Acts 27:31, 42-44 – Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved… 42 And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, that none of them should 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 thus it happened that they all were brought safely to land.” NASB
In this event, we find Paul en route to Rome along with other prisoners. Paul had warned the Centurion in charge that to depart at the time they departed would end in tragedy. It would have had it not been for the intervention of God. The soldiers believed the ship captain more than the apostle and began the ill-fated voyage. It is important to note that the apostle Paul was a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He knew God and knew God’s voice. Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice…and they follow Me.”
Paul, as was his custom prayed. He sought God for direction not only in this situation but in every aspect of his life. Those in charge failed to heed his warnings and they suddenly found themselves in a hopeless situation being tossed by the tempest threatening to destroy their ship. This situation can be applied to our lives when we fail to heed the warnings of the Spirit and Word of God.
Several things are important to note:
THE DARKNESS OF HOPELESSNESS WAS UPON THEM.
They were caught in a no-win situation. The wind was too powerful for their ship and they had no power in themselves to overcome certain disaster. The sailors understood that they would have to place themselves and the ship at the mercy of the winds and the sea. They had to go with the flow of the current and follow the path of the wind. It was too late to heed the apostle’s warning before they left port, they were in the sea and in the storm. Therefore, riding it out was their only hope and that hope was quickly fading.
They followed their training and instincts. They used cables to undergird the ship hoping to keep it in one piece. That is a reminder of how much we need the Spirit of God to undergird our lives with His strength. They had to strike the sails and become mercilessly driven by the ferocious winds. They then began to lighten the ship and toss overboard anything not absolutely necessary. A reminder that we need to set aside the little weights and sins that beset us. They threw the tackling of the ship overboard but nothing they did averted the impending danger and disaster.
Their strength was weak. Their ability lacking and they endured days without seeing the sun or the stars to guide them. They were rapidly being overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness. They realized that land was near and cast anchors from the bow and stern hoping to prevent the ship from being driven onto the rocks. Oh, how we need a sure anchor to hold us in the midst of life’s storms. Our anchor, which is Jesus, always holds!
When we find ourselves in a hopeless situation there is only one place to turn if we want to survive and that is God. I want to address this a little further but will pause here and say, “If your situation appears hopeless know there is Hope. That Hope is Jesus! He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Call upon Him now!”
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!