After two weeks adrift on storm-tossed seas, the sailors and soldiers accompanying Paul to Rome focused on self-preservation as the threat of shipwreck became certain. In the midst of calamity and crisis, leadership was desperately needed; Paul, the unlikely prisoner, stepped up with faith and common sense. Alistair Begg assures us that just as God was with Paul, so He is with each of us as we wrestle with the stormy seas of life—and our response can have a radical impact on the watching world.
27When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms.4 A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms.5 29And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship's boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow, 31Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship's boat and let it go.
33As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,6 for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” 35And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37(We were in all 2767 persons in the ship.) 38And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
39Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. 40So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. 41But striking a reef,8 they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. 42The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. 43But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.
Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.