A lot of time WE head out in a direction that is contrary to God’s will; the Lord is faithful enough in completing what he has started, that he will spare the SAINTS for his namesake, however whatever it is that WE sought to bring about in OUR own efforts, will be destroyed or shipwrecked indeed). (Acts 27:22 / 1st Corinthians 3:10-15)
(DARKEST BEFORE DAWN SAINTS!!! DON’T ABANDON SHIP!!!) THE SEAS (LIFE’S JOURNEY) WILL GET ROUGH; HOWEVER, AS LONG AS THE SAINTS REMAIN IN THE BOAT (IN CHRIST); THE SAINTS WILL SURVIVE!!!
It is now the fourteenth night and Paul and company are still being driven by the wind (The Spirit that Guides and Corrects US, even, dare I say especially, when WE are off course?). The number 14 is significant and is not stated by happen stance by God here; upon a closer look the SAINTS discover that the number has biblical associations with the number 50 (Jubilee) and is represented by the Hebrew letter “Nun” (14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet); Nun = David and David is a type of the Messiah. In Aramaic Nun also means “Fish” (Christians are fishers of men). (https://ificouldteachthebible.com/…/the-number-fourteen-in…/). The Apostle Paul and company would survive the course, however it indeed was treacherous and only if they remained in the Ship (Acts 27:31). They were urged to eat food for nourishment because what they were about to experience would kill them, if they did not; it was about to get very rough on the path that they had chosen/Insisted on taking and that God had allowed them to take (Was there an easier path? Or could Paul and company have been expected to meet with shipwreck and tough trials regardless of the direction they chose?). (Acts 27:27-39).
Prioritize the work of the lord in order to ensure that we reach the destination; God will send help and in spite of the enemy’s many schemes to thwart the SAINTS actions, we will arrive safely (Acts 27:40-44).
MANY TREACHEROUS STOPS ALONG LIFES’S JOURNEY TOWARDS THE DESTINATION WE ARE SEEKING. THE SNAKES ARE A TOOL USED BY GOD TO PROPEL THE SAINTS FORWARD AND CANNOT HARM THE SAINTS!!! MANY ARE BEING HEALED AND DELIVERED!!! (ACTS 28:1-10)
Paul and company arrive at the island of Malta and survived the storm, although their ship was destroyed. Paul is bitten by a snake and the islanders thought that he would die; he did not die but began to heal the local population of illness and disease to God’s glory (Acts 28:3-9). WE are reminded of the time when God commanded Moses and Aaron to throw the staff to the ground and it became a snake, that once picked up by it’s tail (Handled correctly), turned back into a staff (Exodus 4:2); a tool that God has allowed his people to use in delivering others mightily i.e. (Exodus 14:16).
At this point in their journey Paul and company (Who were prisoners being escorted) arrived at Rhegium and on the next day sailed to Puteoli; finally arriving in Rome, where Paul was to stand trial. Paul began his defense in front of a Jewish assembly after being left alone for three days (Isolation and Preparation go hand in hand SAINTS) and sometimes safety and support are found outside of the SAINT’S immediate/familiar surroundings (Acts 28:11-20).
PAUL PROCLAIMS THE GOSPEL TO THE GENTILES, IN ALL BOLDNESS AND WITHOUT HINDERANCE, FOR TWO WHOLE YEARS (SOME DID NOT BELIEVE; WHILE OTHERS DID); TO GOD’S GLORY IN JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR!! PREACH!!! 🕇💪🏽🔥🔥🔥 (ACTS 28:21-31)
Paul was successfully able to make his case concerning Jesus Christ being the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises and was able to preach unhindered for two years!!! (Sometimes SAINTS the Journey is ALL about getting US into a position where WE can be of maximum utilization by God, Amen!!)
The Prayer of the SAINTS:
Lord WE pray that you would allow US to trust in your Word in greater and greater measure concerning the direction that you would have US step off in. WE pray for greater sensitivity to the urging of the Holy Spirit coupled with the instruction that is to be found in your word… Speak to the SAINTS through your Word and Holy Spirit you are welcome here…Amen. Help US to eliminate anything that is displeasing to you in order that you would hear US and grant the SAINTS the desires of OUR hearts in accordance with your will always; ALL of these things WE ask and pray in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names and in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, OUR Lord, Amen!!!”
Acts 27:4 – “From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us”
Acts 2:2 – “And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.”
John 3:8 – “”The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.””
Acts 27:7-8 – “7 We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8 We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.”
Acts 27:9-11 – “9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement. So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.”
Acts 27:12-20 – “12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest. 13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, 17 so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.”
Acts 27:21-26 – “21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
1st Corinthians 3:10-15 – “10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”
Acts 27:27 – 39 – “27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away. 33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea. 39 When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could.”
Acts 27:40-44 – “40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41 But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf. 42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.”
Acts 28:1-10 – “1 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. 7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.”
Exodus 4:2-4 2Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. 3The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.”
Exodus 14:16 – “16Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”
Acts 28:11-20 – “11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island—it was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. 12 We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. 13 From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. 14 There we found some brothers and sisters who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15 The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged. 16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him. 17 Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.””
Acts 28:21-31 – “21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our people who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” 23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 26 “ ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” 27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. 30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”
God’s continuous and manifold mercy towards ALL…